• Home

On July 25, Pearse Lyons Distillery will celebrate the feast day of St. James, the Apostle, which is celebrated on the liturgical calendars of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and certain Protestant churches. This date is also significant for the distillery, as it was July 25, 2017, when the official ribbon was cut by owners and founders, Pearse and Deirdre Lyons.

Links between Dublin and the iconic Camino de Santiago 

The links between this ancient part of Dublin and St. James, the Apostle span more than 800 years. Manuscripts dating back to the thirteenth century report the establishment of a hospital for pilgrims who intended to travel to the shrine of St. James at Santiago de Compostela. In medieval times, the journey from Dublin traditionally started near St. James’s Gate an established Hiberno-Spanish trading route. Maps of the city from medieval times show that just inside the westerly gate of the city was the parish of St. Catherine; outside the gate is the parish of St. James.

The first Church of St. James’s was built in the Liberties in 1196, which is today the Pearse Lyons Distillery. The connection with this ancient pilgrimage is embraced in the beautiful stained-glass window over the choir balcony inside the newly refurbished distillery.

Dublin traditions on the Feast of St. James 

One long forgotten tradition in the Liberties, Dublin, was to decorate the headstones with white paper decorations. This day was known was Pattern Sunday. A pattern (Irish: pátrún) refers to the devotions that take place within a parish on the feast day of the patron saint of the parish. To celebrate the Feast of St. James, headstones in the surrounding graveyard will be decorated in white paper patterns from July 25 to 29, 2018.

All visitors to the distillery on July 25, will have the opportunity to see a special exhibition of imagery taken upon the Camino by pilgrims upon their journey to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Within the body of the former church, the Pilgrims Book, will be on view, where visitors can see the hundreds of names inscribed upon this historic document, which belongs to The Camino Society of Ireland. Guests will also be offered a Camino Passport, with their first stamp from Pearse Lyons Distillery.

Upon completion of the tour, visitors will then be invited to join in a small toast to Pearse Lyons, owner and founder of the distillery. July 25 signifies not only the Feast of St. James but the rejuvenation of the former church and its new beginnings as a working distillery in the Liberties, Dublin.

General admission tickets can be purchased here. The Feast of St. James celebrations are incorporated into our general admission tickets. Tickets are priced at €20/€24 per person and kids under the age of 10 go free. For more information, please contact us on +353 (0) 1 6916000 or email info@pearselyonsdistillery.com


First new five-year-old Irish whiskey stream to be launched in Ireland in more than 25 years – Pearse Lyons Distillery


Irish Whiskey Collection at The Loop, Dublin Airport to stock the limited edition 1,000 bottle release of the Pearse 5-year-old Cask Strength Single Malt Irish Whiskey


28th June 2018: The Pearse Lyons Distillery today announced the landmark release of the exclusive Pearse 5 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Irish Whiskey which marks the first new five-year old Irish whiskey stream to be launched in Ireland in more than 25 years. The first release will feature 1,000 individually numbered bottles of the premium Cask Strength Whiskey product which will be exclusively available in the Irish Whiskey Collection at The Loop in Dublin and Cork Airport. This will be followed by a limited release Pearse 5-Year-Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey (46% ABV) in 4,000 individually numbered bottles later this Summer.


The development of this new Irish whiskey stream began in 2011 when the late Dr. Pearse Lyons, who was keen to revisit his roots in Irish brewing and distilling, transported two small-batch copper pot stills from Kentucky to Ireland. The distinctive pot stills began making spirit in Ireland in 2012 and when the Pearse Lyons Distillery opened in 2017 in the heart of Dublin’s Whiskey District, they took pride of place, nestled in the sanctuary of the refurbished St. James Church.


Gearoid Cahill, Head Distiller at the Pearse Lyons Distillery said, “The release of the Pearse 5-year-old Single-Malt Whiskey marks a significant milestone for us and is something we are incredibly excited about. This is a really special pure new whiskey stream which has not been altered, diluted or blended in any way. We would not be here today without the vision, passion and commitment of one man, the late Pearse Lyons, who personally sourced our magnificent signature pot stills, selected the bourbon barrels in which is it aged from his Town Branch Distillery in Kentucky and transported them to Ireland to begin this exciting journey. We know that he would be incredibly proud to see this product come to fruition.”


Tracey Jordan, Liquor Buyer at The Loop said, “I’m delighted to welcome the Pearse 5-year-old exclusively to the Irish Whiskey Collection in The Loop, at Dublin and Cork Airport. The Irish Whiskey Collection has been described as the world’s leading destination for Irish whiskeys. Exclusive offerings are an important component of our range, consisting of both travel retail exclusives and world exclusives, which are only available at The Loop. The introduction of the Pearse 5-year-old is testament to our commitment to delivering an ever evolving unique and exclusive customer experience. This is a special find for passengers looking for a unique gift or a rare Irish whiskey to add to their own personal collections.”


