The Belfast Distillery

Housed inside a Grade A-listed building, the Belfast Distillery houses a malt whiskey distillery and visitors centre. Taking over the vacant 'A' wing of the Crumlin Road Gaol (jailhouse), the design by DRINKSOLOGY sympathetically follows the form and function of the original building whilst simultaneously positioning McConnells Irish Whiskey as a future focused brand. This experience is a storytellers melting pot of Belfast's turbulent history, fueled in part by its prolific whiskey production. The legacy is a proud revival of a city's great distilling tradition and the return of Belfast back to the forefront of Irish Whiskey production, a position it occupied for many decades at the turn of the last century. With much anticipation, the experience is set to open its' doors in late 2022.

Derelict potential

Crumlin Road Gaol, is a former prison situated on the Crumlin Road in north Belfast, Northern Ireland. Since its closure in 1996 it is the only remaining Victorian era former prison in Northern Ireland and it is colloquially known as 'the Crum'. The Environment Agency has given it a grade A listed building status because of its architectural and historical significance.

Breathing new life

Below is a pre-launch glimpse into the new reality of the Crumlin Road Gaol. Working closely with the project architect, the building now enjoys a welcoming and bright interior that houses retail, whiskey production, a history room, private tasting areas, maturation stores, two masterclass areas and a beautifully presented bar.

A lesson in history

In the board room the guests are transported to another time in Belfast's prolific history, joined by the 'pepper' ghostly figures of the original McConnell brothers who regale the guests with first hand accounts of the McConnell's Irish Whiskey brand rise and fall.

The story of production

At the heart of the jailhouse beats a world class malt distillery. Guests journey through milling, mashing, fermentation and distillation before venturing upwards to the maturation and tasting suites.

A masterclass in taste

Journey to the top of the distillery and enjoy two immersive experiences set within the highly customised masterclass rooms. In room one get ready to mix and muddle your way to glory with a highly detailed cocktail experience. In room two learn how to become a whiskey blender whilst creating a unique personalised blend from seven different whiskies.

... and relax

At the end of the tour guests have the opportunity to relax and imbibe in the distillery bar. As always, we apply world class ergonomics and functional bar design wrapped up in an aesthetically appropriate and engaging cocktail bar design.