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Distillery hopes to clean up after switch from hand sanitiser to spirits

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Head Distiller Eanna Burke

Head Distiller Eanna Burke

Head Distiller Eanna Burke

The opening of Dublin's newest craft distillery could finally happen last week after it had spent the Covid lockdown making hand sanitiser for local community groups.

Stillgarden Distillery, in the heart of Inchicore, is aiming to be more than a production facility and instead provide an educational experience in science and nature.

Visitors will also have the chance to make their own bottle of spirits, like gin and vodka, with a choice of over 60 botanical plants used to flavour the drinks.

The Stillgarden team has even created a community garden on their site in Goldenbridge Estate.

An area of derelict wasteland was cleared of litter and planted with botanicals for use in its "distilling academy experience" by a local gardening group.

Eight permanent jobs have already been created with the opening of the new distillery and a further eight will be created by the end of the year.

The team at Stillgarden includes one of Ireland's youngest head distillers, Eanna Burke (30).

"Gin is a versatile product in that it requires juniper, but otherwise it's up to the person's imagination. I think the versatility of gin is behind its popularity now. People can find a gin with flavours that really appeal to them," he said.

"In the distilling academy we let people choose from 62 botanicals, every spice and fruit we could get our hands on, and then a few wildcards to mix things up, like seaweed, brown bread and probably my favorite, tonka bean," he added.

"I like to surprise people if I can, and I like to see the look on people's faces when they try something unlike what they've ever had before," Eanna said.

"What we're trying to showcase is that there are more ways of engaging with the customers than just showing them a working facility," said brand manager Aideen Hannigan.

"We want to get them involved in learning how we can harness nature to create some great liquids."