The Connacht Distillery story starts on the northwest coast of Ireland, in the wild, rugged, landscape of County Mayo in the province of Connacht.

Founded by Master Distiller Robert Cassell and a team that saw the potential in Irish whiskey, the derelict old Duffy’s bakery site in Ballina was painstakingly renovated, with whiskey production commencing in 2016.

Situated where the River Moy’s pure, fresh, water rushes down to meet the in-flowing salty Atlantic Ocean, dramatic shifts in atmospheric pressure exert an ever-changing influence on the whiskey maturing in our barrels.

about connacht distillery

fine irish whiskey, crafted by the atlantic

The Connacht Distillery sits on the banks of the beautiful River Moy where the river widens into the Moy Estuary in Ballina, County Mayo. Here we distill and barrel-age our spirits in a rural, coastal environment unique to the West of Ireland.

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our distillery & process

the connacht distillery is a totally self-contained 2500m2 facility. we prepare our mash, ferment, distill, age, and bottle our spirits all on site.

the distillery houses our three copper pot stills, which were custom designed by our master distiller, robert cassell, for the sole purpose of making great whiskey. we had our stills made to these specifications in victoria, british columbia, canada by the very experienced specific mechanical systems. the dimensions of our stills, particularly their necks and heads, are different than others being used in ireland, ensuring that our whiskey also will be unique and special.

We are not only proud of our unique stills, but we are also pleased with Connacht’s malt handling and brewing equipment made in Germany by ROLEC, the best craft brewing equipment manufacturer. The custom-made equipment combines the high efficiency and high capacity of modern beer brewing with the traditional brewing and fermentation processes needed for making fine whiskey.

the distillery’s barrel room houses casks full of our whiskey; here our whiskey slowly matures. our irish whiskey never leaves our control and remains along the banks of the moy, enjoying and benefiting from the unique terroir of our western irish setting.

our location

The island of Ireland historically has been divided into four provinces and 32 counties, each of which has its own unique charm and long-standing traditions. Our distillery is located in the province of Connacht, the county of Mayo, and the town of Ballina.

For our non-Irish visitors, these locations are pronounced as:

our location | along the wild atlantic way

the province of connacht

The province of Connacht encompasses the area along Ireland’s central western coast. It is home to stunning ocean coastlines, rugged mountain ranges, pristine lakes and rivers, rolling green farmland, and barren peatlands. Hugging the Atlantic Ocean, one can drive along the Wild Atlantic Way, a tourism trail that runs the western length of the island.

Often called “the most Irish part of Ireland,” many parts of Connacht retain their very strong Gaelic traditions, including the old Irish language. Connacht boasts an extensive selection of archeological sites and ruined abbeys, but it also houses charming towns with welcoming pubs and comfortable hotels and bed & breakfasts. The five counties of Connacht are Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, and Sligo.

our location | along the wild atlantic way

County of Mayo

There is an untamed magnificence to the County Mayo. The wild and rocky Atlantic coastline defines its western profile, from the inlets and islands of Clew Bay in the south to the dramatic cliffs of Downpatrick Head and the sandy beaches of Kallina in the north. In Mayo’s northwest, a vast tract of blanket bog creates a sweeping landscape. Farther inland are rolling valleys, rivers, and lakes, including the twin lakes of Lough Conn and Lough Cullin which provide the water for our distillery.

Mayo is steeped in heritage and tradition. The area provides insight into Ireland’s distant past at Céide Fields, the world’s most extensive Neolithic site, and numerous megalithic tombs dating back 5,000 years. The county is also rich in museums and heritage centres that reflect Ireland’s more recent history, including its rural farming and fishing economies, the impact of the Great Famine, and genealogy resources. Check out the Museums of Mayo

our location | along the wild atlantic way

Town of Ballina

Ballina lies in northern County Mayo on the banks of the famous River Moy, a few miles south of where the Moy empties into the Atlantic Ocean. A town of about 11,000, Ballina hosts a wide variety of pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, and shops, as well as excellent area hotels, resorts, and bed & breakfasts. Ballina’s attractions include the ruins of Moyne Abbey and Rosserk Friary, both of which date back to the 15th century, and the impressive St Muredach’s Cathedral, which stands imposingly in town on the banks of the river.

The River Moy is internationally acknowledged as an exceptional salmon fishery. The famous Ridge Pool, a salmon anglers’ paradise, is located in the heart of Ballina. Each year in July, Ballina ignites into a frenzy of activity with its annual salmon festival. Over the past years, it has developed into one of Ireland’s major festivals, providing a week long feast of free entertainment for the entire family – music, song, theatre, art, heritage, and culture.

In addition to fishing, Ballina provides an excellent home-base for golfing, walking, and cycling. Three championship links golf courses are within a short drive of Ballina, and several walking and cycling venues are readily available. We are particularly pleased that the Connacht Distillery is immediately adjacent to a newly constructed walking and cycling greenway. The “Monasteries of the Moy Greenway” is a 14km off-road walking and cycling route between the towns of Ballina and Killala. The greenway passes the ecclesiastical ruins near the River Moy and then runs along the north Mayo coast, offering some of the most spectacular views in Ireland

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