Kirby, WY | Wyoming Whiskey

Take a tour of the distillery and learn about producing the state’s first premium whiskey, using regional ingredients, through a select process that promotes Wyoming’s natural and human resources.
By Staff ,

Signed whiskey barrels at Wyoming Whiskey. Photo by Rob Wood.

Take a Tour
(307) 864-2116

Wyoming’s First Premium, Locally-sourced Whiskey Distillery

Kermit Sweeny, Warehouse Manager, shows off the distillery at Wyoming Whiskey. Photo by Rob Wood

The idea to create a distillery in Wyoming first occurred to founders Brad and Kate Mead during the summer of 2006. Fourth-generation ranchers, they’d recently acquired land in Kirby, WY and knew the Big Horn Basin provided the perfect environment for growing the grains necessary to make whiskey. It also provided access to a mile-deep well of limestone-rich water in Manderson, WY, which is essential for making good whiskey.

How the Distillery Got Started

After verifying the viability of the natural resources, the Meads, joined by business partner David DeFazio, set about building their distillery. They hired a Riverton-based architect, a construction company out of Cody, and used all Wyoming businesses to bring their dream to fruition. The one exception they made to this rule was to use a Kentucky company to install the barrel racks in their first warehouse.

Once they had their facilities underway, they set out to find a best-in-class master distiller. In 2007, Brad and Kate found their perfect candidate in Steve Nally. Steve spent 33 years at Maker’s Mark, working his way up from warehouse guard to distiller and earning a spot in the Bourbon Hall of Fame. Brad and David gave Steve a taste profile and challenged him to develop a recipe to make their taste vision a reality. After experimenting with a number of strains of yeast, the group agreed on a recipe and taste profile, which has remained essentially unchanged since its creation. WW’s main product is a small-batch, sour mash bourbon with a medium amber color, moderate body, and a mild and smooth finish. It has nose of fruit and floral notes as well as caramel, vanilla, and oak, and a palate of vanilla, caramel, fruit, and oak.

Inside Wyoming Whiskey. Photo by Rob Wood

Using Local Grains to Make Whiskey

Wyoming Whiskey sources all of its grains from growers within a 100-mile radius of Kirby. All of the grains are purchased whole and milled onsite daily to ensure maximum freshness. The working part of the distillery operates four days a week, milling grains, making mash, and rotating the mixtures through the fermentation, distillation, and aging processes. The distillation equipment is made of copper to ensure the highest-quality end product. The whiskey is aged in 53 gallon barrels of charred white oak, sourced from Kentucky. WW produces 25 to 30 barrels of whiskey each week and approximately 1,300 barrels each year.

Brad, Kate, and Dave have made it Wyoming Whiskey’s ongoing mission to produce the state’s first premium whiskey, using regional ingredients, through a select process that promotes Wyoming’s natural and human resources, and it is this mission that dictates every sourcing and production decision they make.

Take a Tour of the Distillery

Wyoming Whiskey offers tours Monday through Friday and on Saturdays during the summer. After the tour, head over to the Whiskey Shop for a proper tasting and a chance to buy unique WW products and gear.

Tour Hours

›› Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or by reservation)
›› Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., from Memorial Day through Labor Day

The Whiskey Shop

›› Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
›› Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Memorial Day through Labor Day

For more information:
(307) 864-2116
100 South Nelson, Kirby, Wyoming 82430