Nicholasville-based animal nutrition giant Alltech, which also makes Town Branch Bourbon and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, announced Tuesday the purchase of two European craft breweries.
In its first major brewing expansion outside the United States, Alltech bought the dual-location Station Works Brewery in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland, and Cumberland Breweries Ltd. in Great Corby, Cumbria, England.
The price was not disclosed, but founder Pearse Lyons said the purchases "represent a significant investment" by Alltech in the future of the rapidly expanding craft-brewing sector in Europe, according to the company.
"We want to be one of the top 50 craft brewers in the world," Lyons said in the news release.
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The two breweries add several brands, including Finn Lager and Foxes Rock Ale, to the growing Alltech portfolio. Together, they have a brewing capacity of 40,000 hectolitres, according to Alltech's announcement. (One hectolitre equals 22 gallons.)
In Lexington, Alltech produces Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and several other brands, including seasonal releases. Alltech also is building a distillery and brewery in Pikeville, and a distillery in Dublin in the former St. James Church, where Lyons' grandfather is buried.
"These new purchases will allow us to develop already established European brands while at the same time introducing our Kentucky Ale range to new markets," Lyons said.
Lyons, a native of Northern Ireland, received a doctorate in brewing and distilling before founding Alltech, according to the company.