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Ironworks expansion will keep the rum flowing


Ironworks Distillery, which is located in Lunenburg, is undergoing construction this winter to add a barrelhouse to its existing location. Co-owner Lynne MacKay said the new space will help with storage but will also serve as an workshop and entertainment room. (Josh Healey)
Ironworks Distillery, which is located in Lunenburg, is undergoing construction this winter to add a barrelhouse to its existing location. Co-owner Lynne MacKay said the new space will help with storage but will also serve as an workshop and entertainment room. (Josh Healey) - The Chronicle Herald

Lunenburg distillery provides snapshot of new products, construction project

Ironworks Distillery will have both a new look and some new products for tourists visiting Lunenburg this year.

Owners Pierre Guevremont and Lynne MacKay, who founded the distillery in 2009, said the time had come to expand given the business’ success.

“We’ve been really fortunate,” said MacKay during an interview at the business’ Kempt Street location.

Ironworks, she said, had become a destination for tourists over the years.

But success is not without its challenges.

“We need more room,” said MacKay, gesturing to the dozens of casks lining the walls. “It becomes very apparent when you sit in the warehouse that we’re busting at the seams.”

MacKay explained that an addition is being built onto Ironworks’ current location to add space.

The addition will mainly serve as a barrelhouse and will also include a tasting table and be available for events.

MacKay said they have been working on expanding for the last three years but it only became possible when the property next door became available.

And given the expansion, customers can expect the distillery to increase its production as another still has been ordered from Germany.

The still is expected to arrive sometime in the spring but MacKay acknowledged it could easily be pushed back.

“We’ve got a number of plans in the future for events that we can hold ourselves, classes we can hold on a regular basis,” she added.

For example, MacKay noted she hopes to have a regular gin workshop available to customers.

“It’s my hope we can do it every couple of months,” said MacKay.

In addition to Ironworks’ expansion, the coming months will also feature a number of new liquors.

MacKay said the highlight may be ‘Round the World Rum, which will have a limited release.

Four casks of Ironworks rum are currently aboard the Barque Picton Castle as it completes a world voyage.

The rum will be made available when the ship returns to Lunenburg sometime in July.

Overall, MacKay said she was happy with how far the business had come since they set up shop a decade ago.

“There was a certain amount of serendipitous luck involved in all of it,” she said, explaining that locals were initially skeptical of the business’ location.

All of that changed in 2011 when Bluenose II went into drydock just down the street.

“Suddenly, our end of town was not the end of the world. It was the pathway to Bluenose II,” said MacKay.

Nearly a decade later, customers can now buy a bottle of Ironworks Bluenose Rum as a memento of their time in Lunenburg.

And thanks to Ironworks’ expansion, there’ll be lots of it to go around.

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