In a major expansion of its international alcohol division, Alltech, the producer of award-winning beers and spirits including Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and Town Branch Bourbon, has acquired a craft brewery in Northern Ireland and also one in mainland United Kingdom. Pearse Lyons, the Irish-born entrepreneur and founder of Alltech, purchased the breweries from the family of the late Northern Irish businessman Lord Ballyedmond.
Alltech’s acquisition of The Station Works Brewery in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland, and Cumberland Breweries Ltd. in Great Corby, Cumbria, England, represents the first major expansion outside the United States for its brewing division. Already one of the fastest growing craft brewers in the United States, these purchases represent a significant investment by Lyons in the future of the rapidly expanding craft brewing sector in Europe.
With a capacity to produce 40,000 hectolitres, the two new breweries add several new brands, including Finn Lager and Foxes Rock Ale, to the growing Alltech portfolio.
“These new purchases will allow us develop already established European brands while at the same time introducing our Kentucky Ale range to new markets,” said Lyons, who achieved his doctorate in brewing and distilling before founding Alltech.
“We are dedicated to offering the consumer real choice in the beer sector. Since our first investment in the Alltech Craft Brews & Foods Fair in Dublin three years ago, the sector has mushroomed and our Fair is now the largest in Ireland, attracting more than 10,000 visitors annually,” Lyons continued.
With three new breweries under construction in the United States, and a major investment in a new distillery in the heart of the liberties at the former St James Church, where his grandfather is buried, Lyons is set to continue the family history.
“We want to be one of the top 50 craft brewers in the world,” Lyons said.