What does a week in the life of Wigle Whiskey’s Events and Public Relations Director Jill Steiner taste like? Originally from West Chester, Pa., Jill has been a proud Pittsburgher for eight years. While not sipping whiskeys, Jill can be found hiking with her pup, and volunteering with Carnegie Museum of Art’s Skibo Society and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Monday, February 13
As a self-professed morning person, I begin Mondays at 6:15 a.m., followed by a run as soon as the sun comes up. Living in Troy Hill, I have stellar access to the North Shore River Trail. Nothing makes me appreciate Pittsburgh’s beauty and unique landscape more than experiencing a route that changes from pedestrian trail, to stadium, to bridge, to a view down the grand Ohio River in the span of a 40-minute run.
After breakfast, it’s time to travel the mile across the Allegheny to work at Wigle Whiskey. The distillery operates as a workspace, production facility, event venue, and more.
At noon, we’ll have three staff at the ready to receive three back-to-back tour groups from the American Farm Bureau Federation. Excited to show off our nerd knowledge of PA’s grain agriculture.
Tonight we’re hosting a fundraiser for a local nonprofit as part of our Bantam Nights program. After setup, I’ll walk to Kaya (waving at Sherri and Dan from Thin Man Sandwich Shop on the way) for drinks. Although not a Pittsburgh classic, they make the best pisco sour, ever.
Tuesday, February 14
Happy Valentine’s Day! Nothing says romance like bureaucracy and paperwork. It’s our deadline to submit a label for the newest product in the innovation pipeline, an apple brandy made from local fruit.
Afterward, I’ll head downtown to VisitPittsburgh‘s offices to talk about this year’s conference and event schedule. Staying on top of the city’s movers and shakers gives me a good idea of people in need of event space, something Wigle is not in short supply of. We’re opening our third venue, Threadbare Ciderhouse and Meadery, this spring.
At the distillery, we’re hosting “Sweetheart Tours” tonight during extended hours for Valentine’s Day. I’ll stop by to “test” one of the chocolates we’re featuring on a pairing flight with Mon Aimee Chocolate.
Then, in a Liz Lemon-esque turn of events, I’m off to the dentist.
I’ll end by day with a nightcap at Grapperia (because it really would be sad to end Valentine’s Day at the dentist). Lou DiDonato makes some of the city’s best cocktails, and I hear he’s dreamt up some rosé wine gummies for the holiday.
Wednesday, February 15
After walking the dog, I’m heading to the Ace Hotel to discuss upcoming events. Not a bad excuse to do a couple hours of work perched on mid-century furniture with well-crafted coffee in hand.
I’ll swing by the distillery to touch base with my team, but not for long. We’re labeling bottles which requires a space-intensive layout, taking up much of the work area. It’s an impressive feat headed up by our owner Mary Ellen Meyer, who’s single-handedly scaled the process up from a few hundred bottles a month to a few thousand.
From there, I’ll head over to Southern Tier Brewing Company’s new North Shore Brew Pub, which coincidentally is the workplace of my fiancé, David Harries. David’s working on a few brewery-exclusive beers that he’s looking for feedback on. Yes, I’m a fortunate lady.
Thursday, February 16
I’m meeting with Rob from CraftPittsburgh to visit the Threadbare Ciderhouse site. He’s arranged for a piece in an upcoming issue on the buildout, so it’s time to dig out the hard hats and venture into what’s currently a pretty rough space. I can’t help but get excited each time I see the rapid progress. Every day is one step closer to opening.
After work, I’ll go to Butcher and the Rye for a drink with one of Pittsburgh’s most knowledgeable drinks professionals: Cortney Buchanan. Butcher’s go-to Scotch guy, Cortney has agreed to taste me through a few of his favorites. Call it a hobby or call it work—I can’t wait to nerd out with another whiskey lover.
Friday, February 17
Tonight is the release of Wigle’s seasonal ginger whiskey, Afterglow, and kickoff of our Ginger Whiskey Weekend. Daytime is prep for the release party, which begins at 6 p.m. We’ve teamed up with Southern Tier and Baby Loves Tacos for a “Spicy Soiree” featuring all things ginger-y.
Saturday, February 18
David and I will join up with my sister Claire who recently moved to Pittsburgh. The three of us have plans to walk around Frick Park with the never-ending goal of tiring out the dog. While there, we’ll peek into the new Frick Environmental Center to see the finished space.
Sunday, February 19
Coffee, paper, couch.
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