In the year 630 AD, St. Feichín established the first foundations of Fore Abbey. Fore Abbey quickly became a reputable sanctuary for prayer and living a sustainable life devoted to God. In the late 12th Century, Hugh de Lacy built upon Fore Abbey and established the settlement as a Benedictine Priory dedicated to St. Feichín. The Abbey is said to have been home to around 300 monks before it was set on fire. The last prior had surrendered the Abbey to Henry VIII in the 15th Century, the monks dispersed and the Abbey fell into disrepair. Fore is steeped in history and marvel with the area boasting ‘Seven Wonders’ including: The Monastery Built upon the Bog, The Mill Without a Race, The Water that Flows Uphill, The Tree that Won’t Burn, The Water that Doesn’t Boil, The Anchorite In a Stone, The Lintel Stone Raised by St. Féichin’s Prayers.
A New Take on Old Favourites
Fore Craft Distillery was founded by Oliver Guirke in 2021 & nestles in the shadow of the renowned Fore Abbey. Oliver is a native Meath man who discovered his love for distilling whilst living abroad in the U.S. Oliver envisioned bringing the distilling processes he learned about in Kentucky and other American States back to his home turf and fusing those with the wild Irish countryside. When the site that is now Fore Distillery became available, Oliver knew he had found the perfect place. Right at the edge of the Fore Valley Oliver established Fore Distillery and found even more inspiration for his vision. Using local recipes inspired by the Benedictine monks of local Fore Abbey Fore Distillery produces Golden Irish Rum, White Irish Rum & Irish Poitín. Fore Distillery prides itself on using the finest of ingredients in small batch runs in order to ensure consistent quality and a character as individual as the storied land from which it originates. Grain used in these alcohols is grown & sourced from the Boyne Valley and the water used is fresh spring water from Fore, also known by its Irish name ‘Fobhair’ meaning ‘water-springs’. Fore Valley alcohols are carefully distilled using combinations of pot & column stills before being either vessel rested or gently matured in ex-bourbon casks & finished in Irish oak to impart additional colour and flavour. These methods ensure a balance & roundness of flavour. Currently, Oliver is distilling & maturing Whiskey with the first batch to be ready in just 2 years’ time! In every aspect, Oliver has created a beautiful harmony between the distilling methods he discovered in America and the inspiring recipes of the Benedictine monks in Fore Abbey paying a beautiful homage to the journey on which Fore Valley alcohols came to be!
A Labour of Family Love
In the midst of Oliver’s time researching in America he found love and married his wife, Sheena. Sheena, a gregarious Armagh lady supported the vison for the distillery and even took on the venture of running the distillery’s Barrel & Bean Café! The café is a beautiful addition to the distillery and has breathtaking views overlooking lough Glore! With a delicious selection of sandwiches, soup, sweet treats, McCabes coffee & much more, there is something for everyone to give them the full Fore Distillery experience! Oliver & Sheena have three children; Caoimhe, Alannah & Cormac who all help out at the café and distillery, making it a labour of family love!