The wash is moved into the still house.


At Blackwater Distillery we get calls at least on a weekly basis from people wanting to set up a distillery. Nothing wrong with that and we are happy to talk, after all others helped us. But of late we are getting a lot of what I call ‘taxi driver buying real-estate in Spain’ calls. When I returned to Ireland in 2005 I remember taxi driver after taxi driver telling me how they knew nothing about property yet they were building their property portfolio in Spain/Bulgaria/Virgin Islands. Anyway we all know what happened next.

So if you are serious, stop sitting on your hands and get them dirty.

IMG_0515 bd

The first thing is to think about what you want to distil. There’s a huge difference between making gin and whiskey and I can’t help you with that. Everything starts with this decision and knowing what you want to make will tell you what still you need, if you need a mash tun and fermenters etc.

The second thing you do is talk to your local Revenue office.

Next put together a business plan. You will need lots of money to buy gear, but you will also need lots of money to package, market and sell.

Learn the difference between a bond and a deferred payment guarantee and find a friendly bank.

Go to your off-licence and talk to the owner. Look for the gap in the market you can fill. Having a ‘better gin/vodka/poteen’ is not good enough, after all no one has an ugly baby.


In April we held a day long Distilling Workshop and I am happy to say that two of the participants are now well on their way to gin heaven and both have compelling offers. So it can be done, but as well as asking for help you have to help yourself.



  • Hey folks,

    Heard about Blackwater Gin from my mother of all people !!!

    Have been involved in the industry for a bit now working mainly in credible bars and learning the brand game through the cocktail comps in New Zealand.

    Heard great things about the Gin and would love rep. Tge bottle over in NZ, ( my mother is a Mulryan so would love to introduce this to people on this side of the world )
    Have a friend going to Ireland soon, could you tell me the easiest way for him to grab a bottle ? Off-licence in Dublin ? Or I could order direct online !
    Keep up the good work anyway !
    Heard great things !

    Dave Dooley

    • Hi Dave,

      Good to hear from you and a Mulryan to boot! The easiest way to get a bottle to NZ is to pick one up at Dublin airport and carry it over. Or the O’Brien’s chain have it too, so you could stick one in a suit case too! I hope you enjoy! Peter

  • Hey folks !

    Heard good things about your Gin ! Can’t wait to try it myself !

    First heard about you guys from my mum of all people ( given that I learned my trade through very decent bars and cocktail comps this was a surprise indeed !!! )
    I heard about a relative no less from the Mulryan side and thought I have to stock this in the cocktail bar I work in which is situated on lake Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand.
    We have enough Diageo and Pernod products to last a life time so tell me this if you can!
    Have a freind coming over soon, can he buy Blackwater from specific off-licences in Dublin or should I get it sent to my home place in Kildare ?

    Many thanks Dave Dooley

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