Wicker named CEO of Lyons Brewing & Distilling

What began as a personal passion and a toast to family tradition for the late Dr. Pearse Lyons has become a global beverage business with six breweries and distilleries in Kentucky, USA, and in Ireland crafting an award-winning line of beers and spirits.

The legacy continues with Dr. Mark Lyons, the seventh generation of the Lyons family to be involved in brewing and distilling, as well as his mother and Pearse’s wife, Deirdre Lyons. Recently, Mark and Deirdre developed a new global brand name for their family of breweries and distilleries. Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co. now represents their beverage entities, including Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery, Pearse Lyons Distillery and Pearse Lyons Brewery. This new name is reflective of the business’ private and family-owned nature and will enable the business to better tell its story.

With the development of this new global brand, the Lyons family also began an international search for its first CEO.

“We were looking for a leader who shares our team-focused values, commitment to excellence and passion for brewing and distilling,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president of Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co. “We were delighted to find those qualities in Lisa Wicker. When Lisa and I met, one of the elements that stood out most to me was her background as a scientist and journalist. As we appoint our first-ever CEO for Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co., it seems fitting that we found someone who, like my father did, has a deep enthusiasm for and expertise in the craft — both the science and the storytelling.”

Wicker most recently served as the president and master distiller at Widow Jane Distillery, a rapidly growing whiskey brand in New York. Her early interest in the beverage business began on an Indiana vineyard, where she picked grapes as a farmhand and proved she was not afraid to get her hands dirty. Since then, her 20-year career journey has spanned many facets of the spirits industry, including winemaking, whiskey production, product development and fermentation management. She has held progressive roles in distilling and management at Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky; Starlight Distillery in Starlight, Indiana; and Preservation Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky.

Wicker’s strengths include building teams and mentoring others in the industry. She has trained brand ambassadors and distributors and conducted masterclasses at WhiskyFest in New York, Whiskies of the World in Washington, D.C., and The New Orleans Bourbon Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“I am delighted to return to Bourbon country and have the opportunity to be part of the next phase of growth for Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co.,” said Wicker. “The Lyons family’s story is unique in the brewing and distilling space, and the passion that the team has for their brand and their brewing and distilling processes is authentic. They have all of the elements to generate even greater success in the future, and I am looking forward to this next phase of growth alongside them.”

“Our breweries and distilleries were founded on family tradition, are steeped in rich history and are reflective of their communities,” said Lyons. “They hold stories that, when well-told, help connect people to our brand. Lisa’s experience with product development, combined with a degree in journalism and a shared belief in the power of storytelling, make her uniquely qualified to deliver on our vision for Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co. and to share what we find to be so special with even more people.”

Wicker began in her new role as CEO of Lyons Brewing & Distilling Co. in November and is based at the company’s Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. in Lexington, Kentucky.

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