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McAllister Distillers: Making whiskey history in the west of Ireland

As construction begins on the new whiskey and gin craft distillery in the village of Ahascragh, Co Galway, McAllister Distillers are delighted to launch a special Founders Cask Programme

McAllister Distillers have announced their Founders Cask Programme. A unique and customizable programme where Founder Members choose their own wood, spirit, and finish, ensuring complete control over their whiskey.


McAllister Distillers was established in 2018 by husband and wife team, Gareth and Michelle McAllister. Having lived and worked in countries across Europe, the US and Asia, the McAllisters returned to Ireland with the dream of turning their passion for craft Irish spirits into a family business. They set their sights on opening a whiskey and gin distillery in the west of Ireland and when they visited the old mill in Ahascragh, Co Galway, they fell in love with its story: the beautiful stonework, the history of the buildings and the character of the small village drew them in.

Gareth and Michelle McAllister
Gareth and Michelle McAllister

Ahascragh Mill dates back to the early 1800s and up until the 1950s processed grain into flour. Located in the heart of the village and steeped in history, the mill complex has remained derelict for the past 70 years. Now the McAllisters are giving the building a new lease of life with plans for a world class whiskey experience and hospitality destination. The Ahascragh Distillery will be an eco-distillery, powered by renewable energy with a drive to be carbon neutral.

The Distillery will feature a visitor centre, offering tours, tastings, workshops and events space. Opening soon is The Old Mill Shop & Café located just across the road from the distillery. The visitor experience will be an intimate and unique experience, showcasing the history of the old mill, with a permanent exhibition of the salvaged mill equipment. It will also explore the history of Irish whiskey making and the future of the Ahascragh spirit.

Founders Cask Programme

This month McAllister Distillers announced their Founders Cask Programme. A unique and customizable programme. Founder Members choose their own wood, spirit, and finish, ensuring complete control over their whiskey. They can be involved in the process as much or as little as they like. Annual samples of whiskey are sent on request, to help track and record the whiskey as it matures.

The programme includes advice, expertise and support through all steps of the journey. Members can choose from a stock of wooden casks or McAllister Distillers can source a desired wood to mature or finish the spirit in. There is a choice of single malt, single pot still or a blend of both to a desired ratio. The cask is then stored for a minimum period of five years after production with the choice to mature for longer.

Making whiskey history

There are many benefits to becoming a Founder Member including unlimited free tours, discounts at The Old Mill Shop and Café, invites to special events and much more, but what makes this programme particularly special is the opportunity to become a Founder Member of the Ahascragh Distillery.

The Founders Cask Programme is not just about being part of the McAllister Distillery Ahascragh Family, it’s about a new life, soul and legacy for an old mill and local community in Co Galway. Member contributions will help realize the vision for the distillery, supporting the refurbishment of the old mill buildings, creation of the visitor and tourist facilities, installation of process equipment for sustainable production of whiskey and gin, establishment of a visitor experience, creation of lasting local employment and a cultural legacy for the community of East Galway.

Your whiskey journey

Cask programmes have become very popular with families, groups of friends, clubs, organisations and companies in recent years. Whiskey helps us to celebrate the big occasions and mark the smaller ones; wedding anniversaries, birthdays, family gatherings, business milestones, class reunions, hellos, goodbyes and all the moments in between.

The McAllister’s mission is to help family and friends celebrate meaningful moments and occasions, strengthening new and old connections, and what better way to do that than with your own whiskey, made by you.

The Founders Cask Programme is a unique and smart investment opportunity. Irish whiskey has been the fastest growing premium spirit category in the world growing by 180 per cent in the last 10 years (2010 - 2020) and set to double by 2030. The development of further distilling capacity in Ireland is critical to ensuring future growth. The Programme is an easy way to benefit from the growth and global demand of Irish whiskey with the support from McAllister Distillery Ahascragh throughout your journey.

Join the family

The Founders Casks start from €7,000 for a standard first fill ex-bourbon barrel filled with Ahascragh spirit. There is also a payment plan available whereby you can spread the cost of your cask over three years.

Benefits include:

  • A copper Founders Membership card entitling you to free tours for life and a 10 per cent discount on all purchases in The Old Mill Shop & Café
  • One free bottle per year of a new whiskey release from McAllister Distillers until your whiskey is ready
  • An invitation to the annual Founders event
  • Annual samples of your whiskey sent to you on request
  • A certificate of ownership with your particular cask number. 

The Founders Cask Programme is open through till the end of the first year of production, expected to be mid-2023. If you would like to register your interest and learn more about owning a cask and becoming a Founder Member of McAllister Distillery Ahascragh, you can email or visit

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