Wigle Whiskey wants your vote.
The Strip District-based distillery is a finalist in the wine and spirits section of the food category of Martha Stewart’s American Made contest. According to its website, the initiative spotlights “the next generation of great American makers: Entrepreneurs, artisans and small-business owners who are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live.”
Wigle Whiskey opened in 2012, taking its name from distiller Philip Wigle, protagonist of the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion. Co-founders Eric Meyer and Meredith and Alex Grelli lobbied to change Pennsylvania law to allow them to distill their spirits on site in the Strip District, where they continue to use local, organic ingredients for their whiskeys, gins and other spirits.
Wigle took home six awards earlier this year from the American Craft Spirits Association, including gold medals for its organic rye and its malted rye.
The company gathered some Pittsburgh-area food bloggers to an event at the distillery on Tuesday (Stewart was not in attendance but a life-sized cardboard cutout of her was available for selfie-taking), and invited them to use Wigle’s spirits in some tasty baked treats. Among the offerings: rum balls, bourbon-infused whoopie pies, “adult” Rice Krispie treats, and the winning concoction from Gwyn Zollinger of Happy Camper Cakes. Zollinger made whiskey-infused cupcakes inside a monkeys-in-a-barrel game that came with a Wigle-themed instruction card.
Voting for the American Made’s Audience Choice award closes Oct. 19th. Finalists have a shot at a trip to Martha Stewart Living headquarters in New York City, and a $10,000 prize. Jill Steiner, Wigle’s events and public relations coordinator, said winning the contest would further highlight Pittsburgh’s role in the maker movement.
Participants can vote up to six times a day at the American Made section of Martha Stewart’s website. Its competition in the wine and spirits category includes three wineries, four distilleries, a beer company and a cider company. The Audience Choice winner will be announced on Oct. 23rd at an event in New York City.