Large-scale commercial distilling of spirits in Ireland is now confined to two plants (see Midleton, Bush Mills) but an outstanding example of an eighteenth century pot still whiskey distillery was preserved in 1983 at Kilbeggan in the centre of Ireland. The distillery was licensed in 1757, taking both water and power from the Brusna River. It was rebuilt in the nineteenth century after it was acquired by the first John Locke in 1842. It remained in the ownership of the Locke family until its closure in 1953.
The plant remained in remarkably good condition when a committee dedicated to its restoration was formed by the local community in 1982. The machinery re-commenced working in 1997, and visitors are now able to sip samples of Kilbeggan whiskey. Some 85 per cent of the plant remains, including two cast-iron mash tuns of 1882 and oak fermentation vats, together with an undershot water wheel, 4.7 m in diameter and 3.4 m wide, a cross compound steam engine of 1887 by Turnbull, Grant & Jack of Glasgow, drive shafts, pulleys, pumps and a corking machine.