The story is wacky:
In 1999, the president of the Irish animal food & nutrition company Alltech, Dr. Pearse Lyons, called the owner of what was then just a brewery to get his son an internship. The owner said sure, but since the place was closing for good that next Friday, he'd better hurry. So Dr. Lyons bought the brewery, and a year later started making Kentucky Ale -- a cross between an Irish Red and English Pale available in 13 states, Ireland, Canada, and of course China. Eight years later, they built out the distillery.