From planning the region’s first Whiskey Rebellion Trail and putting the finishing touches on the soon-to-open Threadbare Ciderhouse—not to mention planning a birthday party for her six-year-old—it’s an exciting first week of summer for Meredith Meyer Grelli. Co-founder and co-owner of Wigle Whiskey—Pittsburgh’s first distillery since Prohibition—Meredith lives in Point Breeze with her husband, Alex, daughter, Effie and dog, Ducky. Co-founder of the urban beekeeping organization, Burgh Bees, Meredith also teaches at Chatham University.
Monday, June 26
Monday starts off with fairy dust.
My daughter Effie and I start the week with a check on her fairy garden in our front yard. After all the stormy weather it has begun to look less magical and more . . . ravaged. Fortunately, some fairy visitors left their glittery mark and fixed up the joint during the night. My husband Alex will find a fairy wing on our porch.
We get Effie on the bus to head to camp. Alex and I drive to the Distillery in the Strip. He heads straight for to the stills to check in on production and I check in on our inventory levels and with various suppliers.
Then I drive out to Greensburg to meet with David Kahley of The Progress Fund as we continue to chip away at building a Whiskey Rebellion Trail in the region.
I’ll take Effie to Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse to pick up materials to make decorations for her 6th birthday party on Sunday—her theme is “Patriotic Pirates” and we’ll find lots of treasure at PCCR.
Tuesday, June 27
Tuesday kicks off with construction dust.
I love waking up on Tuesdays because I get to go directly to our Northside Spring Garden neighborhood for our weekly construction meeting with our contractor Marty Marra and architects Daniel Colvard, Amanda Markovic and Anne Chen of GBBN. We are about six weeks out from finishing construction on Threadbare Ciderhouse and every week another bit of character of the space comes into satisfying relief.
Then I head up the hill to Pear and the Pickle to meet Emily Pennington, editor of Wine & Spirits Daily, for coffee and catch up. I love hearing about how the industry looks from her perch.
In the afternoon it’s time to head over to the Pittsburgh Technology Council for a session on economic development efforts in Bilbao, Spain including, of course, those led by ciderhouses.
Wednesday, June 28
Wednesday morning with our managers.
On our Wednesday morning drive, I’ll annoy my car compatriots with my Italian language tapes before gearing up for our weekly Wigle managers team meeting at DiAnoia’s where our team doubles down on cortados.
Then it’s back to the Distillery to work with designer John Tarasi so we can finalize labels to submit to the federal government.
Thursday, June 29
Thursday is play all day.
Thursday is innovation day—we’ll taste through the next planned quarter of barrels for release to decide which are ready to pull as planned and which need more time. We shift around our three-year release calendar.
In the afternoon, I sneak in a run—my favorite six-mile loop through Frick Park and Squirrel Hill—and then we head south to Block 292 for a bite before heading to the Pittsburgh Serbian Club for bingo with one of my oldest friends, Reilly Bergin Wilson. Reilly stays with us each summer when she comes to Pittsburgh to take Bosnian language classes at the University of Pittsburgh Summer Language Institute for her PhD program. As the founder of the Adventure Playground in NYC, Reilly makes sure to fill our house with reckless play all summer.
Friday, June 30
Friday, we’re yinging and yanging
A morning meeting with Leila Sleiman of VegFest about upcoming vegetarian and vegan program partnerships.
And then, for the sake of meat/veggie balance, over to Frankie’s Extra Long for a lunch date with fellow Wiglets to celebrate a team member’s good work. Afterward, we come back to the Distillery and Threadbare Cidermaker Brian Bolzan and Innovation lead Michael Foglia pour everyone their latest cider trials for review.
We cap off the day by heading over with friends to the Wry Rusky Release Party at the Barrelhouse and meet up with the Grist House crew who are there to celebrate the release of this collaboration spirit.
Saturday, July 1
Saturday is for baked goods.
Alex’s parents are coming into town from Baltimore and we’ll show off Effie’s no-training-wheels skills by biking up to Five Points Artisan Bakeshop to grab croissants, and then over to picnic and ride the hills in Homewood Cemetery.
In the afternoon, we’ll go to La Gourmandine to pick up a cake, and then the Highland Park Pool, before grabbing an early dinner with my parents and Alex’s at Park Bruges, which is Effie’s chosen annual spot for her family birthday celebration. She has a bottomless Shirley Temple with three cherries to garnish.
Sunday, July 2
Sunday is party day.
We will set up for Effie’s friends in our Whiskey Garden at the Barrelhouse where she’ll serve up Millie’s milkshakes and The Coop Truck will make tenders for the kids as they run up and down the ramp to the Barrelhouse for two hours.
In the evening we’ll stop at my favorite place in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library in Oakland, and grab books.
A good week.
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