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Personality Test: Wigle Whiskey's Eric Meyer

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By Pittsburgh The Tribune-Review
Friday, April 13, 2012, 3:40 p.m.

Eric Meyer left government work to distill whiskey for what appears to be a simple reason.

"I wanted to make people happy or work with people who wanted to be happy," he says.

Meyer and his father, Mark, run Wigle Whiskey, the distillery that just opened in the Strip District. It is the city's first such industry since Prohibition.

The Hampton native, who now lives across the street from the distillery, was a philosophy major at the University of Vermont who earned a master's degree in public policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

He was working for a municipal government in the state of Washington -- and not enjoying it -- when he found whiskey to be the answer.

For most people, that means a chemical problem, but for him it meant discovering a business.

"I wanted to come home and my father wanted to open a distillery, so it all worked out," he says.

Mark Meyer is the master distiller at Wigle, while Eric handles many of the business chores. He also is one of the main figures at the tours and tastings Wigle offers.

Wigle Whiskey is open for sales, tours and tastings from 4:30 to 7 p.m. weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Details:

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:

Robert Mitchum, because he found humor in every situation

Childhood hero and why:

Tim Wakefield, because he relied on the knuckleball, something unpredictable and uncontrollable

My favorite reality show:

I don't own a TV.

Favorite brunch food:

Garlic bagel with lox and cream cheese

Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

E. I hate sports

A. Pirates

My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

Satchel Paige

Favorite lunchtime spot:

Lucy's Sandwich Stand on Penn Avenue in front of the old Firehouse

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is:

Frick Park

Three people I'd love to have dinner with:

Graham Greene, Bob Dylan, Satchel Paige

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

Vietnamese Hoagie from Lucy's Sandwich Stand on Penn Ave in front of old Firehouse

The oldest thing in my refrigerator is:

Sweet vermouth

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

Professional baseball pitcher

Exercise I hate most:


I'm deathly afraid of:


The first band I saw in concert (when and where):

Jimmy Paige and Robert Plant at the Civic Arena

TV marathon I could watch all day and why:

I don't own a TV.

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark.

Frick Park

Saturday mornings you'll find me:

At Wigle Whiskey, finishing a final distillation and preparing for the day's tours.

The worst advice I ever received:

Make sure the colors of your logo are black and gold

In high school, I was:

Excited to leave

The most famous person I ever became friends with:

Is someone who is not famous yet

What you'll always find in my glove compartment:

I don't have a car.

If I wasn't a whiskey executive, I'd be:

A film director

The last book I read:

Gordon Wood, "Creation of the American Republic"

My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:

Vincent's Pizza Park

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:

"It's a Wonderful Life"

My first job:

Lawn mower

My worst job:

Deck hand on boat

My favorite cable channel:

I don't own a TV.

Life would be better without:

Television and cars

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