Alltech cuts ribbon at Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery

[PIKEVILLE, Ky.] – The clouds parted and the sun shone just as crowds gathered in front of Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery for a look at Eastern Kentucky’s first combined beer, bourbon and moonshine operation. Gleaming copper pot stills towered in the background as Alltech officials and community leaders cut the ribbon on the highly anticipated project, which will open for public tours on June 28.

Dueling BarrelsDueling Barrels was a personal passion project for Alltech co-founders Dr. Pearse and Mrs. Deirdre Lyons, who have long felt that the rolling landscape, hardworking people and craftsmanship of Eastern Kentucky reminded them of their home in Ireland. Ever the visionary, Dr. Lyons had a keen sense of potential, and he saw it in abundance in Eastern Kentucky. He initiated the development of Dueling Barrels with an eye toward promoting tourism to the region.

“He believed in something he spoke of often, and that is the power of one,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin about Dr. Lyons. “One person. One idea. One mission. These are the things that change the world.”

Though Dr. Lyons passed away in March, Mrs. Lyons, director of corporate image and design at Alltech, and their son, Dr. Mark Lyons, president of Alltech, remain focused on the success of Dueling Barrels.

“Today, my team completes three years of work,” said Mrs. Lyons. “But this is only the beginning of the dream, which we hope leads to increased tourism in Eastern Kentucky.”

The nearly 30,000-square-foot facility houses three copper pot stills and 19 fermenters, and it has the capacity to produce 40,000 brewer’s barrels annually. Dueling Barrels is expected to join the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience in January 2019, extending the experience 142 miles east into Pikeville. The additional tourism could help boost the economy in Pikeville, which has undergone a revitalization in recent years, particularly in the downtown area.

In addition to bourbon, Dueling Barrels will produce a variety of craft styles, beginning with Dueling Barrels Pikeville Ale, an American Pale Ale, and Dueling Barrels Hopfield & McCoy IPA. Dueling Barrels Pikeville Ale will be bottled and available in stores regionally. Additional brews will be made available exclusively in the Pearse’s Place taproom, which is expected to open in the fall on the second floor of the facility.

Dueling BarrelsMoonshining has a long history in Eastern Kentucky, where early settlers drew upon generations of distilling experience to use surplus corn to make unaged whiskey, or “moonshine,” as it came to be known. Dueling Barrels celebrates this mountain tradition with four flavors: Dueling Barrels Original Kentucky Moonshine, a smooth blend of corn, malted barley and a pinch of rye; Dueling Barrels Apple Orchard Kentucky Moonshine, with notes of apples, caramel, vanilla and cinnamon; Dueling Barrels Bonfire Kentucky Moonshine, which has a spicy but smooth cinnamon finish; and Dueling Barrels Mountain Flower Kentucky Moonshine, infused with elderberry for a fruity and floral twist.

Visitors to Dueling Barrels will explore the rich history and culture of the Eastern Kentucky mountains, including the legendary Hatfields and McCoys feud, the dawn of Bluegrass music and starry nights spent making moonshine. Tours will be guided by knowledgeable “storytellers” who will walk visitors through the art of brewing and distilling while sharing the legendary stories that have shaped Appalachia.

Dueling Barrels joins Alltech’s family of breweries and distilleries, which includes Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., producing Town Branch® Bourbon, Town Branch® Gin and Kentucky Ale® beers; and Pearse Lyons Distillery at St. James in Dublin, Ireland, which produces Pearse Irish Whiskey. The company hopes to use its resources and craft beverage expertise to shine a spotlight on Eastern Kentucky.

“There is a massive population on the East Coast,” said Mark Lyons. “Now they just have to come across the mountains. I think this can be the start of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, not the end.”

Tours will be offered every hour, on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information on Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery, visit Join the conversation and watch for updates via @duelingbarrels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Hatfields and McCoys: A Story of Forgiveness

When one thinks of the Hatfields and the McCoys, they no doubt think of a bloody grudge, unrelenting violence, unforgiveness and vengeance. After all, the Hatfield and McCoy feud is perhaps the world’s most infamous feud, and is a pop culture staple that is found in everything from movies, to television shows, artwork, as well as a huge assortment of books. The Hatfield and McCoy feud is so ingrained in American culture that one name is rarely said without the other, with the figure of speech “feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys” being used across the nation, and in many parts of the world.

Ron McCoy with “Devil Anse” Hatfield

With all of the sensationalism found within feud lore; the gunfights, the forbidden Hatfield-McCoy love affair, law men and outlaws, and everything in between, it is no wonder that this story has garnered the attention of so many, and has had the lasting appeal that it has. With all of this considered, it is easy to lose sight of the greatest feud story told, a story of forgiveness.

Since the signing of the peace treaty in Pikeville back in 2003, Hatfield and McCoy descendants have gone to great lengths to use the infamy of the feud to bring a new message to the world, a message of conflict resolution and forgiveness. In fact, this message of forgiveness was recognized by the John Templeton Foundation as being one of “Ten Great Moments in Forgiveness History”, alongside notable acts such as Holocaust survivor Corrie Boom shaking the hand of a guard that held her captive in a prison camp, Pope John Paul II forgiving his would-be assassin Mehmet Ali Agca, and Jesus Christ forgiving roman guards as they were in the process of executing him on the cross.

While the Hatfield & McCoy descendants may disagree on some of the details of the feud, they are passionate about bringing their message of reconciliation to the world. Each year, at Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days in Pikeville, Kentucky, Hatfield and McCoy descendants travel to Pikeville to take part in a variety of events, from a pig roast at the Pikeville Farmer’s Market, to a Hatfield McCoy theatre production, storytelling events and more. Hatfield & McCoy Heritage Days culminates in a special service at the McCoy Well in Hardy, Kentucky, the site where the Hatfields attacked and burned down the McCoy cabin on New Years Eve, 1888. This attack resulted in the death of two of Randolph McCoy’s children, a daughter and a son, as well as leaving his wife permanently injured. This special service focuses on memorializing the past, and reiterating the message of peace and forgiveness.

Gary McCoy & William Keith Hatfield

So, when telling the story of the Hatfields and the McCoys, remember, the story does not end in the execution of Ellison “Cottontop” Mounts, nor does it end with a climactic battle. The story of the feuding Hatfields and McCoys ends with a treaty, a handshake, and a newly forged kinship between both families. Where one story of vengeance and unforgiveness ends, a new story of forgiveness and brotherhood begins. Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days will be held in Pikeville, KY September 21 – September 23, 2018.


Peace Treaty Signing Media



Hatfield McCoy Gallery

Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days