BRISTOL, PA — On the heels of gaining Whisky Advocate’s revered 2015 Craft Whiskey of the Year Award last December, as well as having their Vermouth Finish Rye Whiskey recognized by Wine Enthusiast as one of the Top 100 Spirits of 2015, Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye has expanded their distillery from 6,000 to 10,000 square feet and purchased new equipment, while also adding a regional sales person and an apprentice distiller to work under Founders Herman Mihalich and John S. Cooper.
Five years after launching as the first whiskey distillery in PA since the 1980s, Mihalich and Cooper, whose company is known for consistently making every drop of whiskey from scratch since commencing operating, are adding employees and additional equipment, following an incredible increase in demand in light of the two highly respectable awards.
Dad’s Hat began shipping its first bottles in early June of 2012, which was just about a year after starting production at the Bristol distillery. Since then, the company has expanded sales to nearly 20 states, and over 25 countries overseas. The new production capacity, which will be expanded by a remarkable 250%, will allow the company to expand sales in markets it serves and to add new markets.
Dad’s Hat only makes rye whiskey — a quarter cask aged rye, and two double finished ryes (aged a second time in vermouth barrels and port wine barrels after aging in new oak barrels). As of 2015, a fourth expression was added to the range with the introduction of Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Straight Rye Whiskey. This whiskey, aged at least 3 years in 53 gallon new oak barrels, was an important addition to the company’s rye whiskey lineup.
“It was a fundamental game changer,” Cooper said of the Whisky Advocate award. “The phones have been ringing off the hook. Demand is a wonderful problem to have, but as the interest level is going up, under no circumstance, will we reduce our quality.”