Press Releases

A New Craft Brew for Ireland Evokes Kentucky Spirit

A New Craft Brew for Ireland Evokes Kentucky Spirit[Dunboyne, IRELAND] – Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.’s unique, hand-crafted beer, has arrived on Irish shores. The beer will make its debut at the Irish Craft Beer festival in the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin, taking place from the 7th to the 9th of September 2012.

12 years ago, in Lexington, Kentucky, Alltech took the opportunity to procure the Lexington Brewery where they began to brew Kentucky Ale. Five years later, Dr. Pearse Lyons drew on his family history, with five generations of coopers, his experience as one of the chief process engineers at Irish Distillers and his masters in brewing and distilling, to create a truly original beer - Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. Now, for the first time, this beer is available in Ireland and will be launched at the Irish Craft Beer Festival. It is currently available in distinguished bars in Dublin and Meath, with nationwide distribution planned.

At any one time in the State of Kentucky, otherwise known as “Bourbon Country,” there are one million barrels of bourbon laid down in fresh, new oak casks and 4.8 million barrels residing in the Bluegrass State, easily outstripping the population of 4.2 million people. Each batch of bourbon must be aged in new, charred-oak barrels. Alltech used its ingenuity to avail of the freshly decanted bourbon barrels from its partners on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail™. Kentucky Ale is then added into the barrels and left to mature. During the six week, temperature controlled maturation process, the ale marries with the rich flavours and aromas from within the bourbon cask, culminating in the uniquely hand-crafted, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.

“The success of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale took us all by surprise,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “We began with just five barrels six years ago and now there are 5,000 barrels aging at any one time. With the Irish government’s 2013 initiative, The Gathering, we decided that the time was right to bring an Irish-Kentucky product back home. This led to our partnership with Carlow Brewing Company, who will act as our beer importer in Ireland. They were an obvious choice, being the number one craft beer producer in the country and having effectively recreated the craft beer industry in Ireland,” he continued.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is already a favourite among Kentuckians and has seen steadily increasing sales in North America and most recently China.

“Our beers are really taking flight and gaining momentum. We have now expanded our warehouse capacity five times, with over 1,000 barrels a week coming to meet the high demand,” said Matt Cordle, Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.’s national sales manager.

During the 18th annual North American Brewer’s Association Mountain Brewers Beer Fest in Idaho this July, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale was awarded the gold medal for barrel-aged beer. Bourbon Barrel Ale also recently took home the silver medal at the 20th Annual Australian International Beer Awards in May.

An innovative advertising campaign will be launched to promote Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. To preview it click here. For more information about the Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co., visit

Photo: (pictured left to right) Seamus O’Hara, founder of Carlow Brewing Company and Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, share a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale in Caffrey’s of Batterstown.