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Strangford Lough Visitor Experiences showcased at Meet The Buyer 2021

As lead partner in The Strangford Lough Tourism Cluster, The Echlinville Distillery is delighted to announce that the cluster will be attending Virtual Meet the Buyer 2021, Tourism Northern Ireland’s flagship b2b networking event.

Located just 30 minutes outside Belfast city, you will find water teeming with wildlife, hills piled high with 9,000 years of history, holy wells and ancient abbeys. Strangford Lough is an internationally recognised Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Area of Special Scientific Interest. One of the most richly bio-diverse regions in Europe, it’s no wonder there’s an unmistakable tranquillity to this place.

In and around Strangford Lough, people take pride in taking it slow. From pace of life, to food and entertainment, they find strength in simplicity, pleasure in the purity of the air and the water. Away from the crowds, carving a path back to nature. As you take the Time & Tide trail around Strangford Lough meet local people who are proud to be from here and are generous with their time and stories awakening a giant spirit in those who visit.

Passing through the narrow mouth of this land, the tides of Strangford Lough grow in strength. This energy traverses the land and the people. It drives our incredible, fresh, local food, distils our spirits and gives you experiences on the land and on the water that you won’t forget.

The Strangford Lough Tourism Cluster was established in early 2019 and comprises key tourist operators and stakeholders from the Strangford Lough area, supported by Invest NI, Tourism NI, Ards and North Down Borough Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

The event will take place from 20th – 22nd April 2021 and is an ideal opportunity to showcase our tourism offering to international buyers. Information on our current members can be found here

Introducing Echlinville Hand Sanitiser

The Echlinville Distillery is joining the fight against Coronavirus by switching production to hand santiser.

Our first batch of alcohol based hand solution is being produced using the World Health Organisation’s formulation. There will be a very limited quantity available from a small number of local shops this evening (Friday 27 March). We expect this stock will sell out very quickly. Please be assured that we are working very hard to increase availability over the next week or so.

We are taking wholesale inquiries for frontline services, retail outlets and essential businesses for 350ml, 1 litre and 5 litre containers. Wholesale inquiries should be directed to or call 028 427 38597.

Our distillery shop is currently closed. We are sorry that Echlinville Hand Sanitiser is not available for the public to purchase directly from the distillery at this time, but we are working very hard to put sales and distribution channels in place to make it more widely available. We will post updates here as soon as possible.

Here are a few words from Echlinville owner, Shane Braniff: “We all know about the importance of hand hygiene in the fight against coronavirus and that hand sanitiser is a crucial tool, particularly for those on the front line in the fight against this pandemic. Unfortunately we also know that hand sanitiser has been in short supply. We have been working very hard over the past few weeks to switch production so we can do our bit to help address that shortage.

“At a time like this, it is human nature to want to do anything and everything to help. We are in the fortunate position to be able to use the resources we have – namely our wonderful team here at Echlinville and their ability to produce high strength alcohol – to diversify our approach for the production of sanitiser. We are pleased that we are in a position to do something to help protect the community and those on the front line in the fight against this pandemic.”

Shane Braniff, Owner of The Echlinville Distillery

“We are just at the start of this process, and it is a work in progress, so please bear with us. Our team have put in a huge amount effort over the past couple of weeks to make this happen and they are continuing to work around the clock to produce as much as possible. We are also working very hard to agree distribution partnerships to help us get this product to those who need it. We will provide updates on availability via our social media pages as soon as we can.”

Our office is operating on reduced staff numbers at the moment, so while we welcome any inquiries from businesses or retail outlets who are interested in stocking Echlinville Hand Sanitiser, we would ask members of the public to refrain from calling the office to keep the phone lines as free as possible.

We are already receiving a large number of inquiries about this. It may take a little longer than usual to reply to inquiries, but we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Spring and Summer tour calendar now live

Echlinville’s Spring/Summer 2019 tour calendar is now online. We are delighted to announce that alongside our regular Saturday tours, the Echlinville Tour and Tasting will also be available on Fridays from Easter until the end of August and on selected bank holidays.

Our tours offer a real insight into the workings of Northern Ireland’s first licensed distillery in over 125 years. We personally welcome every guest before guiding you through our field-to-glass story, from the barley arriving from farm, its journey through our still house and on to  our whiskey maturation warehouse where the Angels are certainly enjoying their share.

