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Town Branch Distillery

  • USA, Kentucky
  • Best Small Batch Single Malt 12 Years & Under at the World Whiskies Awards, 2018: Gold Medal at The Fifty Best., 2016: Best in Show Rye at the Washington Cup.
Phone Number
  • +18592552337
  • 401 Cross St, Lexington, KY 40508, United States

Modern distillery building with large windows and stone facade.

History of Town Branch Distillery


Town Branch Distillery, part of the Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., is deeply rooted in the rich distilling tradition of Kentucky. The journey to establish this prominent distillery began with Pearse Lyons, a man with a profound passion for brewing and distilling, influenced by his Irish heritage. The Lyons family had a longstanding connection to the craft, tracing back to their lineage of Irish coopers. This historical background set the stage for Pearse Lyons’ venture into the brewing industry.

Revival of Lexington Brewing Co.

In the late 1990s, Pearse and his son, Mark Lyons, discovered the then-dilapidated Lexington Brewing Co., which had initially started in the 1890s but ceased operations during Prohibition. Seeing potential in what many viewed as a lost cause, Pearse Lyons undertook the task of reviving the brewery. His efforts bore fruit, and the Lexington Brewing Co. was revitalized, reigniting a craft beer tradition that had been dormant since the 1700s.

Emergence of Town Branch Distillery

The establishment of Town Branch Distillery was a natural progression for Pearse Lyons, stemming from his expertise in fermentation and the rich bourbon tradition of Kentucky. The distillery, which opened its doors in 2012, marked a significant milestone as the first new distillery in Lexington, Kentucky, in over a century. It was equipped with two copper pot stills commissioned from Scotland, symbolizing the blend of traditional methods and modern innovation.

Expanding Product Range

Town Branch Distillery began its journey with the launch of single malt whiskey, the first of its kind in Lexington since Prohibition. Over the years, the product line has expanded to include various types of spirits such as Town Branch® Bourbon, Town Branch® Rye, and specialty items like Town Branch® Sherry Cask Finished. These products have gained popularity for their unique flavors and high quality.

Legacy and Future

Today, the distillery remains a family-owned business, with Mark Lyons at the helm, continuing his father’s legacy. Mark, equipped with a Ph.D. in solid-state fermentation, shares a similar passion for brewing and distilling. Under his leadership, the distillery continues to innovate, expanding its product line to include seasonals, gins, and pre-made cocktails, while maintaining a commitment to quality and sustainability.

Town Branch Distillery stands as a testament to the enduring allure of Kentucky’s bourbon heritage, blending age-old traditions with contemporary creativity and vision. It’s a story of revival, innovation, and passion, rooted in a deep family heritage and a commitment to quality craftsmanship.

Awards Won by Town Branch Distillery

  1. Town Branch Seven-Year Kentucky Single Malt Whiskey: This whiskey was honoured as America’s Best Small Batch Single Malt 12 Years & Under at the World Whiskies Awards. It represents the oldest stock of Kentucky single malt in the world.
  2. Town Branch® Small Batch Straight Rye Whiskey: This product has received multiple awards, including:
    • 2021: Platinum Medal with 96 points from the Beverage Testing Institute, recognised as “Superlative”.
    • 2018: Gold Medal at The Fifty Best.
    • 2017: Gold Medal at the Denver International Spirits Competition.
    • 2016: Best in Show Rye at the Washington Cup.
  3. Town Branch® 7yr Kentucky Single Malt Whiskey: This whiskey, aged for a minimum of seven years, has also garnered several awards:
    • 2021: Gold Medal from the Beverage Testing Institute with a score of 93 points, labeled as “Exceptional”.
    • 2020: Achieved a score of 94 points, termed “Highly Recommended” at the Ultimate Spirits Competition; Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition; Gold Medal and 95 points at the Berlin International Spirits Competition; Gold Medal at the Denver International Spirits Competition.
    • 2019: Double Gold Medal at the North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition.

Town Branch Distillery Tour Information and Experience

At Town Branch Distillery in Lexington, Kentucky, guests are offered a unique glimpse into both brewing and distilling processes, making it an exceptional destination for enthusiasts of craft beer and bourbon. This tour is an in-depth exploration of how the distillery crafts its handcrafted beers and fine spirits.

Inside the Production: Brewing and Distilling Processes

The guided tour takes visitors on a journey through the production facilities. You’ll learn about the intricate processes involved in brewing distinct beers and crafting refined spirits. This dual focus on brewing and distilling sets Town Branch apart, offering a comprehensive understanding of both crafts.

Tasting Session: Discovering Flavors

Post-tour, guests are treated to a tasting session where they can sample a variety of Town Branch’s bourbons and beers. This tasting showcases the diversity and quality of the distillery’s offerings, providing a harmonious fusion of flavors.

The Visitor Center and Taproom

The Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.’s Visitor Center and Taproom is a hub of activity, offering signature cocktails, fresh beers on tap, and flights of spirits and beer. Depending on the season, visitors can choose to unwind indoors or on the outdoor patio, enjoying the distillery’s array of beverages.

