The Pennsylvania Distillers Guild is a collaborative organization of spirits producers founded to enrich the growth of the state’s vibrant distilling industry. Our membership’s primary mission is to advance the prosperity of craft spirits in Pennsylvania with a key focus on the use of local agriculture, the state’s historical distilling legacy and educating our fellow craft distillers.
PADG Project Manager
General Manager, Pennsylvania Libations at the Reading Terminal Market
Arthur Etchells has joined the Pennsylvania Distillers’ Guild to drive recruitment, engage membership and promote Pennsylvania distillers to the public, policy stakeholders and to the dynamic distilling industry. Etchells has extensive experience in the industry, first through covering the burgeoning distilling scene as founder of Foobooz, and an editor at Philadelphia magazine, then as the manager for Manatawny Still Works’ Philadelphia locations and today as General Manager of Pennsylvania Libations at the Reading Terminal Market.
Founder & Distiller, Millstone Spirits Group
Robert Cassell is an entrepreneur, president of New Liberty Distillery in Pennsylvania, co-founder of Connacht Whiskey Company in Ireland and helped found Philadelphia Distilling, producer of Bluecoat Gin. With a growing passion for craft spirits, Rob gave testimony in 2011 to the Pennsylvania Senate Law & Justice Committee arguing for reform of Pennsylvania’s 1951 liquor code, which banned craft distilleries from selling their products on-site. Since then, he has advocated for issues affecting the industry at large and particularly for small distillers. Rob’s advocacy efforts have opened world of opportunity to the distilling community in Pennsylvania and beyond.
Founder & Distiller, Dad’s Hat Rye Distillery
Herman Mihalich’s childhood in Monessen, PA predicted his future as the founder of Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey. It was there, living in an apartment above his family’s bar, where Mihalich experienced the sights, sounds and stories that would inspire him to reintroduce the world to Pennsylvania’s once-rich rye whiskey heritage. Before coming full circle back to these roots, Mihalich made his mark as a Chemical Engineer. Fond memories of his father’s bar remained a constant in Herman’s life and ultimately led him to realize his life’s ambition in 2010, when he launched the Dad’s Hat Distillery in Bristol, PA.
PADG Interim Board Member
Co-Founder and Managing Member, Liberty Pole Spirits
A long time whiskey enthusiast and hobby distiller, Jim and his family decided to open Liberty Pole Spirits as he was contemplating retirement from a 30 year career in the investment management industry. After researching the rich whiskey heritage of western PA, the Hough’s decided to open their new grain to glass whiskey distillery in downtown Washington, PA in 2015. Utilizing PA grains and traditional pot stills, the distillery seeks to honor the rebellious farmers of western PA who rose up to take a stand against the unfair whiskey tax levied in 1791 by then Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.
PADG General Counsel
Attorney, Norris McLauglin, P.A. and CEO/President, County Seat Spirits
Mr. Brichta is an attorney at Norris McLaughlin’s Allentown, Pennsylvania Office practicing in the firm’s Liquor Law, Licensing, Manufacturing and Distribution Practice Group as well as the firm’s Business Law Practice Group. In addition, Attorney Brichta has owned and operated County Seat Spirits craft distillery in the Lehigh Valley since 2014 producing a range of spirits and has taught distillation and craft distillery operations as part of Northampton County Community College’s Hospitality Management and Craft Beverage Programs.