Its no secret that brothers Jack & Stephen Teeling are constructing a whiskey distillery on Newmarket Square in the heart of Dublin 8, the first to be built in the city for 125 years.
Dublin was a boom town for whiskey right up until the late 1800’s with Newmarket Square, The Liberties and surrounding area famous for the 37 separate distilleries in operation. It was also well known for the devastating 'Irish Whiskey Fire' of 1875 which saw flaming rivers of whiskey running like lava towards Cork Street (this story told over on the brilliant Dublin history blog Come Here To Me).
However, there hasn’t been a drop distilled in Dublin since 1976, following the long decline of Irish whiskey heralded by The War of Independence, American Prohibition and an unwillingness to adopt new, more efficient distillation methods.
The first whiskey distillery built in Dublin in almost 40 years will undoubtedly bring huge change to an neighbourhood that has been down on its luck for quite some time. We wanted to get a look around at this stage, before they welcome their first customer and to document what could be a corner stone of an area on the cusp.
On the day the Italian engineered copper pot stills were being commissioned, a house proud Stephen Teeling played Willy Wonka and took us for a walk around the buzzing building site, showing us their factory floor and the visitor centre where they hope to welcome up to 60,000 people in their first year. From mid May onwards, visitors will be able to walk on gantries through the working vats and stills, find out about the process, the history of the area, the story of Dublin whiskey and have a sup at the end.