A growing number of Wharton grads are becoming entrepreneurs, and a small but growing subset of them are flocking to the craft distilling business. The craft spirits sector has seen a market revenue increase of 35.2 percent in the past year, and Wharton alumni are mixing it up in their own ways in unique and growing business.

John Cooper W78 and Herman Mihalich CHE80 WG84, who met as fraternity brothers at Penn, have made a name for themselves and their signature Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania-style rye whiskey after founding Mountain Laurel Spirits in Bristol, Pennsylvania.

A more recent grad, James Yoakum W07, founded the first craft distillery in New Jersey, Cooper River Distillers. Yoakum and team make their own schedules, invent spice mixes and experiment with new recipes, all while having fun and running a growing business.

After selling his family company, Clement Pappas & Co in 2011, Clement Pappas WG09, decided to become an entrepreneur, and through his Wharton network, was introduced to Matthew Quigley, an aspiring craft vodka maker. Together they established Philly-based Federal Distilling.

Enjoy some of the images we captured of three craft distilling operations below. (Photo credit: Colin Lenton)


Read the full story about Wharton entrepreneurs in the craft distilling space in Wharton Magazine’s Summer 2015 issue.