“Here at the edge of a lake, in a shed in a small Irish town the ordinary is made extraordinary” - this quote from the new Shed Distillery Visitor Experience sums up exactly what Pat Rigney has done for Drumshanbo.
Six years after the Rigney’s distilled their first Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin in an industrial unit in The Food Hub, the name Drumshanbo and its environs has been elevated to magical heights.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin is now in over 60 countries across the world, including every US state, Australia, Hong Kong, Russia, South Africa and the majority of European countries. But it is not just gin putting Drumshanbo on the map, you can now buy whiskey, vodka and a huge range of souvenir items branding the lakeside town.
The €3 million visitor centre and cafe which opened last week is a massive coup for Drumshanbo, but it also benefits the entire county. The Shed Distillery projects over 30,000 visitors in the next 12 months.
These facilities will bring tourists from around the world to Leitrim and the adjoining cafe will make sure locals will be returning time after time to Drumshanbo. More and more businesses are jumping on the bandwagon and seeing this innovative town as the place to set up and expand their companies.
The Shed Distillery tour takes you on a luxury journey through the choosing of ingredients from around the world, milling, fermenting, distillation, aging and packaging. Savour a wonderful whiskey tasting before enjoying a peek inside the secret tabernacle of the curious mind of PJ Rigney.
Learn about the local key gin ingredient 'meadowsweet' handpicked from under Sliabh an Iarainn and about the elusive local legend; the Jackalope. At the end of the tour you get to sit back in the Honeybadger bar and enjoy a refreshing glass of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin and tonic.
Inside the gift shop you can deck yourself out from head to toe in Drumshanbo branded clothes, you can buy trays and glasses and of course liquor as well as a number of other locally produced items.
The Leitrim Observer understands more flavoured whiskeys will be coming on stream in the next few years, the branded clothing items will be going online and by Christmas you will be able to purchase a personalised bottle of gin as a gift.
The tour may be heralding a new future for Drumshanbo but it doesn’t forget the past; the old Cavan Leitrim Railway features strongly and in homage to the old Laird's jam factory The Shed hopes to churn out some whiskey flavoured jams and marmalades next year.
Despite the current pandemic and all the restrictions Pat Rigney said he owed it to the local Drumshanbo Community to open now and create jobs.
“It is the right thing for us to open now even though it is possibly the worst time from a business perspective. Together with the Jackalope Café in the Visitor Experience, this will immediately add 15 new jobs, bringing total employee numbers to over 50,” he stated.