We had the opportunity to do two amazing site visits today with Pearse Lyons Distillery and another company you may have heard of, Google. Seeing Google and all of their cafes, happy employees, and modern architecture was certainly impressive, but I think its the lesson I learned at the Pearse Lyons Distillery that will stick with me for years to come.
Pearse Lyons is an Irish businessman born and raised just a few blocks away from the distillery here in Dublin. He was originally an educated yeast engineer and made his fortune producing and selling yeast. He took over an old church in the golden triangle region of Dublin and renovated it into what is now the Pearse Lyons Distillery. He picked the church because of his ties to the area, and the fact that he had 9 relatives buried in the church’s graveyard. Both the church and the graveyard were falling apart and had been forgotten when Pearse took over. In just a few short years, he was able to turn the site back around into a state of the art Whisky Distillery and is still in the process of renovating the graveyard. His investment in the graveyard has allowed archaeologists to find out so much a lot of forgotten history and people from Dublin. We heard stories of War heroes, former Guinness Brewery managers, and respected families of Dublin – all of which would have been forgotten if it wasn’t for Pearse’s investment in the project.
The tour guide admittedly told us that the Distillery was not concerned with profits (even though they make fantastic high-end whisky) but are more concerned with making an impact in the community. By the end of the tour I found myself looking up to Pearse Lyons and truly admired what he was doing. Unfortunately, Pearse passed away just a short time before we arrived here in Dublin so we weren’t able the man himself. Although this is very sad, it made the underlying message even more apparent. Pearse may not still be living, but his distillery and ongoing research will continue to leave an impact on the local community, and that’s what life’s all about.