The third time’s the charm. These words could not ring more true as family owned Alltech celebrates the ribbon cutting and grand opening of its new $15 million Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery in Pikeville, Kentucky. Alltech is no stranger to the world of brewing and distilling. The company also owns Town Branch Distillery in Lexington, KY and recently opened Pearse Lyons Distillery in Dublin, Ireland.

Alltech was founded in Nicholasville, KY in 1980 by serial entrepreneur Dr. Pearse Lyons. Having once interned for Guinness and Harp Lager breweries and later working for Irish Distillers, makers of Jameson whiskey, you could say owning a brewery and distillery was part of his destiny. In 2000, Alltech got into the business of making alcohol with the purchase of a brewery in Lexington. In 2011, they broke ground on distillery No. 1 with Town Branch Distillery and by 2012 they were in the craft spirits business and soon became one of the first craft distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. In July of 2017 Alltech celebrated another milestone with the ribbon cutting for distillery No. 2, the Pearse Lyons Distillery in Dublin. Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery makes for distillery No. 3 and it is in fact a charm.

The only unfortunate part about this story is that Dr. Pearse Lyons passed away in March 2018 after complications from heart surgery so he was not able to see the official opening of the Pikeville distillery. But perhaps he was there today in spirit as the clouds parted and the sun shone just as crowds gathered for the ceremony in front of Eastern Kentucky’s first combined beer, bourbon and moonshine operation.

Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Alltech co-founders Dr. Pearse and Mrs. Deirdre Lyons initiated the development of Dueling Barrels with an eye toward promoting tourism to this Appalachian region. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said, “He believed in something he spoke of often, and that is the power of one. One person. One idea. One mission. These are the things that change the world.”

“A new day of economic opportunity is dawning in the Pikeville community and across Eastern Kentucky. We wish Alltech continued success and look forward to the positive impact this project will have on the region’s tourism industry moving forward.”

“Today, my team completes three years of work,” said Mrs. Lyons, director of corporate image and design at Alltech. “But this is only the beginning of the dream, which we hope leads to increased tourism in Eastern Kentucky.”

A Future Stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

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The nearly 30,000 square-foot facility houses three copper pot stills and 19 fermenters, and it has the capacity to produce 40,000 brewer’s barrels annually.

Dueling Barrels is expected to join the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience in January 2019, extending the experience 142 miles east into Pikeville. The additional tourism is expected to help boost the economy in Pikeville, which has undergone a revitalization in recent years, particularly in the downtown area. The brewstillery will employ 13 full-time employees that will include “storytellers” and managers overseeing the brewery and distillery, visitor center and overall operations.

In addition to bourbon, Dueling Barrels will produce a variety of craft styles, beginning with Dueling Barrels Pikeville Ale, an American Pale Ale, and Dueling Barrels Hopfield & McCoy IPA. Additional brews will be made available exclusively in the Pearse’s Place taproom, which is expected to open in the fall on the second floor of the facility.

Moonshining has a long history in Eastern Kentucky, where early settlers drew upon generations of distilling experience to use surplus corn to make unaged whiskey, or “moonshine,” as it came to be known. Dueling Barrels celebrates this mountain tradition with four flavors: Dueling Barrels Original Kentucky Moonshine, a smooth blend of corn, malted barley and a pinch of rye; Dueling Barrels Apple Orchard Kentucky Moonshine, with notes of apples, caramel, vanilla and cinnamon; Dueling Barrels Bonfire Kentucky Moonshine, which has a spicy but smooth cinnamon finish; and Dueling Barrels Mountain Flower Kentucky Moonshine, infused with elderberry for a fruity and floral twist.

Visitors to Dueling Barrels will explore the rich history and culture of the Eastern Kentucky mountains, including the legendary Hatfields and McCoys feud, the dawn of Bluegrass music and starry nights spent making moonshine. Tours will be guided by knowledgeable “storytellers” who will walk visitors through the art of brewing and distilling while sharing the legendary stories that have shaped Appalachia.

Pikeville Mayor James Carter noted the strong reputation of the Lyons family in welcoming the distillery to the community.

“It has been inspiring to be a part of the journey to bring Alltech’s Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery to Pikeville. This is certainly a tremendous addition to Pikeville and is a cornerstone of our economic diversification that will assist in shaping the future of Pikeville,” Mayor Carter said. “It has been an honor to work with Dr. Pearse Lyons, Deirdre Lyons and Alltech to bring their vision of Dueling Barrels to life. They have shared their energy, innovation and love of Pikeville with us every step of the way. We are extremely grateful for their investment in our community and we look forward to the future.”

Dr. Pearse Lyons, an Irish entrepreneur and scientist, and his wife, Deirdre, founded Alltech in 1980 to research and deliver products for the sustainable nutrition of plants, animals and people. The company’s expertise in yeast fermentation, solid state fermentation and the science of nutrigenomics make it a major producer and processor of yeast additives, organic trace minerals, feed ingredients, premix and feed. The company has seven production facilities in the state employing approximately 700 people. Globally, Alltech has more than 100 production facilities and four bioscience centers.

Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery Photo Gallery

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Related Stories
Dueling Barrels Brewing and Distilling Breaks Ground in Kentucky
Pearse Lyons Distillery Spire Lights Up Dublin Skyline as Grand Opening Approaches
Town Branch Distillery Parent to Open 3rd Distillery – This time in Ireland
Alltech President Dr. Pearse Lyons, Founder of Town Branch, Dueling Barrels & Pearse Lyons Distilleries Passes

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