Kentucky whiskey maker moves to Ireland

Dr Pearse Lyons raising a glass of whiskey

Dr. Pearse Lyons, native of Ireland and founder and president of Alltech in Kentucky, has decided to move a portion of the company’s whiskey producing sector back to his homeland in Ireland.

The Irish Examiner
reports on the move, which will help spur some job creation and will see a type of “full-circle” movement for whiskey production.

Alltech, an animal and health nutrition group based in Kentucky, has already begun the move over to Ireland with the shipping of of a number of Vendome whiskey stills. The stills are used by multi-tiered Alltech’s Lexington Brewing Company, and made in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

The new whiskey, which has yet to be named, will be distilled by Carlow Brewing Company, founded in 1996 by the O’Hara family and is best known for the O’Hara stout range.

Dr. Lyons said: "A truly momentous event has happened as the first stills are shipped from Kentucky to Ireland, completing the cycle with this fantastic craft finally returning to its place of origin. This will set the stage for a new Irish whiskey with a Kentucky flair."

Seamus O’Hara, managing director for Carlow Brewing, is looking forward to the jobs that will be created in Ireland due to the move.

“This is an opportunity that we are delighted to explore,” said O’Hara. “We have been working very closely with Alltech to get this joint venture off the ground.”

“We have our own experts and we will also be trying to tap into Alltech’s expertise. And, of course, Dr Lyons also has a lot of personal expertise in this area."

Indeed, Dr. Lyons does have his fair share of personal expertise. Dr. Lyons has served as a master brewer for Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, and comes from generations worth of coopers. He holds several degrees - a master’s degree in brewing and distilling, and a PhD in yeast fermentation.

At the moment, Alltech is known for their production of Town Branch Bourbon. Dr. Lyons has said that Alltech is bringing whiskey full-circle, taking his Kentucky stills back to Ireland where the history of whiskey began.