Spirits maker The Boatyard Distillery has announced the appointment of Declan McGurk as Commercial Director as the brand continues to grow and expand beyond Europe.
Based in the UK, Mr McGurk will be responsible for the global development of the distillery in County Fermanagh whilst also strengthening its local base and adding his expertise to liquid innovation.
Mr McGurk’s new role follows a successful seven-year tenure at the world-renowned Savoy Hotel. Under his stewardship, the American Bar was awarded World’s Best Bar in 2017 by World’s 50 Best Bars.
He also achieved personal recognition as he was crowned Best Bar Manager in the UK at the 2019 Class Bar Awards.
Prior to this he had a stint at premium spirits agency Speciality Brands and was instrumental in the growth of Venezuelan rum Diplomático in the UK.
Mr McGurk’s deep industry knowledge and strong international network of contacts will play a crucial role in supporting the brand achieving its ambitious growth goals.
The Boatyard Distillery was founded by Joe McGirr in 2016 in Fermanagh and focuses on crafting premium spirits that combine quality with provenance and heritage.
Its core range includes Boatyard Double Gin, Boatyard Vodka and Boatyard Old Tom Gin.
Mr McGurk has strong ties with Fermanagh, with his parents living only a few miles from the distillery and some of his family having worked with the McGirr family on the farm in years gone by. His grandfather, Eddie Duffy, was also a regional hero for contributing to the local traditional Irish music scene, being the namesake along with Mick Hoy at the Derrygonnelly festival.
Mr McGirr says: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming Declan into the Boatyard family.
“Since our launch we’ve enjoyed strong local growth and Declan’s wealth of international expertise and innovative ideas will be a great asset as we embark on the next phase of our expansion.”
Mr McGurk adds: “I’m very proud to be coming on-board. I fell in love with the gin after a blind tasting in Belfast and it quickly became a favourite at the Savoy.
“To be joining a growing and ambitious Irish business that’s also so close to home is genuinely a dream come true. I look forward to developing The Boatyard Distillery’s position globally and share a Martini or two with you all.”
In 2020, The Boatyard Distillery gained distribution in the UK via Speciality Brands and its Boatyard Double Gin expression also launched at national retailer Waitrose.