In Northern Ireland we have a growing passion for distilling, and to celebrate our many Distilleries and Schools a new Spirit Trail highlights 10 experiences to enjoy.
The Spirits Trail is your passport to our world of spirits in Northern Ireland. You will learn about the distilling process and hear stories from the pioneering legends who put their heart and soul into every bottle they make.
A key element of the Northern Ireland Spirits Trail is the Distillery Trail Passport. Visit each of the unique experiences, collect a stamp on your passport and receive a special souvenir when you have completed all points on the trail.
There are a host of spirits to discover, from the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world at the Old Bushmills Distillery, to the drumlins and mountains of County Down, home to Copeland Distillery, Echlinville Distillery, Rademon Estate Distillery, Hinch Distillery and Northern Ireland’s smallest distillery at Killowen.
Get hands on with Belfast Artisan Gin School and learn to distil with a difference at Woodlab Distillery. Awaken the senses at Wild Atlantic Distillery and experience the spirit of County Fermanagh at Boatyard Distillery.
It’s time to hit the trail. So let your senses be your guide. Along with the map of course!
Pick up your Northern Ireland Spirit Trail Distillery Passport from any of the 10 distilleries on the trail and get it stamped as you visit each location. When you’ve visited all stops on the Spirit Trail simply show a copy of your completed passport to a member of staff at your last distillery experience to receive a special souvenir!
The Northern Ireland Spirits Trail includes:
Belfast Artisan Gin School, Thirsty Goat, Belfast
- Your day at Belfast Artisan Gin School will see you create a completely unique one of-a-kind gin. Over the course of a fun and informative two and a half hours, you’ll make your own personalised product to take home, plus sample a couple of gin cocktails as you wait for yours to be distilled in the mini-stills on site.
The Copeland Distillery, Donaghadee, County Down
- At the Copeland Distillery you’ll experience their range of spirits and connect with people with a shared passion for the craft of distilling and the local area. Each of the spirits are intertwined with local heritage and coastal spirit, bringing back tall tales of the past.
The Echlinville Distillery, Kircubbin, County Down
- Arrive at the historic Echlinville Estate and be greeted by friendly tour guides. Then, you’ll trace the journey of their spirits all the way from ground to glass. Hear all about the distillery’s commitment to local provenance. Discover how they sow, harvest and floor-malt all their own barley. View the beautiful copper stills and breathe in the earthy aromas of the whiskey maturation warehouse.
Rademon Estate Distillery, Crossgar, County Down
- The Shortcross Gin Discovery and Tasting experiences take place on the Rademon Estate, which dates back to AD 565. The gin made here is Northern Ireland’s first craft gin, with techniques and provenance that have won it many awards. Lush green fields, blooming gardens and dense forests all go into Shortcross Gin.
Hinch Distillery, Ballynahinch, County Down
- A tour at Hinch Distillery is not just an exploration of history, production and their bold range of triple distilled whiskeys; it’s an invitation to sit and learn from the characters that bring it to life through an immersive sensory journey. Drawing its water from the beautiful Silent Valley, and sourcing local grain, here’s a whiskey that’s made from the essence of nature around it.
Killowen Distillery, Killowen, County Down
- This is Northern Ireland’s smallest distillery, but in it, you’ll find one of the biggest welcomes. On a visit you might be lucky enough to meet the distillery’s piper and storyteller who will relate the history of this unique place, with tales of smugglers, a megalithic monument and the world’s tallest man. On the tour you can taste spirit straight from the still before seeing how the distillation process works.
The Woodlab Distillery, Moy, County Tyrone
- The gin school at Woodlab Distillery is a unique experience in the science of harnessing nature to extract the flavour profiles present in their gin. When you think of exotic botanicals, you might think of far-flung locales, but using a little bit of science you can source those same flavours and much more in the flora we find all around Northern Ireland.
The Boatyard Distillery, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
- On the banks of Lough Erne just outside Enniskillen, you’ll find the Boatyard Distillery, a distillery focused on producing pure spirits with a sustainable and organic approach. With B Corp certification, they are the first distillery here to do so. The tours are an immersive experience giving you a chance to see, taste and experience the spirit of Fermanagh, with the botanicals in the Boatyard Double Gin coming straight from the family farm.
Wild Atlantic Gin School & Distillery, Castlederg, County Tyrone
- Wild Atlantic Distillery is an award-winning whiskey, gin and vodka distillery based in County Tyrone, drawing inspiration from the spectacular rugged coastline. Learn the craft of making a spirit under the guidance of award-winning master distillers and discover the origins of the botanicals including kelp and dillisk, that are hand harvested from the wild Atlantic Ocean.
Old Bushmills Distillery, Bushmills, County Antrim
- In 1608, in Bushmills, a legend was born. In that year, King James I granted a very particular license to this small village, just a few miles inland from Northern Ireland’s rugged Causeway Coast. The license gave Bushmills the right to distil whiskey. To find out how they got to be so good, you’ll need to pay a visit, of course. You’ll soon see that they really couldn’t make their whiskey anywhere but here.