Bushmills as a long history beginning in 1608 when Sir Thomas Phillips, a wealthy landowner and Governor of Co. Antrim, was granted a license to distil, but it wasn’t until 1784 that the Old Bushmills Distillery was officially registered by Hugh Anderson and the Pot Still became its registered trade mark as it still is today.
In 1850 a Malt Tax was introduced threatening to change the taste of whiskey as the increased price of malted barley forced some distillers to change their recipe to cheaper ingredients. Bushmills stayed true to their traditional recipe and values.
The old Bushmills Distillery was burned to the ground in a terrible fire in 1885. Their determination to create a fine whiskey was as strong as ever and they completely rebuild their distillery and were soon back to full production, winning international awards for their celebrated malt whiskey.
Prohibition hit Bushmills sales as it did every other distillery until it was lifted in 1933. Bushmills future was secured by Samuel Wilson who bought the Bushmills Distillery 10 years before prohibition ended, firmly believing that he would one day bring the celebrated Bushmills Whiskey to the American population once again.
World War II halted production once again between 1939 and 1945 as the distillery was used as a base for Allied troops. Sadly, the Belfast Head office was hit by a bomb destroying all its archives. Fortunately, the 50s and 60s brought happier times with an increase in sales and Bushmills exports were booming.
2008 saw the 400th anniversary of the Old Bushmills Distillery and to celebrate Irelands successful business the Bank of Ireland put the distillery on their bank notes. Their success continues as Bushmills is rewarded at countless competitions around the world and recognised as a truly fine malt whiskey.