Alltech Craft

The American animal nutrition company Alltech is an unusual one. Founded in 1999 by Pearse Lyons it’s operations began in animal feed and meat before diversifying with the launch of Town Branch Bourbon in 2011, named after the waterway on which Lexington is founded.

Alltech, a global biotech company from Kentucky, is known to have its own yeast for distilling developed as well as additional expertise in the use of enzymes for distilling. In 2012 Pearse Lyons and his wife Deirdre decided to establish a distillery in Bagenalstown, County Carlow, Ireland in a former 19th century church. The Pearse Lyons’s grandfather, John Hubert Lyons, was one of the last people to be buried in the Church graveyard in 1948.

How is Altech Craft Produced

The distillery is fully manual so the commissioning process will take time and a master distiller’s eye and refined taste buds to adjust the spirit levels and temperatures to create the perfect whiskey.

To begin, the malted barley is milled and sent to a lauder tun to extract the converted starches; the resulting liquid is called the wort. The yeast is then introduced into the wort in stainless steel washbacks, where it will stay for the next 65 hours becoming mash and finally become wash.

The wash is then added to a wash still, beginning the first phase of the distilling process, and the spirit that is collected is known as a low wine. The low wine then goes into the spirit still, where it is further condensed and purified, resulting in three cuts: the head cut, the heart cut and the tail cut. The heart cut, a colorless liquid with a high alcohol content, is extracted and aged, legally becoming whiskey after 3 years of maturation.

Distillery Factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Alltech Craft Carlow Brewing Ireland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 2012 - Present Malt Alltech Craft Tour Link
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Seamus O'Hara Mark Coffman; Seamus O'Hara

Alltech Craft Timeline:

2000: Dr. Pearse Lyons, who worked for a long time in Guinness and Harp breweries, founds a brewery in Lexington, Kentucky (USA) with a whiskey distillery. The stills required for this come from Scotland.

2012: Construction of the Alltech Craft Distillery in Bagenalstown, County Carlow with stills from a coppersmith in Kentucky. Alltech prefers double distillation instead of the triple distillation common in Ireland. Start of production in November 2012.

2014: In spring 2014 purchase of the disused church on St James Street in Dublin. Application to convert the building into a distillery.

Interesting Alltech Craft links:

US group Alltech to create fifth largest distillery in Ireland