A Rebellious Whiskey
Wigle Whiskey (pronounced "wiggle") is an artisan small batch whiskey distillery in the Strip District neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Wigle Whiskeys are the flagship products of Pittsburgh Distilling Company, LLC, which is entirely family owned and operated. When it opened in 2012, Wigle was the first distillery to open in Pittsburgh since Joseph S. Finch's distillery, located at South Second and McKean streets, closed in the 1920s. At that time, only two other distilleries existed in the rest of Pennsylvania.
Founders Mark Meyer, Mary Ellen Meyer, Meredith Meyer Grelli, Eric Meyer, Alexander Grelli, and Jeff Meyer named the distillery after Philip Wigle, a man convicted of treason in 1794 and sentenced to hang for his actions in the Whiskey Rebellion, before being pardoned by George Washington. Wigle had beaten up a tax collector and participated in burning down his house.
The distillery offers tours, which include some history of the Whiskey Rebellion.
Current products include "white" wheat and rye whiskeys, as well as a Dutch-style ginever, wheat and rye whiskeys aged in small casks, organic bitters, and a rum-like spirit distilled from buckwheat honey. Each month they feature an experimental, limited-edition spirit called Wigle's Whim. Wigle also sells small oak barrels for customers to age their own whiskey in a small cask.
The Meyer family worked with the Artisan Distilling Program at Michigan State University throughout the start up of the distillery. The founders of Wigle Whiskey were instrumental in creating new legislation, which led to the passing of a state law in December 2011 that allows for craft distilleries to sell their own products on site.
In 2013, the Meyer family opened a new facility in the Northside area of Pittsburgh, the Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse and Garden. A former produce warehouse, the barrelhouse offers a new destination for tastings and tours. In addition, the family purchased two vacant lots alongside the barrelhouse that will be used to plant botanicals used in the spirits.
In April 2017, the Wigle Whiskey Tasting Room opened at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Wigle's third physical location, the Tasting Room serves as both a cocktail bar and bottle shop.
- Toland, Bill (May 22, 2011). "Pittsburgh gets its first distillery since before Prohibition". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Toland, Bill (May 9, 2012). "Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh's first distillery since Prohibition, to open soon". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Hogeland, William (2006). The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America's Newfound Sovereignty. New York: Scribner. p. 238. ISBN 0-7432-5490-2.
- Millman, China (May 9, 2012). "Wigle Distillery offers tours of their Strip District operation". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Begos, Kevin (March 15, 2012). "Whiskey tastings are in; wine tastings so yesterday". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Karlovits, Bob (September 11, 2012). "Whiskey fans can try hand at custom libations". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- Ingle, Laura (April 3, 2012). "Pittsburgh, from 'steel city' to 'whiskey town'". Fox News. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Roberts, Larry (April 21, 2017). "Wigle opens shop in Omni William Penn lobby". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved August 22, 2017.