Eastern Kentucky is one step closer to having its first (legal) distillery and brewery, after Alltech broke ground today on Dueling Barrels Brewing & Distilling Co. in downtown Pikeville, Kentucky.
The combined brewery and distillery, expected to open in Spring 2017 at a cost of $13 million, will be uniquely Eastern Kentucky-inspired. It will feature its own range of beer and spirits that celebrate the area, including a legal moonshine and bourbon.
For over a year the design team has worked on a building that will embrace the rich history and culture of the region. The story of the Hatfields and McCoys, along with the region’s music heritage, will be part of the overall strategy.
“With Alltech’s global reach, it is expected that Dueling Barrels’ beer, whiskey and moonshine, all from Eastern Kentucky, will go to the global market by the end of next year,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “It is also our hope that Dueling Barrels will extend the Kentucky Bourbon Trail into Eastern Kentucky, bringing visitors, tourism dollars and international publicity with it. If Dueling Barrels is added to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, it would become the first and only stop east of Lexington.”
The distillery name was inspired by the notorious feuds between the Hatfields and McCoys, and is a double entendre with gun barrels and whiskey barrels. Dueling Barrels will feature tours of the brewery and distillery, beginning with a visit to a small theatre to view a video of what guests will experience. A tour of the distillery and brewhouse will follow, where the process will be explained in depth, and then will end with a visit to the tasting room where the products can be sampled.
The Dueling Barrels building is being designed to be pleasing to both the front (Main Street) and the back (Second Street) in Pikeville and to tie in with the local architecture. Kentucky craftsmen are currently making copper pot stills which will proudly sit facing Hambley Boulevard and can be viewed from the street. Artisan stone masons from Rockcastle County, Kentucky will complete interior and exterior Kentucky fieldstone work. Hambley Boulevard will be fronted with the Kentucky fieldstone, whereas the Second Street side is designed to fit in with the current streetscape and will feature three separate shop fronts with unique designs.
A careful demolition of the former downtown property on the site started in early 2015 to make room for the new building. Brewing and distilling equipment is currently being constructed. Dueling Barrels has also led to a commitment from local businessman Mitch Potter to develop an Irish-style brewpub restaurant next to the brewery and distillery.
Alltech is investing in Eastern Kentucky because Alltech’s founders Pearse and Deirdre Lyons have an affinity for Eastern Kentucky, thanks to the region’s similarities with their native Ireland. They believe that by acting as a catalyst, others will follow suit as they bring new business to the area.
The new Dueling Barrels site is part of a continued global expansion of the Alltech Beverage Division.The beverage division began with a single brewery in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, and 10 years later the addition of a distillery, Town Branch, was completed. As demand has increased for the company’s products, additional capacity with storage and bottling lines has been added at a second Lexington site on Angliana Avenue five minutes from the original brewery. Larger brewhouses are to be installed at both Lexington sites by year’s end.
Overseas, Alltech acquired two breweries in Ireland and the U.K. earlier this month as part of an acquisition that will help the company broaden its reach.