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Whiskey and Wine in Wyoming

Wyoming Whiskey and wineries contribute to the state's growing spirits industry.

By Pamela Coyle on February 13, 2014

Craft brewers are becoming plentiful in Wyoming, but producing high-quality beer is not Wyoming’s only talent.

From the small batch bourbons of Wyoming Whiskey to the unexpected tastes of Irvin Cellar Winery, spirits in Wyoming have never been more, well, spirited.

Steve Nally, master distiller for Wyoming Whiskey, learned his craft as master distiller at Maker’s Mark, and says from the very beginning, Wyoming Whiskey has focused on being a local product, the first legally distilled spirits made in the state since Prohibition.

“While we were building the recipe, I talked to farmers here about different grains we could use. All of them come from Wyoming,” Nally says.

When Wyoming Whiskey released its first bottles in 2012, says Nally, “nobody in the state had tasted our whiskey, but we had over 3,000 people supporting us that day. That just tells you how much Wyoming people want to support local products.”

Perhaps there is no better representative of the spirits industry in Wyoming than Kathleen Irvin of Irvin Cellar Vineyards in Riverton, one of a half-dozen or so wineries in the state. Irvin speaks of her wine with equal parts fondness and salesmanship, and is forthcoming about the hard work she’s put in to build such quality from scratch.

From fruity dessert and honey wines to unexpected offerings like jalapeno wine, Irvin produces flavors to match the beauty of the land that bears the grapes she crushes – and her customers appreciate it, whether they live in the shade of her vines or across the globe.

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