Ironworks was founded by Pierre Guevremont and Lynne MacKay. They were inspired by a magazine article about the industry in 2008 and decided to get into distilling. The distillery is located in the old Blacksmith Shop in Lunenburg, where a marine blacksmith by the name of Thomas Walters produced ironworks for shipbuilders all along the South Shore. The blacksmith's shop produced hardware for both Bluenose schooners as well as a Hollywood version of HMS Bounty. Best of all, it provided a memorable name for the distillery.
Ironworks is proudly Nova Scotian and over the years they have developed an extensive network of farmers exclusively within the province from whom they source ingredients. Their cranberries travel a mere 8 kilometres from bog to distillery and no fruit used in their products travels more than 150 kilometres—apples, pears, grapes, raspberries, and blueberries are bountiful in Nova Scotia and they use them all. Since sugar cane doesn't grow in Nova Scotia, they have opted to use Crosby's molasses, imported from Guatemala and processed in New Brunswick, to add some local flavour to Ironworks’ award winning rum.
With 30,000 litres of tank capacity for fermentation, Ironworks ferments apples, pears and molasses for their rum, brandy and vodka all year long. Many of Ironworks fermentations are warmed by the hot water recovered from distillation, and they typically ferment longer than most distilleries, which gives a richer taste profile, unique to our region.
Ironworks have two stills, Berghitta, a unique wood fired pot still with a reflux column, which is located in the main shop, and Ruby, a larger, steam heated still with a whisky hat, and two additional columns, which is located in their new addition, the Quarrie room, which is also used as an event space and barrel room. Both stills were custom built by the exceptional Mueller family of stillmakers, who have been creating fine distilling equipment for generations in the Black Forest region of Germany.
As Ironworks have grown, the number of barrels of aging products has grown too. In fact, there are now 200 barrels of Ironworks distilled product in oak found throughout the distillery, including in their offices!