Ironworks Distillery was founded way back in 2009
by Pierre Guevremont and Lynne MacKay.
Before we officially launched our company – before it even had a home or a name (one kind of led to the other) – we did a lot of homework. We visited micro-distilleries around the continent, online and in person. We backed up hands-on lessons from generous established distillers with a formal course at the agricultural school of Cornell University. We researched the best distilling technologies, talking to manufacturers as far away as Germany and New Zealand. We began navigating the complex bureaucracy around making, selling and distributing one of the world’s most heavily regulated products. And of course we talked to the bank.
In June 2009 we walked into The Blacksmith’s Shop in Lunenburg and immediately knew we’d found our spot. In this workshop at the corner of Montague and Kempt streets, a marine blacksmith by the name of Thomas Walters produced ironworks for shipbuilders all along the South Shore. Sweating in the heat from two coal-fired forges, Walters and his apprentices crafted anchors and chains, fairleads and ferrules, clevises and gaffs, windlasses and fiddleys – anything remotely nautical that could be maneuvered onto an anvil and hammered into shape. The blacksmith’s shop produced hardware for both Bluenose schooners as well as a Hollywood version of HMS Bounty (the one that boasted Brando as chief mutineer). Best of all, it provided an apt and (we hope) memorable name for our new venture.
In the summer of 2009 we began renovating to create a working area for our beautiful German-made still, as well as a tasting and shopping venue for future customers. We took care to preserve the unique historical character of this late-19th-century building, one of the landmarks of the Old Town. Three months later, our first batch of vodka made its way from an unassuming copper tube to a few testing glasses on our kitchen table…from there to be raised in a toast to the birth of Ironworks Distillery, the spirits it produces and the spirit it embodies – for us and, we hope, anyone who shares a taste.