A Rebellious Spirit
Meet the Meyers and Wigle Whiskey
Vacations are usually time to reconnect with family and recharge. Mary Ellen and Mark Meyers, who live at Summerset at Frick Park, headed up to Niagra-on-the-Lake, Canada with their family to do just that. The Meyer family returned from vacation excited by an idea for a family business. That energy, inspired by touring wineries in Canada, has been poured into Pittsburgh’s only whiskey distillery, Wigle Whiskey.
By the time the family arrived home they had already decided to open the only white whiskey distillery in Pennsylvania. Coming together from various professional backgrounds, each family member quickly found a niche in their new venture. The Meyers, along with their children, Meredith, Eric, Jeff and son-in-law Alex, all pitched in to learn the history and study the art of distillation at Michigan State’s agriculture school. They also help to handle marketing, web design and all the aspects of running a business. Mary Ellen scouted locations, and about a year ago they began intense renovation of a former machine shop. They ordered a large distillation tank from Germany and had all the equipment installed. “It was unique. The people setting up all this equipment, the electricians and plumbers, they had never done this before and we hadn’t either,” Mary Ellen recalls.
Wigle Whiskey opened its doors for tours in December 2011. Mark notes, “the response has been very positive.” Located in the Strip District, the distillery is housed in a bright, open, modern space that was intentionally designed to be welcoming and to serve as a community gathering place. Despite being open for only a few months, it has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, welcoming over 100 visitors every week. Mark adds, “We’ve really had a great response. People have been very, very supportive.”
While whiskey seems like a new idea in Pittsburgh, it’s not. The distillery is named after a local distiller, Philip Wigle, who in 1794, defended his right to distill by getting into a fight with the tax collector. This helped to start the Whiskey Rebellion. Wigle Whiskey creates a smooth blend of old and new by explaining the rich history of the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania during the tour of its fresh, modern distillery. “Monongehela Rye was world famous,” explains Mary Ellen, but then farmers were offered land to grow corn in Kentucky, so many left. Mary Ellen, who grew up in Southwestern Pennsylvania, remembers the Whiskey Rebellion as only a quick mention in the history books. “Now I read it as one of the most pivotal events in our history that was very underplayed. It was the first time our constitution was really tested.”
Wigle Whiskey offers two types of whiskey, rye and white wheat. Both are organic. They also strive to buy grain locally. Half of the production is put up to age for two years and the other half is bottled right away. The whiskey that is not aged is referred to as white whiskey. Mark serves as the master distiller and explains, “what we do is make beer. Whiskey is distilled beer.” He estimates that they use about “1000 tons of grain to make about 286-300 bottles of 80 proof.” About twenty restaurants carry their whiskey and many have created their own signature Wigle cocktail. The Meyers have also developed a cocktail for Summerset at Frick Park.
Wigle’s Summerset Cocktail
1oz Wigle white rye whiskey
3 oz pomegranate juice
Place whiskey and pomegranate juice in glass with ice
Top with a few ounces of ginger beer
Very light and refreshing!
Wigle Whiskey offers tastings, tours of the facility and drink-making classes. The space is also available for private functions. Thanks to recent changes in state laws, whiskey can be purchased on the premises, either by the bottle or in a barrel that can be aged at home. Tours are held daily 4:30-7 pm M-F and 12-5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. This link to their website provides information on booking tours and general information.
Beautiful End-Unit Townhome
Move Right Into the Neighborhood!
Stately End-Unit Town Home Won’t Last Long!
118 Overton Lane, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 – listing for $659,000
Rare resale in the desirable Summerset at Frick Park community. Built in 2008, this stunning brick end-unit Townhome is equipped with energy efficient upgrades galore! This 3,100 square foot home features 10′ ceilings, hardwood floors, crown moulding, custom built-ins, window seat and plantation shutters. It has 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, attached 2 car garage and a convenient 1st floor laundry room with full sized stackable washer/dryer and utility sink. The large covered porches provide ample outdoor space, perfect for entertaining and grilling.
The whole home is wired for integrated sound, security, high speed wireless and is steps away from the pools, playground, gym & community center! The monthly HOA fee covers all exterior maintenance, snow removal and landscaping.
Click here for more pictures of 118 Overton Lane
To view the Multilist, click here.
Contact Melissa Reich at 412.215.8056 or at Reich@rubinoffcompany.com
Going Up and Moving Fast…
At Summerset at Frick Park, new energy-efficient homes are going up fast in the heart of the city, close to what matters. New families will be soon be calling this great neighborhood home. It’s not too late to reserve a lots in this new phase of construction.
Contact Melissa Reich at 412-215-8056 to choose your homesite before they’re all gone!
To see more photos of our construction progress, click here.
Partnership Builds Weather Tight Homes
From the very beginning, Summerset at Frick Park was a bold undertaking: creating an expansive new traditional neighborhood on reclaimed land in the heart of the city of Pittsburgh. But just as bold was the partners’ commitment to home building practices that far exceeded the prevailing standards for energy-efficiency and sustainability.
