YOU DON’T LAST OVER 200 YEARS BY
The Powers family set the tone early: make the right call with your people, your barley farmers, and your customers. Establish your principles, and they’ll guide you through the centuries. We like to think that when there’s an easy way out, we go the other way. Here’s a few excerpts from our proud Powers story that we’re never shy about sharing.
James Power doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. As an innkeeper, he did a little distilling on the side, until the popularity of that whiskey made it much more than a side hustle. A distillery would follow at John’s Lane in 1791, just off Thomas Street in Dublin. At its height the distillery set the standard for modernity and progressive work practices. After visiting in the mid 1880s, author Alfred Barnard exclaimed, ‘The Distillery, altogether, is about as complete a work as it is possible to find anywhere,’ At the time, it was the equivalent of a 5 star Yelp review.
CHICAGO WORLD FAIR
The Ultimate Power move.
When we showed up at the Chicago world’s fair in 1893, we weren’t there to hide in the corner. So we carefully built a huge tower of POWERS bottles to show the pride in our whiskey and pay tribute to the O’Connell monument. We wanted the world to know that we were making some of the best whiskey out there, and well, subtlety didn’t join us for the trip.
LOOKING AFTER OUR PEOPLE
The extended Powers family.
By all accounts, working for Powers was a job you hung onto tightly with both hands. Whatever your surname, you were treated as family, and jobs were often offered to other family members. The Powers staff enjoyed beach days and away days at the family estate, and seasonal workers were given affordable room and board to keep them out of the grasp of Dublin landlords. Happy workers make incredible whiskey, so all in all, it was a good exchange.
Don’t quit your dayjob.
Powers United Football Club. You won’t find the name engraved on any silverware. Because when our workers first stood onto the pitch in 1924, there was only one goal in mind. Enjoy it. We had already long known that if our staff were happy, great whiskey would follow. And with no VAR to slow things down, we never looked back.
Next time you see a miniature in a mini-bar or an airplane drinks cart, you have Powers to thank. Called “The Baby Power” at the time, it was engineered with a tiny corkscrew and cork. The Baby Power made it possible for people to try the world’s most celebrated whiskey without having to fork over for a full bottle. Also, it travelled better in your coat pocket.
A reputation to protect.
Even though the bonders didn’t like it, it was the right call — bringing our bottling in-house far before the other distilleries followed our lead. This meant we could stand over every drop of Powers. Call it quality control if you like, but we had spent generations building our name and reputation, and we didn’t want to leave anything to chance.
A patch for our people.
Making whiskey back in the 18th and 19th centuries was mostly seasonal, and the ebb and flow of workers followed accordingly. Workers came from all over Ireland, many of them agricultural workers skilled at working the land. But tillable land was hard to come by in Dublin, so our workers asked if they could do a little growing on the warehouse rooftops. We obliged, different crops were grown over the years, and our rural workers were very happy… those without a fear of heights anyway.