The Boatyard Distillery is situated on the banks of Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, North West Ireland. Boatyard is Fermanagh’s first legal distillery since 1890. Our story began with a dream in 2013 when our founder, Joe McGirr, imagined returning home to his native Enniskillen. Joe grew up on a nearby dairy farm, and the McGirr family are always a part of what Boatyard does. The distillery takes its name from the disused Boatyard that it’s built on. It makes us unique as a distillery, as visitors can arrive just as easily by boat as they can by car.
As a boy it was never in Joe’s plans to follow in his father’s footsteps and work on the farm. Instead, he moved to Edinburgh, where the plethora of Scottish distilleries provided the inspiration of how one day, he would return home. A 10-year tenure at The Glenmorangie Company provided fine tuning so that Joe could map out his plans. The goal was to make a gin, not just any gin, but one so perfect for Martinis globally it would be poured in the world’s finest bars and restaurants.
Late 2016 The Boatyard Distillery sold its first bottle at a local festival, one part of Joe’s dream was achieved. His liquid first approach also led to an early win with the first bar outside of Ireland stocking Boatyard being the then, World’s Best Bar, The American Bar at The Savoy. Then headed by Declan McGurk, who selected the gin from being seduced at a blind tasting, to then discovering it is made local to where his family origins lay. From developing the number one bar in the world, Declan then moved on to work directly for Boatyard as Commercial Director.
From that original vision of creating a gin perfect for Martini’s, with a double hit of juniper to stand up in a G&T, Boatyard finds itself in a position where it has attracted top industry professionals to help growth. Now being used by many of the finest bartenders around the world, this endorsement is leading us to Boatyard being available on multiple shelves globally in a retail environment. Our goal is, to be the leading Irish gin distillery making sustainable spirits while giving our team their best possible adventure. The team have measured themselves by becoming the first B Corp certified distillery in Ireland in February 2023.
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