Tour Schedule and Booking

  • Weekday and Saturday Tours: Available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with tours commencing hourly. The last tour starts at 4 p.m.
  • Sunday Tours: From Noon to 5 p.m., also on the hour, with the last tour at 4 p.m.
  • Reservations and Walk-ins: Advance online booking is advised, though walk-ins are welcome. Private and specialty tours can be arranged upon request.

Location and Contact Information

Town Branch Distillery is located at 401 Cross Street, Lexington, KY 40508. For more details or to book a tour, contact the distillery at 859-255-2337 or visit their official website.

Health and Safety Measures

The distillery places a high priority on the health and safety of its visitors and staff, adhering strictly to COVID protocols as per CDC guidelines.

Unique Offerings: Part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

As a participant in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Town Branch offers a rare opportunity to enjoy both beer and bourbon tastings in one location, adding to its unique appeal.

This tour presents a rare chance to delve into the rich traditions of bourbon-making, combined with the craft of brewing, making it a standout experience for those who appreciate both these artisanal processes.

Flask & Barrel Review of Town Branch Distillery

As someone who’s toured more distilleries than I can count, I approached Town Branch Distillery with a good deal of excitement and, admittedly, a bit of skepticism. After all, what could this place offer that I hadn’t already seen? Well, I’m glad to say my visit was nothing short of impressive, earning a solid 4.7 out of 5 in my book.

First off, the unique combo of brewery and distillery here is a real treat. It’s not every day you get to delve into both worlds in one spot. The tour itself was insightful, striking a perfect balance between informative and laid-back. As a collector, I’ve seen my fair share of production processes, but Town Branch’s approach is special. There’s a palpable sense of passion and craft in every corner.

The tasting session was the highlight for me. Their bourbons have this rich complexity that I look for, and getting to sample the beers was an unexpected bonus. I particularly appreciated the Small Batch Straight Rye Whiskey for its spicy kick and the 7-year Kentucky Single Malt for its smooth character.

What stopped me from going full 5/5? Well, while the experience was top-notch, there’s always room for a bit more, perhaps in the way of a more in-depth dive into their brewing techniques or a peek into their future whiskey plans. But these are minor points in an otherwise splendid visit.

What To Do Nearby Town Branch Distillery

Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.: Apart from the Town Branch Distillery, you can explore the wider Lexington Brewing & Distilling Company. It’s a great place to dive deeper into the world of brewing and distilling, with a history that dates back to the 1890s. It’s conveniently located at the same place as Town Branch Distillery.

The Distillery District: This revitalized area brims with new businesses and entertainment options. You can enjoy a mix of local culture and history, including the James E. Pepper Distillery and various eateries and bars, all within a short distance from Town Branch Distillery.

Ethereal Brewing: For craft beer enthusiasts, Ethereal Brewing offers a range of beers from traditional to adventurous brews. It’s located in the Distillery District, making it a convenient stop after visiting Town Branch.

Goodfellas Pizzeria: This spot is perfect for grabbing a slice of New York-Style pizza in a renovated distillery space. With an impressive bar and a cozy ambiance, it’s a great place to relax and is also situated in the Distillery District.

Manchester Music Hall: Originally a bourbon warehouse in the 1800s, it now serves as a music venue. This historic site is a testament to Lexington’s rich cultural heritage and is a must-visit for music lovers.

James E. Pepper Distillery: Another historic distillery in Lexington, which offers tours and tastings. It’s an excellent choice for understanding more about the bourbon-making process and the history of the industry in the area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Town Branch Distillery?

Que Taco: It is in Lexington, KY, boasts an impressive 4.9-star rating. For a delightful Mexican dining experience, you can contact them at (859) 221-2309. They are located at 659 Plunkett St, Lexington, KY 40508.

Mad Mushroom: It is known for its delicious pizza, has a 4.2-star rating. You can reach them at (859) 252-3278 for a taste of their famed pies. Their address is 561 S Broadway, Lexington, KY 40508.

The Local Taco Lexington: With a 4.5-star rating, offers a unique taco experience. For inquiries or reservations, call them at (859) 523-3700. You can visit them at 315 S Limestone, Lexington, KY 40508.

What hotels are near Town Branch Distillery?

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lexington-Downtown/University, an IHG Hotel: This hotel enjoys a 4.2-star rating and offers comfortable accommodations. For booking or inquiries, you can contact them at (859) 389-6800. The hotel is conveniently located at 1000 Export St, Lexington, KY 40504.

Hilton Lexington/Downtown: It holds a 4.2-star rating, providing a blend of luxury and convenience. To experience their hospitality, call them at (859) 231-9000. The hotel’s address is 369 W Vine St, Lexington, KY 40507.

Hyatt Regency Lexington: It is rated 4.3 stars, is known for its excellent service and prime location. You can reach out to them for reservations at (859) 253-1234. They are situated at 401 W High St, Lexington, KY 40507.