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After years of planning and hard graft, Belfast’s newest tourist attraction, Titanic Distillers at Thompson Dock and the city’s first working whiskey distillery in almost 90 years, has officially opened its doors to the public. A listed building, the Pumphouse, and neighbouring Thompson Graving Dry Dock, first opened in 1911 to service and accommodate the massive White Star transatlantic liners Olympic and Titanic. 

Now, 112 years later, visitors can explore the historic site, experience the workings of the new distillery, and hear the story of Belfast’s whiskey tradition, why it disappeared and how it has now returned at the Pumphouse, the new home of Titanic Distillers.

The historic Pumphouse

Visitors arriving at the Pumphouse will be greeted by the giant words ‘Blood, Sweat and Years’ emblazoned on a huge wall at the entrance to the distillery. Inspired by the men who worked in Belfast’s shipyard more than a century ago – the words also sum up the efforts of the Titanic Distillers team to get to this stage, as Director Peter Lavery explained:

“This is a momentous day for everyone at Titanic Distillers and indeed for the city of Belfast,” said Peter.“To quote our slogan, there has certainly been a lot of ‘Blood, Sweat and Years’ invested over the years in getting this project over the line and I couldn’t be prouder as I stand here today in this historic building as we open our doors to tourists for the very first time.

“The Pumphouse is such an important and authentic part of Belfast’s history and of the Titanic story, so as custodians, we have always been aware of our huge responsibility to preserve the integrity of this amazing building and its surrounds.”

Visitors to Titanic Distillers at Thompson Dock will have a chance to view the distillery’s three new Forsyth’s stills, situated on a mezzanine floor overlooking the original Gwynne pumping engines which are deep in the building’s pump-well.

All of the original pump equipment and associated internal historic features of the building have been retained and are available to view as part of the associated visitor tours, while the exterior includes a new food and beverage area. 

Stephen Symington, Commercial Director of Titanic Distillers, added: “We have embraced the history of our distillery’s location to create a unique product and visitor experience, immersed in the spirit of Belfast’s industrial and maritime past and inspired by the people who worked in Belfast’s shipyard more than a century ago.”

For more information on Titanic Distillers please visit here

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