Boatyard Gin a ‘tonic’ for local drinks industry

Joe McGirr with his Boatyard Gin, the fulfillment of a long held ambition

Joe McGirr with his Boatyard Gin, the fulfillment of a long held ambition

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The ongoing expansion of the drinks industry in the province has been given another boost with the launch of a bold contender from Fermanagh.

Boatyard Double Gin is the first product from the Boatyard Distillery on the shores of Lough Erne and was launched late last week in in Belfast’s OX Cave.

Company Founder Joe McGirr says the gin makeup has been carefully fine-tuned to produce a smooth, flavourful and refreshing spirit which reflects the unique landscape and botany of the lakelands where he grew up.

“After a lot of research and preparation, I am delighted to finally be able to bring Boatyard Double Gin to the local and international market,” he said.

“Our gin is very special as the organically produced wheat spirit goes through a double contact distillation process for a more pronounced flavour, hence the name.

“It is then infused and distilled with sweet-gale foraged from the bogs of Fermanagh, along with the more familiar notes of juniper, lemon and five other botanicals, to give Boatyard a distinctive taste profile.

“We use our own base spirit created using a Champagne yeast, making a very unique drink which is already going down very well with customers.”

The Distillery, which is one of the first in the world to be accessible to visitors by both land and water, isn’t sitting back and in fact there is a full range of products in the pipeline, as well as plans to open a visitor centre early next year.

Joe, who has wide experience in spirit production in Scotland and London said it has been a lifelong ambition to bring drink distillation home to Fermanagh.

“It was a dream of mine to open my own distillery at home and produce a spirit of this quality.

“We will shortly begin work on Boatyard vodka and rum and our plan is to open the distillery to the public.

“The beauty of Fermanagh, aligned to the craftsmanship of our distillery - well it would be a shame to keep that hidden from the public!

“However our first priority is focus on producing the finest quality gin that we can.”

The distillery has been granted full planning permission across two buildings on the site. The first phase of work will see the creation of a visitor centre, which will host tours, tastings and a retail shop.

The second phase of structural work will see the creation of a vodka production facility using locally harvested potatoes.