Blacks Brewery & Distillery last week opened their highly-anticipated Lagoon Bar at their new brewery and distillery in Cappagh overlooking the Bandon estuary in Kinsale. This has been a huge development and milestone for the business, marking 10 years since the company first started brewing and distilling in Kinsale.
Beginning in June of 2022, the development of the site took place in two phases; phase one includes the Brewery, Distillery and Lagoon Bar, with phase two boasting a visitor and tours centre. The views from the bar are impressive, with an outside seating area overlooking the water. Internally, within the bar a window looks on to the brewing tanks and shiny copper whiskey stills in the production hall. Founded in 2013, Blacks Brewery and Distillery is a family-run business, independently-owned by husband and wife team Sam and Maudeline Black.
The idea and motivation for the business came many years earlier when Maud gave Sam a home-brewing kit as a Valentine’s Day gift. What started as a hobby for Sam developed into a passion for brewing great beers. Driven by the lack of ‘hoppy’ and different style beers in Ireland, Sam was encouraged to begin brewing commercially in Kinsale in 2013.
With their enthusiasm for producing quality drinks, Blacks decided to move into the distilling side of the business and, having produced numerous award-winning beers, whiskey was next in their sights.
The experimentation didn’t stop there, as in 2020 Blacks installed two Whiskey stills and began whiskey production. According to a local historian, Blacks is the first commercial distillery in Kinsale – historical records showing that any evidence of previous distilling was for personal use only.
With a wealth of experience to draw on, Blacks started creating their own Irish whiskey that flaunts the rules and perceptions of flavour. “We’re prepared to mix up mash bills, marry unique liquids and use category-shaking cask finishes to create fantastic tasting Irish whiskey,” shares Sam Black.
“We started our revolution with flavour-packed experimental craft beer, then we moved swiftly into gin and rum, following our taste buds and sense of adventure. These won us recognition and awards as experts at our craft, and consumer respect along the way.”