Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

An Important Pittsburgh Birthday: Wigle Whiskey Turns Five

The Strip District distillery is celebrating with a release of a rare whiskey, parties and a new Downtown tasting room.



 


photo by Hal B. Klein
 

Pittsburgh Distilling Company, better known as Wigle Whiskey, is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a party on Wednesday, April 7. The Strip District business will release bottles of “Barrel No 1,” a single-barrel batch of Monongahela Rye that was distilled and barreled from one of the first runs of the distillery’s copper pot still, to celebrate the occasion.

Wigle’s team has distilled an abundance of alcohol in five years. By Grelli’s count, the distillery has released over 50 products in its relatively short history. “I thought about tallying them up, and then I got tired of counting them,” she says.

She says 4-year-old bottled-in-bond rye whiskey, Giniver (particularly the aged version) and the spirits produced in conjunction with Chatham University’s Food Studies program (of which I am an alumnus) are among her favorites. Those are some of my favorites, too; I’d add Straight Monongahela Rye and Grappa Fatto a Mano to that mix.

Wigle, which produces nearly all of its spirits to a USDA organic certification, also has been instrumental in bolstering the local grain economy, particularly with its relationship with Weatherbury Farm.
 


Photo by John Tarasi
 

Over the course of its half-decade of business, Wigle’s ownership, in conjunction with a few other Pennsylvania distilleries, has been at the forefront of modernizing several alcohol-related laws in the Commonwealth.

“The lobbying part has been part of the essential business growth. We to work to change the law every two years so we can grow as a business,” says Wigle Co-Owner Meredith Grelli.

To that end, Wigle will recognize its five-year mark several months later than it should (they started distilling in late 2011). The party on April 7 is a celebration of the opening of on-site sales to the public, which was one the first major changes to liquor law that it — alongside Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries (Boyd & Blair) and Philadelphia Distilling — helped to pass.

Another significant development was a more recent legal change which allows Pennsylvania distilleries to now open as many as five satellite locations as well as to sell their products at farmers markets and other similar exhibitions.


photo via wigle whiskey
 

Wigle currently operates two locations — the original distillery and the Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden, which opened in 2014 — and now is set to open its first non-production related venue: a tasting room at the Omni William Penn Hotel Downtown. “It’ll be a new way for people to interact and learn about Wigle and the regional history of cocktails,” Grelli says.

Next up, Wigle plans to launch a new business called Threadbare Cider, which likely will open late summer. Also in the works is a loftier goal to elevate regional identity around Monongahela rye and the pre-Prohibition whiskey produced in the area, and to help curate a Whiskey Rebellion trail from Downtown Pittsburgh to Mt. Vernon in Virginia.

“When we started the distillery, we thought it was as much about community building as it was about whiskey making. That remains true. Without that, it would be hard to do much of anything,” Grelli says.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Pittsburgh's Tomorrow – What We Need in the Future

As the year comes to a close, we look forward to what Pittsburgh can be –– and what we'd like to see change –– in the coming years.

How to Shop Like a Pro for Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh

Our guide to produce, pastries, libations and more will help your table brim with tasty treats from Pittsburgh-area businesses.

Drink Like the French on Beaujolais Nouveau Day

Why and where to celebrate on Thursday, which marks the annual release of the young wine.

‘X’ Marks the Spot for This Wedding Scavenger Hunt

She thought she was going on a simple scavenger hunt. She never dreamed it would end with a wedding.

Pittsburgh Just Dodged the Amazon Bullet

We should be relieved that the tech giant opted not to move in.

It's Official: Amazon HQ2 is Not Coming to Pittsburgh

Instead of one city, the giant retailer is splitting its second headquarters between northern Virginia and New York City.

Schoolhouse Electric Brings Hip Lighting, Coffee, to Pittsburgh

The Portland, Ore-based lighting and furnishings store, which shares space with a high-end coffeehouse from the team behind The Vandal restaurant, is located in East Liberty's Detective Building.

The 400-Word Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The Coen Brothers' western anthology is less than the sum of its parts, but it boasts some great tales.

New Restaurants That Opened in October in Pittsburgh

A tasting menu restaurant, Brazilian cuisine and new sandwich spot are among the offerings.

Steelers Have Changed the Narrative in Dramatic Fashion

A defense that was groping to accomplish the simplest of tasks has started to dominate. The offense has stopped getting in its own way and started exploding scoreboards.

The 400-Word Review: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Melissa McCarthy shines in an unconventional tale.

How to Plan Your Light Up Night Like a Pro

We've got a few tried and tested ways to enjoy the start of the holiday season without giving yourself a stress headache.

Just Films Series Opens Big Conversations

The screening series will next week feature "Served Like a Girl," about the lives of female veterans in the United States.

The 400-Word Review: Outlaw King

In Netflix's historical epic, Braveheart gets another chapter (and an upgrade).

More than $2 Million Raised in the Wake of Tree of Life Tragedy

The Tree of Life shooting shook the Pittsburgh community — but its reverberations reached way past city limits. Donors near and far have shown their support in a variety of campaigns and fundraisers.