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Spirit of ill-fated Frongoch distillery lives on in Wales.

WALES is not traditionally noted for its distilleries, though in the late 19th Century a malt whisky distillery briefly operated near Bala.

In 1889 Richard Lloyd Price, owner of the Rhiwlas Estate, and Robert Willis spent PS100,000 building a distillery at Frongoch which used the peaty waters of the Tryweryn river.

The Welsh Whisky Co did not survive long. In 1900 it was sold to William Owen, owner of the White Lion Hotel, Bala, after Mr Willis, the company's chairman, was knocked down and killed by a horse and cart.

No more whisky was produced at the distillery before it went bankrupt and was finally liquidated in 1910.

Some blamed Scottish whisky distilleries, eager to remove competition; others cited the "chapel building mania" in Wales with its temperance movement - the distillery's granite stones were used by Methodists to mend the walls of Tal-y-bont chapel.

Whatever the case, its closure conspired to end legal distillation in Wales for more than 100 years.

It was revived in 2000 with the launch of the Welsh Whisky Company's Penderyn Distillery in the Brecon Beacons.


Poster showing Frongoch's Royal prefix PICTURE: ROB STEPHEN

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 5, 2016
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