A new Belfast distillery pays homage to the world’s most well-known ship.
Titanic Distillery is opening its doors this Friday, making it the first distillery in Belfast, Ireland, in 90 years. The distillery’s visitor center will be open to the public starting April 28, according to a brand announcement.
The distillery is situated in the historic Thompson Graving Dock and Pumphouse, a facility opened in 1911 by the White Star Line company — which owned the Titanic — to repair its ships. The restored building includes preserved historic details and original equipment, both of which are highlighted during the distillery’s visitor tours. The venture is led by head distiller Damien Rafferty, who has previously worked as a civil engineer and brewer.
Guests can join one of four tours, which offer varying perspectives on shipbuilding, whiskey distilling, and Titanic history. Each tour, which runs from 60 to 130 minutes, leads visitors through the distilling process and historic elements of the structure. A whiskey tasting and commemorative glass round out the experience of the premium tour, according to Tourism Ireland.
“Whiskey has played an important part in the history of our city but there hasn’t been a working distillery here since the 1930s, so we are delighted to revive this great distilling tradition — bringing Belfast back to the forefront of Irish whiskey production, while at the same time telling the story of a historic past when we led the way globally — not just in shipbuilding but across many areas of industry, manufacturing, and innovation,” distillery director Peter Lavrey says in the announcement.
The Titanic was constructed in the coastal Ireland town in 1909, three years prior to its transatlantic voyage. The White Star Line built the Thompson Dock to perform maintenance on the Titanic and its sister ship, the Olympia.
The brand estimates that the new distillery will create 41 jobs in the local Belfast economy.