Powers Irish Whiskey Celebrates Heritage At Heart Of Hospitality

By Dave Simpson
Powers Irish Whiskey Celebrates Heritage At Heart Of Hospitality

Whiskey brand Powers is shining a spotlight on the stories of interesting local characters, as part of its Old But Gold campaign.


The Old But Gold campaign celebrates the life experience, confidence and self-assuredness that comes with age. Shining a light on local trailblazers, the campaign highlights the value of lived experience that comes with more trips around the sun, and the life experiences and traditions that have been passed down through the generations.

The third episode in the new Powering Conversations interview series is out now, starring Belfast publican and hotelier, Beannchor managing director Bill Wolsey, and musician and actor Kyron Bourke.

Wolsey speaks passionately about the importance of sympathetic restorations that retain the character, heritage and stories of our past, while creating experiences fit for the tastes of the consumers of today.

Wolsey said, "We have diverse music for all of our diverse businesses and that plays a hugely import part in attracting the customers we want. Get the music wrong and there’s no recovery from that. You have to really think long and hard: who is your customer? What sort of music would they like? Then try and push the boundary just a little bit ahead of them…


"Different music suits the needs of different markets. Kyron and I spend an inordinate amount of time discussing and choosing music [for Beannchor]… getting the music right. If people don't comment on it, that's quite good, but others do - some venues are asked for the playlist. It all adds to the customer’s experience."

Bourke, who moved to Belfast from Dublin, said, "I used to tell people, 'I’m just here for three months.' I found myself saying that, and after about three years, I was like, 'no, I'm here.' I was more like a ringmaster in Larry's [Piano Bar], people were standing on tables, and I was screaming out songs. It was unique."

Wolsey added, "They were difficult times. Not only was that particularly unique in Belfast at that time, Larry's - I went there a few times - would have been unique in any city. To say it was lively would be an understatement…

"Look at the expansion in our industry and it continues to grow. When I was a kid, engineering and agriculture were huge; it's predicted that in 10 years' time we’ll be bigger than both those industries put together. The opportunity that our industry has to fulfil the ambitions of people - who don't necessarily need to have education but are driven, articulate, and their background is no disadvantage to them - that's the message we try to get out."

Wolsey also said, "It's something deep within our Irishness; music, storytelling, having no regard at all for the facts.


"I think that's the difference between the Irish and the English; when English people tell a story, it tends to be factual, when Irish people tell a story, we don't care about the facts - being a bore is the biggest crime.

"I think that’s something that each generation has picked up. Our nation has this deep well of brilliant musicians, singers and great young people that come to work in our industry, that are friendly, open to a bit of banter with the customers. Each generation that comes through is better than the one before."

Episode three of the Powering Conversations interview series can be viewed on the Powers Whiskey NI YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Beannchor Ventures South

Beannchor's next project will see the group venture south, with planning underway for the development of a new Bullitt hotel and a range of new hospitality venues in Dublin, on the city's Capel Street.

Wolsey said, "It's the biggest project we've ever taken on. We thought we were buying a Georgian building, but it turns out it's the oldest site in Dublin. Where it is on Capel Street, we understand the historical significance to the city; so, while it’s been six years in the planning, if we get it right - it will be something very special."


Read More: Powers Irish Whiskey Launch Limited Edition Whiskey For Bicentenary Of Licensed Vintners Association

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