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Lough Erne is a beautiful part of the world and one that is rich in legend. It owes its name to the goddess Érainn, a powerful spirit once worshipped by the local tribe. Now its shores harbour spirits of a different kind.
Four varieties of gin and one vodka, in fact. That’s what we make here at the Boatyard Distillery. So join us for a tour. There’s no better way to discover the true spirit of Fermanagh.
You’ll start with a gin and tonic reception, of course. Well, what else? But this is no ordinary gin. You might know that the origins of gin can be found in Holland in the 16th century. You might even know that it derives its original name ‘jenever’ from the Dutch word for the juniper berries used to flavour it. But did you know this? It was probably in Ireland that native botanicals were first used to add nuance and subtlety to its taste.
As your visit progresses you will discover how, in his creation of Boatyard Double gin, founder Joe McGirr has stayed true to both these key gin ingredients. And has invented something totally unique in the process. His Boatyard Double Gin is so called because it uses a double method of contact with juniper. Result? None of that juniper taste has to be sacrificed. And then there’s the native botanical: sweet gale (also known as bog myrtle). Joe’s brother Brian grows it on the family farm. How’s that for local provenance?
Your expert guide will reveal the history and origins of the boatyard distillery. You’ll hear about Joe's dream of starting a distillery in his beloved Fermanagh. And how, after a long exile in Scotland - and a long apprenticeship in a very famous distillery (Which one? Oh, just the Glenmorangie...) - he made it happen. And happen in a way that is sustainable, organic and provides employment to the local community too.
At this stage of your visit you’re probably feeling like a bit of a connoisseur. Good: it must be time for your neat tasting of our full spirits range. And then a couple of cocktails - just to see how they mix, you understand? Afterwards, enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the distillery from distilling to labelling. Plus an insight into a couple of future projects that we’re very excited about.
There’s an opportunity to label your own bottle of Boatyard Double gin, too. Take it home with you. And the next time you enjoy a gin and tonic, raise a glass to Joe, his family - and the various spirits of Lough Erne.