To help fulfill this commitment, Summerset Land Development Associates (SLDA) chose Pittsburgh-based IBACOS, Inc. to define exactly how the home builders would achieve these high standards. Founded in Pittsburgh in 1991 to explore the relationships between a home’s systems and to investigate improved methods of design and construction, IBACOS had already earned a nationally-acclaimed reputation for enabling the housing industry to deliver high-quality, high-performance homes. Their expertise led to the development of the Summerset at Frick Park Performance Standards. Anthony Grisolia, Building Expert Services Manager for IBACOS, has been working with the partners of Summerset at Frick Park since the project inception. “Summerset at Frick Park was groundbreaking for IBACOS. It was the first community in Western Pennsylvania for whom we developed high performance building standards that went beyond building codes and energy codes. These standards made all the homes more durable, energy-efficient and comfortable. For IBACOS, this project is a success.” The partnership with IBACOS has produced outstanding results: homes that exceed the standards of a house built “to code” by more than 30%.
With IBACOS’ guidance, the Summerset at Frick Park home builders updated some of their construction methods and selected new materials to improve energy efficiency, increase durability, reduce maintenance and provide greater comfort and safety, often while reducing the environmental impact. Some of these features might be evident when walking through a Summerset home, such as tankless hot water heaters. Some may not be as as evident, such as low-e coating on the windows or fiber cement board siding instead of wood. These materials don’t alter the look of the home, but offer advantages that pay off for the homeowner.
Many of the changes are invisible in a finished home. The builders implemented new framing techniques such as three-beam corners which allow the builder to insulate where exterior corners meet. Likewise, ladder framing where interior walls meet exterior walls provides a pocket for insulation; both methods dramatically reduce the energy loss that is typical in a conventionally-framed house.
Murray Rust, founder and partner of homebuilder Montgomery & Rust, Inc. credits the partnership with IBACOS for improving not only the efficiency of their product, but the marketability of the Montgomery & Rust built homes. Each home they build is not just beautiful and comfortable but is more economical to maintain. “Our homes save money for our customers by reducing the total cost of ownership through lower utility bills, lower maintenance with more durable materials and higher resale values than comparable homes. Even though these features may cost a little more upfront, the homeowner can realize substantial savings over the life of the home.”
The relationship with IBACOS continues today as their Building Performance Specialists help to ensure that each home builder meets or exceeds the original Summerset at Frick Park Performance Standards. IBACOS Building Performance Specialists inspect the workmanship throughout the building process. As the home nears completion, they conduct blower door tests to measure air leakage in the homes, a key indicator of energy-efficiency. From foundation to shingle, excavation to move-in, IBACOS helps the builders of Summerset at Frick Park fulfill their commitment to building high-quality, energy-efficient homes that are a pleasure to live in for years to come.
A Dream Home
When Marie Elash decided it was time to find a new home, she had a number of compelling reasons to look at Summerset at Frick Park. First of all, she had family living there who loved the neighborhood and the lifestyle it afforded them. “My brother and his family live just down the street, and we take advantage of the pool and community center. It makes it the perfect place to live.”
Just as exciting for Marie, an attorney with a passion for interior design, was the notion of creating her dream home by building it from the ground up. “I was fortunate to work with a builder that I had established a close personal rapport with.” Marie wanted to make sure her home had all the character of older homes, and one of the personal touches she added was incorporating an antique mantel piece in the living room. “When I said that I had a mantel piece from the 1800s that I wanted to go in my living room, he was very accommodating.” The builder, Kacin & Co., accommodated a number of Marie’s requests, including creating a special mounting for her imported blown glass chandelier. “They went out of their way to make this the home of my dreams.”
Another great feature of Marie’s new home is the ample storage for clothing and personal items. This was a huge change from her previous home, which, like many Pittsburgh houses, lacked closet space. “Now, because I can put so much of my stuff away, the whole house has a cleaner look.”
Another significant difference between her old home and her new home is the remarkable reduction in the cost of utilities. “My previous home was only about half the size of this house, but my utility bills have been cut in half. The energy efficiency of new construction is just unsurpassed.”
Marie recently became engaged to Jeff Stapinski, who shares Marie’s enthusiasm for the home’s creature comforts. “I love the open floor plan and having the grill on the side porch. It has a dedicated gas line so there are no tanks to fill. And it’s so close to the kitchen so I can grill out there all year round.”
For Marie, the experience of building her dream home was so positive, it led to an unanticipated result: she plans to change careers and start her own interior design business.
The Inside Story
Reflecting Your Personal Styletyle
If you think all the interiors of the homes at Summerset at Frick Park match the traditional exteriors, you’re in for a surprise. With the different home styles available and a variety of open floor plans to choose from, there are nearly limitless options available for customizing your home to suit your taste and the way you live.
Whether your taste leans towards traditional, modern or somewhere in between, a variety of colors, finishes and appliances are available to reflect your unique style. Use the wide variety of the colors and textures of walls, counters, tile and flooring available to express your design personality. Choose rich, jewel-toned wall colors for a more traditional decor or go light and airy, with soft pastels that are reminiscent of a beach vacation. Select sleek, modern cabinets and stainless steel appliances for a streamlined, professional-looking kitchen for some serious cooking or pick bright, cheery, white raised-panel cabinets with a large center island to create an environment that invites informal gatherings and large family meals. Rooms can be dedicated to suit your lifestyle as well. Create a music room, library, office or art studio to further personalize your interior space. No matter your style or lifestyle, many options are available to allow you to make you new home the dream home you’ve always envisioned.
The gallery below shows just some of the ways that homeowners at Summerset at Frick Park have made their interior space uniquely their own. Let this gallery be an inspiration to you as you plan your new home at Summerset at Frick Park.