The Kilbeggan Distillery is a small pot still distillery, situated on the River Brosna in Kilbeggan, County Westmeath, Ireland. The distillery formerly the Brusna Distillery is said to be the oldest in Ireland, having been founded in the year 1750. The licence to distil dates back to 1757, a copy of which can be seen at the distillery, John Locke took over the distillery in 1843, from when it remained in the hands of the Locke family until 1947 when the distillery was purchased by The Transworld Trust, in 1954 production ceased and the distillery closing completely in 1957. The community of Kilbeggan restored the distillery and opened it to the public as a whiskey distillery museum. Cooley Distillery bought the license to produce Kilbeggan and Locke’s Whiskey, and later took over the museum along with opening a new working distillery in Kilbeggan.
Whiskey production recommenced at the Kilbeggan Distillery in 2007, the year in which the distillery celebrated its 250th Anniversary. One of the two Copper Pot Stills that is being used in Kilbeggan was made in the early 1800s and is the oldest working Pot Still producing whiskey in the world today. It was once used in the distillery in Tullamore.
In 2010 Kilbeggan became a fully operational distillery once again, with the installation of a mash tun and fermentation vats. The distillery can also be powered by a steam engine, which is in working condition but rarely used. It was installed to allow the distillery to continue operating in times of low water on the river. The brands associated with the distillery, Kilbeggan and Locke’s Malt, have for many years, been made at the Cooley Distillery in County Louth from where they are transported to Kilbeggan to be stored in a granite warehouse over 200 years old.