Sessionable is an up-close look at libations destinations throughout the Pittsburgh region. Discover where to go and what to expect as you explore our city’s incredible adult beverage scene.
Back in 2010, a wine-fueled excursion to the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, located in Southern Ontario, served as the setting for a brainstorm that soon became Wigle Whiskey. Meredith and Alex Grelli made it their purpose to bring whiskey back to its rightful birthplace in Pittsburgh and, within a few years, their distillery and tasting room in the Strip District was overflowing with award-winning whiskey, ginever, bourbon and more. So much so, plans had to be made to find a home for all those barrels while they worked their magic on the liquid inside.
This is what people in the whiskey business refer to as ‘a good problem to have.’
Fast-forward to the Summer of 2014 when Wigle first unveiled their Barrelhouse & Whiskey Garden, located in the North Side on Spring Garden Avenue behind Penn Brewery and just minutes from Downtown Pittsburgh. The 5,000-square-foot space was formerly the home of Balistreri Produce and quickly became much more than just a warehouse for storing barrels of whiskey. Libations aficionados and those looking for nothing but a good time alike have come to know the Barrelhouse & Whiskey Garden as a must-visit summer destination in the ‘Burgh, fully equipped with all the tangibles and intangibles that create a worthwhile, memorable experience.
Food trucks, live music, comfortable seating, whiskey education, adult beverages, and the outdoors. If you’re complaining, no one’s gonna listen.
The Barrelhouse & Whiskey Garden sports picnic tables and chairs in a spacious outdoor, patio-esque setting. The inside area is quaint, bright, lively, and offers seating for those who like to be close to the action. Venturing back outside, a stage rests next to the entrance and features frequent live music, most notably every Saturday for Wigle’s Mash Bill. This weekly series brings food trucks to the party to pair with local bands and your favorite adult beverages.
Speaking of adult beverages, the creative bartenders at Wigle are constantly creating new cocktails consisting of their products + fresh ingredients and science has proven nothing cuts the summertime heat like a cool, well-balanced potable. Their menu typically consists of anywhere from six different cocktails or, if the mood should strike you, you can choose to sip your favorite whiskey neat or on the rocks with no mixers. The menu is made up of four punch drinks, delivering you light, refreshing, citrusy beverages that pair perfectly with sunshine and parched throats, as well as old-fashioned barrel-aged cocktails based on Wigle’s portfolio of whiskey, gin, and other spirits.
As an added bonus, ice cream social meets happy hour as Wigle’s menu also features boozy milkshakes. These delicious treats consist of whiskey and Millie’s Ice Cream, available in two combinations: Chocolate + Wigle’s MaltMalt whiskey and Salted Caramel + Wigle’s Rye Whiskey. These are only available at the Barrelhouse, so are you on your way yet?!
Cocktails and shakes not your bag? Don’t fret. Thanks to updates to Pennsylvania alcohol distribution laws, distilleries are now permitted to carry beer made within PA borders. To celebrate these landmark changes, Wigle has partnered with several local breweries to bring you the best from Pittsburgh’s craft beer scene, as well as beers from across our Commonwealth. They boast three taps with rotating brews and every Sunday Wigle hosts Sonntag (pronounced S-ahn-t-ah-g: a German word, although one could argue its Pittsburghese influences…), an event that brings the food trucks back to the Whiskey Garden and gives you an opportunity to sample some free beer in small, 5oz. serving vessels.
One of the cornerstones of Wigle Whiskey is education. Without question, their crew knows their stuff. From the history of whiskey to the distilling process to barrel aging to every detail in between, a tour hosted by a Wigle representative is guaranteed to deliver you a wealth of knowledge that will not only up your appreciation of the product, but raise your street cred and make you look like the smartest guy or gal at your next office get-together.
Wigle’s Barrelhouse tours focus on the art and science of barrel-aging and what transpires after the distillation process while tours at the distillery in the Strip zero in on whiskey production. If either or both of these subjects spark your interest, click here to learn more and book a tour for you and your crew!
The Barrelhouse & Whiskey Garden is a tremendous venue for events both private and public and has been the scene for office gatherings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, wedding receptions, and a slew of fun events hosted by Wigle themselves. This Friday night, Wigle’s 6th Annual Tar & Feather goes down as they once again pull out all the stops (see photo left) to celebrate the Whiskey Rebellion. Grab your tickets and be part of the fun!
Also, round out June 2017 in style with a Russian Tea Party and the release of Wry Rusky, Wigle’s latest collaborative effort with Grist House, on Friday, June 30th. Reserve your tickets here.
Summer is upon us, but is quickly racing by. Before you know it, that warm embrace of Mother Nature will quickly turn into the cool slaps of Fall and the wicked leg sweeps of Winter. Don’t let another day tick off the calendar without experiencing what Wigle Whiskey’s Barrelhouse & Whiskey Garden has on the schedule. You, Wigle, and summer will appreciate your efforts.