Business news

Head of Supply and Distillery Operations for new J&J McConnell’s Distillery and Visitor Experience

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Belfast Distillery

6th Mar 2023

Following news of a recent international trade deal in South Korea, Belfast Distillery Company is continuing its ambitious growth plans for 2023 with the appointment of a new Head of Supply and Distillery Operations.

Graeme Millar, who has over 20 years experience in the food and drinks industry, takes on the position which will see him oversee all supply and distillery related parts of the business. The role will be based at the Company’s new site at Crumlin Road Gaol and will include the development of distilling functions, building the team responsible for its smooth running, as well as management of the supply of the company’s award-winning McConnell’s Irish Whisky.

Speaking of his excitement as he joins the team, Graeme said: “I am passionate about distilling and producing premium spirits from the island of Ireland, so I feel very fortunate to have made a successful career to date in this industry. There really isn’t anything quite like seeing people enjoy a product you have dedicated your time and efforts into making, not just at home but right across the world. That is what is happening with McConnell’s and I am delighted to be joining this young dynamic team.”

Before taking on the new role with Belfast Distillery Company, Graeme was Head Distiller at the Echlinville Distillery, who recently picked up a number of Irish Whiskey Awards, including Best Overall Irish Whiskey of the Year. In the period before his eight years at Echlinville, Graeme also held senior roles with Kerry Foods and Diageo. His time with Diageo included being part of the team that built a rum distillery rum in the Caribbean, and also the development of Baileys Irish Cream supply facility in Newtownabbey. Graeme studied Food Technology at Loughry College.

Graeme continued: “I’ve already enjoyed some fantastic experiences in the distilling industry, working with many wonderful people, and I’m ready for a new challenge.  I have followed the Belfast Distillery Company story from afar and now I am excited to be part of the next chapter in the successful future for McConnell’s Irish Whisky.”

Last year, Belfast Distillery Company announced plans to transform the A Wing at Crumlin Road Gaol into a £22million state of the art distillery and visitor experience, set to bring over 100,000 visitors to North Belfast each year.  Having already doubled their workforce in the last four months, the investment will also create 49 new jobs when fully operational.

John Kelly, CEO at Belfast Distillery Company welcomed Graeme to the team saying:  “We are on a rapid growth trajectory at Belfast Distillery Company, and we have been on the hunt for the right person to lead operations at our new distillery. I am confident we have found the perfect fit with Graeme. It was vital for us to find someone with a shared passion for distilling and producing quality Irish spirits, so with the unique experience Graeme has we believe he will bring a fresh set of skills, insight and energy to our team.  We are delighted to have Graeme join Belfast Distillery Company, and look forward to delivering our exciting plans for 2023 together, both here in Belfast and across the globe.”

For more information on Belfast Distillery Company’s plans for 2023 and to view any of their current job openings, visit