McConnell’s Distillery to begin tours at Crumlin Road Gaol home

Tickets for the McConnell’s Distillery tour have gone on sale following its official opening on March 27 2024.

The £22 million investment has transformed the A-wing at the historic gaol site into a brand new working distillery, which will produce spirits for the Belfast Distillery Company.

The company, now part of New York-based Conecuh Brands, has revived the 150-year-old McConnell’s Irish Whisky brand.

The McConnell family, whose involvement in the Belfast spirit trade dates back to the 18th century, went on to establish J&J McConnell, which built the Cromac Distillery in the Ravenhill Road area during 1899. The distillery, like many others, closed during the 1930s.

The A-wing of the ‘Crum’ jail housed prisoners from the 1840s until its closure in 1996. Plan for a distillery inside the A-wing were originally proposed by Belfast investor Peter Lavery during 2012. The distillery plan gained significant traction when US investors James Ammeen, Joseph Babiec and William Bocra took control of the Belfast Distillery Company in 2019. Peter Lavery went on to help establish Titanic Distillers, which opened in the Titanic Quarter last year.

Backed by Invest NI, the new McConnell’s Distillery is set to enhance the city’s tourist offering. It’s expected to create 49 jobs across its operations.