Written by Rich Procter
Six months ago, the Old Jameson Distillery shut its doors, so that BRC in close collaboration with Jameson and our local Dublin partners could completely renovate the Jameson tour experience. With a new name, the now Jameson Distillery Bow Street, has opened in Dublin. One on-line Irish news site is calling it “a kind of industrial Hogwarts.” That was our goal: to create a magical 21st century storytelling brand home that honored the world’s most beloved Irish Whiskey, taking Jameson fans on immersive whiskey inspired adventures and by making new friends from around the world.
Visitors have a choice of three fully-guided tours. The ‘The Bow St. Experience’ invites them to walk through the fascinating 230-year history of Jameson and discover the emotions and values that have made it a beloved whiskey the world over. The “Whiskey Makers” tour is a whiskey master class that invites guests to discover how great whiskey is made by diving deep into the craft and process inspired by the distillery heads. The “Whiskey Shakers” tour offers guests a chance to learn from a Master Bartender how to create delicious Jameson cocktails inspired by history, and brought to life with modern techniques. Both of these last two master classes let guests into the distillery’s live maturation house so they can sample whiskey straight from a cask. A true cask strength tasting!
The Bow St. Experience ends with a complimentary drink in JJ’s Bar. It may be the end of the tour, but for many of our guests it’s the beginning of what promises to be a life-long love for Jameson and the fellowship of Jameson Barrelmen around the world. JJ’s Bar has quickly become a destination in itself: a sociable “must-visit” place to share a drink, a story and a smile with friends old and new.
The purpose of JJ’s Bar, these new tours and all this delightful performance meets high-tech, high-touch renovation goes beyond celebrating the heritage of Jameson. The purpose can be boiled down to a single word that describes Bow Street, Dublin and all of Ireland. The word is friendship.
An ancillary benefit for BRCers in working on projects around the world is making new friends. That’s never been more true than for this project. We’ve never experienced so much enthusiasm, affection, and natural camaraderie as we did on this journey with our friends at Jameson. Friendship became a guiding ideal for the project. Our partners quickly became our friends. As friends, we dedicated ourselves to creating a project that radiated this friendship and goodwill, with the intention that every guest become a friend of Jameson. After all the purpose of the product, when properly considered, is to bring people together to celebrate new and on-going friendships and create lasting memories that last a lifetime.
The great Broadway director and filmmaker Bob Fosse once confessed that his goal as an artist was to “stay in rehearsal forever.” Why? Because all the fun is in the crazy chaos of the creative act. That’s how the BRC team felt about this project. If we could only work on it forever! Bask in this spirit of friendship and passion for the brand! Continue discovering great new stories about a product created to give pleasure and promote friendship! Hang out with these great people and celebrate this great libation in the spirit of Sine Metu!
Alas, the project was scheduled to open on St. Patrick’s Day, and BRC has NEVER missed an opening day (in fact we opened our doors on May 1st). Our team had to come home. We’re happy it turned out so well, that it’s making Jameson new friends and happy brand advocates, and that it’s a worthy addition to the cultural offerings of Dublin. Here’s the last line of that review from the Irish website:
“The newly-renovated distillery is suitably impressive and it’s something that can go toe-to-toe with any of the major tourist attractions in Dublin and beyond.”
Thanks, Jameson! And here’s to the nights we will never remember, with the friends we will never forget!