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Brewer to open distillery in Dublin church

A brewer from Kentucky is to open a distillery in an early 18th century church on James Street a stone’s throw from the Guinness Storehouse.

St James’ Church


As reported by the Irish Herald, the St James’ Distillery is due to open next year, launched by Pearse Lyons, CEO of animal nutrition company Alltech, with a €5.7m investment.

Founded in 1707, St James Church was deconsecrated in 1961. Lyons’ distiller grandfather is buried in the cemetery surrounding the church as distilling historically thrived in the Liberties area in central Dublin.

Lyons plans to open a visitor centre in a bid to turn the distillery into a tourist attraction, with the hope that its location will lure visitors from the nearby Guinness Storehouse to the brewery.

Due to the proximity to Guinness, Lyons decided that opening a rival brewery wouldn’t be wise, so opted for a distillery instead.

Lyons’ craft beer is currently outselling Guinness in the US. In addition, he produces Bourbon and malt whiskey in Kentucky.

Liberties was historically home to artisans and tradesmen, brewers and distillers. The Guinness brewery opened on James Street in 1759.

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