Pittsburgh Spirits Acquires Wigle Whiskey, Threadbare Cider


August 11, 2022

Wigle Whiskey airport

Pittsburgh-based landmark Distillery Wigle Whiskey and its sister craft cider company Threadbare Cider & Mead entered into an agreement of sale to Pittsburgh Spirits. The sale to Pittsburgh Spirits, a family-owned, sister company of Highlands Ventures, ensures that the brand will remain family-owned, grounded in Pittsburgh, and will be able to continue to expand. 

“Creating and growing Wigle and Threadbare has been the most enriching, challenging, and rewarding project we could have undertaken as a family the past decade,” says Meredith Meyer Grelli, Wigle & Threadbare Co-Founder. “We have poured every bit of ourselves into these companies. After conducting an exhaustive search for partners who would continue to grow Wigle and Threadbare, we are proud to transition our beloved companies to Pittsburgh Spirits.” 

“We interviewed prospective partners from across the country and even the world, but it was only when we talked with Pittsburgh Spirits, that we knew we had found the right successors,” added Grelli. “Our greatest hope was that Wigle and Threadbare would remain family and Western Pennsylvania owned. We know that Bob (Nutting), his family and the team at Pittsburgh Spirits will be owners devoted to quality, innovation, regional story-telling, and cultivating our team and Wigle and Threadbare’s regional and national footprint.” 

“With every conversation I had with the Meyer-Grelli family I had a deeper appreciation for how much they care about this company and the team of great people behind the growing success of these brands. Their passion is infectious,” said Bob Nutting. “We are honored to be selected as the steward of these brands and proud to remain true to what they stand for, an authentic Pittsburgh-based, family-owned company that cares deeply about the product and community.”

Wigle Whiskey re-ignited Pittsburgh’s 200 year whiskey tradition when it started distilling in 2011. Named for Philip Wigle, the man who started the 1790s Whiskey Rebellion in protest of Alexander Hamilton’s Whiskey tax — the first excise tax in American history — when he punched a federal tax collector. Wigle was the first direct to consumer craft distillery in Pennsylvania since Prohibition. Wigle founders lobbied to change 3 state laws, which helped usher in the modern craft distilling era into Pennsylvania.

Wigle ranks in the top 10% of Craft Distilleries nationwide by scale. It is a two-time James Beard Semi-Finalist and remains the most awarded craft whiskey distillery in the US for 7 Years by the American Craft Spirits Association. Wigle has been named Best Distillery in Pittsburgh for a decade from both Pittsburgh Magazine and the Pittsburgh City Paper. Wigle has also been twice named one of the Top 10 Craft Distilleries in the US by USA Today and been twice featured on the front page of the NYTimes food section. 

Threadbare, named for Pittsburgher Johnny Appleseed, who created the frontier hard cider industry, has similarly been named a top 10 Cider House in the US by USA Today and has won numerous medals from the Industry’s most prestigious competition, the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition. 

“Wigle and Threabare have become key parts of an ever evolving food scene in Pittsburgh and throughout the region,” said Eric Mauck, CEO of Pittsburgh Spirits. “Our goal is to listen and learn from the current team of experts as to how our hospitality and customer service expertise can best support the future of both brands.” 

Wigle produces, directly sells, and distributes Rye Whiskey, Bourbon as well as a wider portfolio of Ready to Drink Cocktails, Gin, Rum, Liqueurs, Amari and Bitters in ten states. At their Strip District Distillery, Wigle offers a bucket-list tour, a highly regarded bar and restaurant, mini-museum and retail store. 

Threadbare’s main Cider House location is on Pittsburgh’s North Side, where it produces Ciders and Meads from regional orchards and apiaries. Threadbare distributes its Ciders in a number of states and ships nationally. 

Graham Morrison of Chapman Associates, Jaclyn Faulds of Houston Harbaugh, and Accountant Sean Brennan of BDO, represented Wigle Whiskey & Threadbare Cider. Flaharty & O’Hara, P.C, Liquor Attorney represented Pittsburgh Spirits. 

For more information, visit https://wiglewhiskey.com/.