The Product

The Pearse 5 year old Single Malt Irish Whiskey has been wholly produced and aged in Ireland.  Using Irish malted barley and our own special yeast strain, the whiskey spirit was produced on the unique pair of copper pot stills. and aged in bourbon casks from our distillery in Lexington Kentucky.
The unique design of the unusual small-batch copper stills is credited with giving the whiskey a special character. The wash still, christened ‘Mighty Molly’ includes a “neck and ball” configuration which assists in refining the spirit character in the first step of distillation. The spirit still, ‘Little Lizzie’, features four rectification plates that further purify and refine the spirit collected, harnessing the fullness, complexity and refinement of flavour of a double-distilled Irish Whiskey.


Conor Ryan, Global Whiskey Ambassador at the Pearse Lyons Distillery said, “As with the other whiskeys produced at the Pearse Lyons Distillery, the Pearse 5-year-old Single-Malt features no additional colourings, so the colour you see has been purely produced in the natural barrel aging process. The maturation process has an enormous influence on the flavour profile of the end product whiskey with the length of time, quality and previous use of the barrel being the crucial components. We are lucky to have a fantastic supply of fresh used ex bourbon casks which we source from our sister distillery in Kentucky which contributes vanilla, toasted wood, fruity and spicy notes to the final product.”

The Packaging

The bottle design has been inspired by St James Church, the home of the Pearse Lyons Distillery.  The centrepiece of the label features the octagonal spire, the view seen when looking up from inside the distillery and the colour scheme reflects the copper stills which were used to produce the whiskey. Each of the limited-edition bottles has been individually numbered and the first bottle will be positioned in pride of place at the Pearse Lyons Distillery in the Liberties.


For further information visit www.pearselyonsdistillery.com or join the conversation on Facebook @PearseLyonsDistillery; Twitter @PLDistillery or Instagram @PearseLyonsDistillery

Join us at Pearse Lyons Distillery, to celebrate July 4th, American Independence, as we raise a glass of Town Branch Bourbon to toast our two stateside sister distilleries, Town Branch and Duelling Barrels. To celebrate all that is great about Kentucky Bourbon, all visitors during July 1 to 7, will have the opportunity to taste the difference between our classic Town Branch Bourbon and our Pearse Irish Whiskey range. For those Bourbon and whiskey fanatics, or for those who want to increase their knowledge of these unique spirits, this is a fantastic opportunity to taste the distinctive styles side-by-side, for FREE!

What is Bourbon you ask?  

Bourbon whiskey must be made from a grain mixture, which is at least 51 percent corn. Much like how Irish Whiskey must be made in Ireland, Bourbon can only be labelled as Bourbon if it was made in the United States. The spirit must be distilled to no more than 80 percent alcohol (160 proof) and be no more than 62.5% when put into casks for ageing in new charred oak barrels. Bourbon has no minimum ageing period, but to call your product Straight Bourbon it must be aged for no less than two years (and can have no added colouring, flavour or other spirits added).

How does Irish Whiskey Compare?

Irish whiskey is pretty much any whiskey aged in the Republic of Ireland or in Northern Ireland and must be distilled to an ABV of less than 94.8. It must be made from a yeast-fermented grain mash in such a way that the distillate has an aroma and flavour derived from the materials used. You are free to use any cereal grains, but if you mix two or more distillates (grain and/or malt) it must be labelled as a blend. Finally, Irish whiskey must be aged for at least three years in wooden casks.

Where do the barrels fit in?

Did you know that only virgin oak casks can be used to create Kentucky Bourbon? This gives us an opportunity to reuse the bourbon casks to create a unique finish that gives our Irish whiskey rich, sweet notes. Thanks to our sister site, Town Branch Distillery, we have an abundance of ex-Bourbon oak casks, which are used not only to store our whiskey but also our Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.

The special Bourbon tasting is part of our general admission ticket and will take place during July 1 to 7, 2018.

You can purchase a general admission ticket by clicking here or on the ‘Book Tickets’ button at the top right-hand side of your screen.

For more information please contact info@pearselyonsdistillery.com or call us on +353 (0) 1 6916000.


Remembering Dr. Pearse Lyons

Remembering Dr. Pearse Lyons

Dr. Pearse Lyons, the Irish entrepreneur whose vision for improving global agriculture built a multibillion-dollar international business, died March 8. He was 73.

In the late 1970s, Lyons immigrated to the United States with his young family — Deirdre, Aoife and Mark — and a dream. His vision — to sustain the planet and all things living in it by applying his yeast fermentation expertise to agricultural challenges — came to life in his home garage with $10,000.

