The folks at Wigle Whiskey must never sleep. Since opening in 2012, Wigle has released around 40 different spirits, collaborated with countless local businesses and nonprofits and opened a North Side barrelhouse & whiskey garden. Their rapid expansion will continue this fall with the launch of Threadbare Cider, a cider house and meadery on an acre-plus site in Spring Garden.
The name Threadbare refers, presumably, to the well-worn clothing favored by the new venture’s main muse, John Chapman. Better known as Johnny Appleseed, Chapman lived in Pittsburgh for a time, likely residing there during the Whiskey Rebellion. While the apples he sowed from seed were terrible for eating, they made a fine hard cider. Just as Philip Wigle inspired Wigle Whiskey, Threadbare will crystallize around the quirky spirit of Johnny Appleseed.
“We believe the American cider industry is where craft beer was 15 years ago—incredibly ripe for innovation and exploration,” explains co-owner Meredith Grelli in a press release. To that end, the Wigle team is currently diving into the wide world of cider, which can vary greatly depending on the apples, yeast and methods of production.
Threadbare will also produce mead, an ancient beverage made by fermenting honey. And I wouldn’t be surprised if some of this new cider makes its way over to Wigle’s Strip District distillery to be turned into brandy.
The site for Threadbare is located in the North Side’s Spring Garden neighborhood, just a few blocks from Wigle’s existing barrelhouse. The site will also boast a second barrelhouse, as Wigle has already outgrown their first one. And with Penn Brewery just minutes away, the North Side is shaping up to become one of Pittsburgh’s premier drinking destinations.