We will tell you about our commitment to provenance and and how we sow, grow, harvest and floor malt all our own barley on our distillery farm. You can view our beautiful copper stills and enjoy the earthy aromas of our whiskey maturation warehouse – but be careful not to disturb our sleeping casks. And after you have discovered how we capture the flavour, colour and mouthfeel of our spirits, relax and enjoy two drinks of your choice in our bar.

Book your place now or call us on 028 4273 8597 to book using a gift voucher.

Echlinville Distillery searching for historical information and artefacts for new museum

The Echlinville Distillery is appealing for information regarding the history of The Echlinville Volunteers – a branch of The United Irishmen who are believed to have played an active role in the 1798 rebellion in County Down.

The Echlinville team hope to include an exhibition on The Echlinville Volunteers in the distillery museum, which will be housed in their newly planned visitors’ centre. They are also seeking old Irish whiskey memorabilia for the museum, particularly anything relating to the Dunville’s Irish Whiskey brand.

The Echlinville Volunteers and the 1798 Rebellion

Anne-Marie Clarke from The Echlinville Distillery said: “The Echlinville Volunteers comprise an interesting but relatively unknown part of the rich history of the Echlin family, from whom our distillery takes its name.

“The Echlins first arrived in the Ards in 1613 when Bishop Robert Echlin, from Fife in Scotland, was appointed by King James I as the Bishop of Down and Connor and tasked with establishing the reformed church in this part of Ulster. He built his first church at the Abacy Road, just a couple of miles from where our distillery stands.

“In 1735 Robert’s great grandson Charles bought Rubane House outside Kircubbin, where our distillery is now located, and renamed it Echlinville. In 1779 Charles founded The Echlinville Volunteers, a section of The Society of United Irishmen. Established in Belfast in 1791 and inspired by the French Revolution and the new democracy of the United States, the United Irishmen brought together ‘Catholics, Protestants and Dissenters’ with the aim of removing English control from Irish affairs. They led the rebellion of 1798, which was concentrated in counties Wexford, Antrim and Down with battles in Ballynahinch and Saintfield.

“We at the distillery are keen to find out more about The Echlinville Volunteers and their role in the 1798 rebellion. We haven’t been able to uncover a lot of detail on the volunteers – who they were, their role in the rebellion and what became of them afterwards. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who has any information on the volunteer or indeed on the United Irishmen and the 1798 rebellion in the Ards, and would ask them to contact the distillery on 028 4273 8597 or email

Call for old Irish whiskey memorabilia

Already well established on the Irish whiskey tourism scene through its weekly distillery tours, the next phase in the distillery’s development will be a new visitors’ centre, which will be housed in the 17th century stable buildings in the original courtyard of the Echlinville estate, where Captain Charles Echlin would most likely have kept his horses.

Anne-Marie continued: “Our planned visitors’ centre will include a museum, which will showcase the rich history of the Echlinville estate and the Echlin family. But it will also tell the story of the iconic Dunville’s Irish Whiskey brand, which we produce here at Echlinville.

“Dunville’s Whiskey was originally produced by the Dunville family (of Redburn House in Holywood) at The Royal Belfast Distillery, just behind where the Europa Hotel now stands. Once among the premier whiskeys of the world, the closure of The Royal Belfast Distillery in 1936 meant that the Dunville’s brand all but disappeared.

“When we established our distillery in 2013, it was one of our founding goals to revive the Dunville’s name and restore it to its rightful place as a cornerstone of Irish whiskey heritage. Since its revival in 2015, Dunville’s Irish Whiskey has gone on to win a number of major accolades including an unprecedented five World Whiskies Awards.

“To help us tell the exceptional story of Dunville’s whiskey, we are searching for memorabilia from the original Dunville’s era of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Merchandise at the time would have included everything from ornate mirrors to whiskey jars and from glassware to playing cards. We are keen to hear from anyone who may have any such items.”

Anyone with information, documents or artefacts relating to The Echlinville Volunteers or Dunville’s Irish Whiskey should contact The Echlinville Distillery on +44 (0)28 4273 8597 or email