Today, that vision is put to work by Alltech’s global team of more than 5,000 people around the world. Alltech focuses on improving animal, crop and human health and performance through its innovative use of yeast fermentation, enzyme technology, algae and nutrigenomics. Its mission has always been guided by Dr. Lyons’ early commitment to the “ACE principle” – a promise that the company’s work must have a positive impact on the Animal, the Consumer and the Environment.

Dr. Lyons was first and foremost an entrepreneur and tireless innovator, with a keen scientific mind. His scientific expertise, combined with an acute business sense, helped revolutionize the animal feed industry through the introduction of natural ingredients to animal feed.

He was widely regarded as an inspirational leader and communicator. He lived with passion and purpose — rising before dawn to begin communicating with colleagues around the world, issuing daily “One Minute Charge” motivational messages and traveling incessantly so he could meet his team members and customers in person.

He built Alltech into the fastest-growing company in the global animal health and nutrition industry through innovative technology and strong branding. Today, Alltech is the only privately held and family-owned business among the top animal health companies in the world.

The company’s reach has also grown far beyond yeast-based additives for animal feed to include award-winning beers and spirits, a crop science business and even promising research into human health challenges, such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Lyons was very proud of the company’s privately-owned status and was resolute on keeping it. He was a man who liked to move quickly on opportunities, and he relished the agility and speed that being accountable only to himself afforded him.

Early life

Born on August 3, 1944, to Thomas Kevin and Margaret (nee Dunne) Lyons and raised in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland, he was one of six children. On his mother’s side, he came from five generations of coopers who supplied barrels to distilleries in Ireland – although both his parents were teetotalers.

His mother owned a small grocery shop, which Dr. Lyons later acknowledged to be the inspiration behind his entrepreneurial drive. His first job at the age of 14 was at Harp Lager in Dundalk, where he helped out in the laboratory.

Dr. Lyons received his bachelor’s degree from University College Dublin, Ireland, graduating with first-class honors. He continued into postgraduate study at the British School of Malting and Brewing in Birmingham, where he gained masters and doctoral degrees in brewing science from the University of Birmingham. In fact, he was the first Irishman to receive a formal degree in brewing and distilling from the university.


He interned at the Guinness and Harp Lager breweries and later worked as a biochemist for Irish Distillers, makers of Jameson whiskey. He was instrumental in designing the Midleton Distillery for Jameson, an opportunity which he considered to be a highlight of his early career.

Building a business with family at its heart

Pearse met Deirdre (nee Byrne) when she was 17, and they married in 1972. Their daughter Aoife Louise was born in 1973 and son Mark in 1976.

Dr. Lyons moved to the United States in 1976, having been asked by Irish distillery Gems Whisky to help ethanol distillers in Kentucky improve their processes.

In 1980, Dr. Lyons decided to “take control of his own destiny.” He launched his own business, Alltech, which built its success upon the application of yeast technologies to animal health and nutrition.

Alltech was set up in a garage with an initial investment of $10,000 and enough money set aside to pay the mortgage and buy groceries for the family for a year. In its first year, the company turned over a million dollars.

The very name ‘Alltech’ ensured his family was built into the business from day one. Alltech’s name is based on the initials of daughter Aoife Louise Lyons, and Alltech’s signature logo color was son Mark’s choice at the time.

Both of his now-grown children are leaders in the family business. His daughter Dr. Aoife Lyons is a licensed clinical psychologist and global director of educational initiatives for the company, while son Dr. Mark Lyons is now the president and chairman.

Deirdre, co-founder of Alltech, is director of corporate image and design. She designs and outfits the company’s more than 80 offices around the world, and oversees Alltech’s philanthropic involvement.

Brewing and distilling

Also in 1980, Dr. Lyons established The Alcohol School in Lexington, Kentucky, one of the few schools at that time for the distilling industry, and ran it for 25 years. He also published and co-authored The Alcohol Textbook, a text that evolved over four editions and soon became a key source for the beverage, fuel and industrial alcohol industries.

In 1999, when the former Lexington Brewing Company in downtown Lexington was closing its doors, Dr. Lyons purchased it to resurrect the brewing and distilling tradition of Lexington that dates back to 1794. The first beer from Dr. Lyons’ new brewery, Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., was Kentucky Ale®, a blend of two classic beer styles – an Irish red ale and an English pale ale. Another breakthrough came several years later when Kentucky Ale was placed into freshly emptied bourbon barrels from nearby distilleries to soak up the fresh bourbon and oak flavors. This brew was known as Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale® and soon became the brewery’s flagship brew after its introduction to the market in 2006. It is regarded as one of the forerunners of the bourbon-barrel aging trend in craft beer.

