Pearse Lyons Distillery to open in Dublin this year

26th July, 2017 by Melita Kiely

Dublin’s €20 million (US$23.25m) Pearse Lyons Distillery will officially open in September, adding to Ireland’s fast-growing whiskey distillery population.

Pearse-Lyons-Distillery

Pearse and Deirdre Lyons will open the Pearse Lyons Distillery in September 2017

Situated in the centre of The Liberties region of the Irish capital, the distillery is the brainchild of Pearse and Deirdre Lyons – founders of animal nutrition and spirits firm Alltech – who have transformed St James Church into a distillery and visitor centre. The pair acquired the site in 2013.

Once fully operational, the distillery expects to attract up to 75,000 visitors annually over the next few years.

Tracey Flinter has been appointed general manager of the Pearse Lyons Distillery, while Gearoid Cahill will take up the position of head distiller.

Distillery founder Pearse Lyons descends from five generations of coopers and has a PhD in yeast fermentation. He was the first Irishman to receive a formal degree in brewing and distilling from the British School of Malting and Brewing.

He previously worked for Irish Distillers as part of the design team that built the Midleton Distillery in Cork.

Pearse moved to the US in 1977. Then in 1999, he had the chance to purchase the Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company in Kentucky.

“We are thrilled to add another chapter to my rich family history of brewing and distilling,” said Pearse, founder of Pearse Lyons Distillery. “Our distillery and visitor centre will showcase the history of distilling in Dublin’s Liberties.

“Visitors will have the opportunity to witness, smell, taste and learn all about the process of distilling Pearse Irish Whiskey.”

The history of the distillery’s building can be traced back to 1190 when it was part of St Thomas’s Abbey, founded by King Henry II as his penance for the murder of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket.

The church building collapsed in the mid-1500s, and it wasn’t until around 1650 that another church was built. In 1859, the congregation had outgrown the space and so the structure was torn down and a bigger church built in its place.

Deirdre Lyons said: “Bringing the old church back to life has been a monumental job. We started this project in March 2014, but it changed a lot from the time we purchased the building.

“The nature of the layout of Pearse Lyons Distillery means we will always be a boutique visitor attraction. The tour guides will be called storytellers.

“It all becomes a story – a story of whiskey, a story of The Liberties and the history of the graveyard.”

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