Founded in 2014, Blackwater Distillery is a micro distillery based on the banks of the river Blackwater in Cappoquin. The company produces three core products, their flagship brand Blackwater No. 5 Gin, Blackwater Wexford Strawberry Gin and Blackwater Juniper Cask Gin. In addition they also produce Boyle’s Gin which is sold exclusively in the Republic of Ireland by ALDI. Trading for just over two years, the company has won numerous awards with Blackwater No. 5 being Ireland’s most awarded gin having won Silver outstanding at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in both 2015 and 2016 as well as Gold at the Irish Whiskey Awards and Platinum at the Irish Quality Food Awards. Blackwater Juniper Cask Gin won Gold at the Global Gin Masters while Wexford Strawberry Gin also won at the London Craft Distilling Expo in 2016.
The company’s current premises in an industrial unit in Cappoquin is too small for its expanding output and which cannot receive visitors. The distillery will move its entire operation to Ballyduff, Co. Waterford, to McCarthy’s Hardware Store, a premises on the main street originally constructed as a two storey supermarket in the 1950’s. The original building will be entirely renovated, retaining much of the original character and layout, and the existing lean -to will be completed replaced with a two storey extension thanks to the LEADER investment of €200,000.. The new facility will include two new stills (total capacity 2400 litres) giving 8 times the output of the existing still, scaled up brewing equipment to allow commercial production of Irish whiskey will also be installed. The distillery will also be able to receive visitors and do scheduled guided tours of the facility, currently not possible in Cappoquin despite receiving several requests every week for tours, tastings, etc. In phase 2, the new distillery will include a cafe which will be leased to a separate operator and which will have the capacity to operate entirely independently of the distillery. The project will create 6 full time jobs on completion. Above you will see the before and most definitely the after effect as the project nears completion.
This project was funded by the Waterford Local Community Development Committee under the Rural Development Programme 2014 -2020 Local Objective Enterprise Development and Strategic Action Capital Investment in existing and start up technology, graduate orientated rural businesses.