In 2008, using two copper pot stills brought in from Scotland, the company distilled its first batches of whiskey in the brewery – and the company name was changed to Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company. After four years of aging, the company began bottling and selling its whiskey in October 2012. Town Branch Distillery was built across the street from the brewery – the first new distillery to be built in Lexington for more than 100 years – and became one of only a handful in the world to house both brewing and distilling operations. This new distillery was added to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and was the first craft distillery to be inducted into the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Town Branch Distillery now produces a line of spirits, including Pearse Lyons Reserve® – a malt whiskey introduced to the world on Dr. Lyons’ birthday, fulfilling his dream of one day having his own whiskey.

Dr. Lyons continued to build upon his brewing and distilling passion – and his legacy – when in 2017 he and Deirdre realized their dream of opening an Irish whiskey distillery in Dublin. Their quest to find the perfect location led them to the long-abandoned St. James’ Church in The Liberties district of the city. The church had been built prior to the signing of the Magna Carta, and Dr. Lyons and Deirdre set about painstakingly restoring it. The design project was led by Deirdre, introducing iconic new elements, such as a landmark glass spire – dubbed the ‘Liberties Lantern’ – and stained-glass windows designed by Deirdre herself. The creation of the new Pearse Lyons Distillery at St. James was made all the more meaningful by the fact that Dr Lyons’ great-grandfather and several other relatives were buried in the churchyard.

Honors and awards

Dr. Lyons was widely recognized for his contributions to science and industry and was awarded honorary doctorates from many colleges and universities around the world. He was named Business Person of the Year by Business & Finance magazine and received the prestigious Ireland-U.S. Council Award for Outstanding Achievement. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny recognized him with the St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal in recognition of creating a global business based on scientific research. He was also selected to receive the Commander’s Award for Public Service, a rarely presented official U.S. Army medal, and has been honored with the prestigious Henry Clay Medallion for Distinguished Service, past recipients of which include Sandra Day O’Connor, Ted Turner and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein.

Dr. Lyons spearheaded Alltech’s commitment to international equestrian sport by sponsoring the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky, which led to his receipt of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s first-ever Legacy Award in 2011.

Giving inspiration

The Lyons family has had a passion for education, which has been evident in their personal investments and the investments of Alltech. As Dr. Lyons would often say, “Science doesn’t have to be boring.”

He and Deirdre funded and oversaw the construction of more than a dozen state-of-the-art science laboratories at primary schools in Kentucky and Ireland. The labs were completed as a personal tribute to Dr. Lyons’ late brother, Father Kevin Lyons, a priest who was dedicated to improving the lives of children. The Lyons hoped to inspire children to greater curiosity about the world around them, and many of the schools with new labs have gone on to achieve Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence status.

The Lyons believe in cultivating lifelong learning, and Dr. Lyons, in particular, was interested in encouraging budding scientists and entrepreneurs. The Alltech Young Scientist program, the largest global agriscience competition of its kind, has engaged more than 100,000 university students.

The Lyons also ensured that Alltech opened its doors to students for on-the-job discovery, with more than 450 undergraduates completing an internship program at the Alltech Center for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition in Kentucky, and approximately 440 Ph.D., master’s degree and graduate students being supported through Alltech’s bioscience centers.

Also, at the university level, Dr. Lyons initiated an Alltech Innovation Competition, which awarded entrepreneurs with $10,000, the same amount with which he founded Alltech.

Believing that the arts are essential to creative thinking and innovation, Dr. and Mrs. Lyons led Alltech’s sponsorship of the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, which is considered one of the largest vocal scholarship programs in the world and has positioned the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre program as a Richard Tucker Foundation top-20 opera program. More than $500,000 in scholarships have been awarded annually to promising young vocalists.

Dr. Lyons was particularly well-known for leading Alltech’s international conference, branded in recent years as ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference. Held for more than three decades, the event has become Lexington, Kentucky’s largest annual room booking, attracting nearly 4,000 people from more than 70 countries.

Giving back was also a passion for Dr. Lyons, so he established Alltech’s ACE Involvement Foundation, a charitable foundation to help fund the company’s philanthropic efforts. These efforts have included Alltech Café Citadelle, a Haitian coffee that offers a “cup of hope.” Eager to do something to support Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake, Dr. Lyons determined he would create a sustainable Haitian enterprise that could provide a “hand up” to the country’s residents. He found a gem in the country’s 100 percent mountain-grown, organic Arabica coffee. All profits from the sale of Alltech Café Citadelle are reinvested into two primary schools in northern Haiti.

Dr. Lyons is survived by his wife, Deirdre; daughter, Aoife; and son, Mark and Mark’s wife, Holly.

His business, Alltech, will remain privately held under the ownership of the family.

Funeral masses will be in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, on March 17 and in Dublin, Ireland, in April. A special celebration of life will be held on May 20 at the beginning of ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington.

Public visitation in Lexington will be on Friday, March 16. Arrangement details will be kept up to date on alltech.com/pearselyons.