PJ Rigney Distillery

Membership approved until 1st May 2018

Case Study

Chief products

Premier Grand Cru Irish Whiskeys, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, the purest vodka and premium liqueurs.

Sustainability headlines

  • Target of 100% of grain from Origin Green certified suppliers
  • 75% of raw materials sourced from certified sustainable sources
  • Focus on social sustainability through creating local employment opportunities


The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney was established in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim in 2014.

Who they are

The Shed Distillery is located in the rural village of Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim. It is the first distillery in Connacht in 101 years and the first multi-purpose distillery of its kind in Ireland. The Shed Distillery marks a return to traditional distillation using gleaming medieval copper pot stills and is full of experiments and recipes for slow-distilled small-batch gin, Irish Pot Still and Single Malt whiskey and new liqueurs. Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin is the first brand from The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney, it is slow distilled with oriental botanicals and gunpowder tea. It takes three years and a day of rest for whiskey to legally qualify as whiskey, so their first whiskey will be officially ready on the Winter Solstice (21st December) 2017. Currently employing 18 people, The Shed Distillery’s product portfolio will ultimately include a range of Irish whiskeys as well as boutique gins and vodkas. Whiskey output will initially focus on the Irish and UK markets, with gins, vodkas and liqueurs targeting Ireland, France, Benelux, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, the UK, and the United States.

Our sustainability credentials

As a start-up, the focus of The Shed Distillery is currently on developing production to planned capacity. The company operates a full HACCP programme and is committed to sustainability processes that minimise waste at all stages of production. A monitoring operation tracks raw material, both energy and water consumption, and emissions production. A sustainability manager has also been appointed to oversee this. August 2017


Specific sustainability actions incorporated into the development of The Shed Distillery include:

  • Use of energy efficient lighting
  • A particular focus on local sourcing for both personnel and materials.


Origin Green in action

The Shed Distillery’s Origin Green plan covers the development of the business from 2015 to 2020, with 2017 to represent the base year for future benchmarking.

The plan centres on actions that further reduce environmental impacts in the areas of waste, water, energy and air quality, as well as giving back to the local community and ensuring the supply chain operates with responsible social and environmental practices to the fore.

Key objectives include:

  • Sourcing 100% of grain used in the distillery from Origin Green certified suppliers or other recognised assurance schemes;
  • Maintaining 98% of whiskey raw materials as being of Irish provenance;
  • Ensuring 75% of raw materials are sourced from certified sustainable sources;
  • The development of supplementary sources of process water by 2020 (since 2016, 30% of the company’s water derives from a specially-dug well).
  • The use of low-temperature hot waste water in other areas of the business operation in conjunction with the company’s new visitor experience.

The Shed Distillery will also work with its suppliers to ensure that 75% of them meet minimum sustainability guidelines.

In 2016, the company installed two bulk grain storage tanks. These have substantially reduced its key packaging waste output: grain sacks.

Social responsibility

As the first distillery to open in Connacht in 101 years, The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney is committed to being a responsible business within the local community and, as such, puts a strong emphasis on creating local employment opportunities.

The further expansion of the distillery and the opening of its visitor experience will further support this and the company is working with local agencies to identify and support skills development. August 2017


Company investment in its employees include:

  • Actions that enhance personal health and wellbeing;
  • Training to ensure all staff deliver to the required standards;
  • A rewards programme for exceptional performance.

Contribution to local community initiatives includes support for Drumshanbo Tidy Towns.

What they’re doing better

An extensive visitor experience will commence construction in 2017 adjacent to The Shed Distillery. This will not only have an impact on local employment, but will also benefit the broader region by attracting tourists who will boost the local economy.

As part of the new visitor experience, a botanical garden and greenhouse will be developed that will utilise waste products from the distillery and improve biodiversity. The visitor experience will also use the waste hot water from the distillery for heating, domestic hot water and sanitary requirements.

For more information, see info@thesheddistillery.com

Website: thesheddistillery.com/ and www.gunpowdergin.com

Facebook: thesheddrumshanbo.ie

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