LEXINGTON, Ky. — Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech, died March 8. He was 73.
A native of Ireland, Dr. Lyons immigrated to the United States in the 1970s and in 1980 launched Alltech, which focused on improving the animal feed industry though the introduction of natural ingredients to animal feed.
Dr. Lyons received a bachelor’s degree from the University College Dublin in Ireland and master’s and doctoral degrees in brewing science from the University of Birmingham. He worked as a biochemist for Irish Distillers and was instrumental in designing the Midleton Distillery for Jameson.
In the U.S., Dr. Lyons purchased the former Lexington Brewing Co. The first beer from Dr. Lyons brewery, the Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., was Kentucky Ale, which later became Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.
Dr. Lyons was named Business Person of the Year by Business & Finance magazine and received the Ireland-U.S. Council Award for Outstanding Achievement. Irish Prime Minister Edna Kenny recognized him with the St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal in recognition of creating a global business based on scientific research.
Dr. Lyons and his wife Deirdre have funded and overseen the construction of more than a dozen state-of-the-art science laboratories at primary schools in Kentucky and Ireland. They have also established the Alltech Young Scientist program, a global agriscience competition for university students.
Survivors include his wife Deirdre, daughter Aoife and son Mark.