Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co. is the new global brand name for the Lyons family’s beverage business, including breweries and distilleries in Kentucky and Ireland
What began as a personal passion and a toast to family tradition for the late Dr. Pearse Lyons has become a global beverage business with six breweries and distilleries in Kentucky, USA, and in Ireland crafting an award-winning line of beers and spirits.
The legacy continues with Dr. Mark Lyons, the seventh generation of the Lyons family to be involved in brewing and distilling, as well as his mother and Pearse’s wife, Deirdre Lyons. Recently, Mark and Deirdre developed a new global brand name for their family of breweries and distilleries. Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co. now represents their beverage entities, including Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery, Pearse Lyons Distillery and Pearse Lyons Brewery. This new name is reflective of the business’ private and family-owned nature and will enable the business to better tell its story.
With the development of this new global brand, the Lyons family also began an international search for its first CEO.
“We were looking for a leader who shares our team-focused values, commitment to excellence and passion for brewing and distilling,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president of Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co. “We were delighted to find those qualities in Lisa Wicker. When Lisa and I met, one of the elements that stood out most to me was her background as a scientist and journalist. As we appoint our first-ever CEO for Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co., it seems fitting that we found someone who, like my father did, has a deep enthusiasm for and expertise in the craft — both the science and the storytelling.”
Wicker most recently served as the president and master distiller at Widow Jane Distillery, a rapidly growing whiskey brand in New York. Her early interest in the beverage business began on an Indiana vineyard, where she picked grapes as a farmhand and proved she was not afraid to get her hands dirty. Since then, her 20-year career journey has spanned many facets of the spirits industry, including winemaking, whiskey production, product development and fermentation management. She has held progressive roles in distilling and management at Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky; Starlight Distillery in Starlight, Indiana; and Preservation Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky.
Wicker’s strengths include building teams and mentoring others in the industry. She has trained brand ambassadors and distributors and conducted masterclasses at WhiskyFest in New York, Whiskies of the World in Washington, D.C., and The New Orleans Bourbon Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana.
“I am delighted to return to Bourbon country and have the opportunity to be part of the next phase of growth for Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co.,” said Wicker. “The Lyons family’s story is unique in the brewing and distilling space, and the passion that the team has for their brand and their brewing and distilling processes is authentic. They have all of the elements to generate even greater success in the future, and I am looking forward to this next phase of growth alongside them.”
“Our breweries and distilleries were founded on family tradition, are steeped in rich history and are reflective of their communities,” said Lyons. “They hold stories that, when well-told, help connect people to our brand. Lisa’s experience with product development, combined with a degree in journalism and a shared belief in the power of storytelling, make her uniquely qualified to deliver on our vision for Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co. and to share what we find to be so special with even more people.”
Wicker began in her new role as CEO of Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co. in November and is based at the company’s Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. in Lexington, Kentucky.
Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. wins two World Beer Awards
Two beverages produced by Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. recently brought home gold medals from the 2022 World Beer Awards, a global awards program that selects the best beers in all internationally recognized styles.
Kentucky® Maple Bourbon Stout and Kentucky® Bourbon Barrel® Ale were recognized as a Gold Medal Flavored Stout and Porter and a Gold Medal Heritage Beer, respectively.
Kentucky Maple Barrel Stout is a bold imperial stout brewed with brown sugar for an extra kick.
With flavors of roasted malt and cocoa, this brew was aged for 18 months in a freshly decanted maple syrup bourbon barrel. Kentucky Maple Barrel Stout has notes of sweet maple syrup, vanilla and caramel, backed up by hints of oak on the finish.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is aged in freshly decanted bourbon barrels from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries. Subtle yet familiar flavors of vanilla and oak are imparted to this special ale as it rests in the charred barrels. This beer has grown to become the flagship beer of the premier name in barrel-aged beers.
The 2022 World Beer Awards are part of the World Drinks Awards, presented by TheDrinksReport.com, a leading online resource for drinks professionals. More than 3,200 beers from more than 50 countries entered the contest, and an international judging panel blind-tasted and scored the entries across three rounds of judging to identify the best beers in 10 categories.
Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. is located in downtown Lexington and is a popular stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®.
Pearse Lyons Distillery recognized by Whiskey Awards Ireland
Pearse Lyons Distillery at the historic St. James Church in Dublin has garnered yet another accolade, recently receiving the Highly Commended Award in the Sustainable Distillery Category at the Icons of Whiskey Ireland 2023 awards. The award is given to “a distillery that has implemented improved sustainability processes within the distillery and the wider supply chain in the past 12 months that have led to demonstrable reductions in the brand’s environmental impact.”
Pearse Lyons Distillery is Dublin’s only independent, family-owned distillery and is named for Alltech founder Dr. Pearse Lyons. It produces Pearse Irish Whiskey brands and pays homage to the Lyons family’s brewing and distilling legacy.
Located in a deconsecrated church, the distillery opened in 2017 and quickly became an award-winning tourist destination. The Lyons family’s environmental commitments were at the core of every decision made during the church’s restoration, from LED lighting and solar panels to shipping spent grains to local farmers to be used as animal feed.
Pearse Lyons Distillery recently achieved Gold Membership, the highest and most prestigious standard in the Bord Bia Origin Green program, Ireland’s pioneering food and drink sustainability program. Currently, the distillery is also awaiting intermediate certification from Sustainable Travel Ireland, the only Irish certification body with criteria recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
In November, Pearse Lyons Distillery hosted the 2022 Irish Whiskey Awards ceremony, the pinnacle of the Irish Whiskey industry event calendar. More than 120 whiskey producers competed for medals in 17 categories, and entries were judged by members of eight Irish whiskey societies from across the country.
Pearse Lyons Distillery scooped up three prestigious awards at the event. Both the Pearse Lyons 5-Year-Old and Pearse Lyons 12-Year-Old whiskeys received gold medals. The distillery also won the title of Best New Irish Whiskey in the three-to-six-year-old category for its latest offering, Genesis, which has not even been released to the public yet.