Meredith M. Grelli in Pittsburgh

Entrepreneur and whiskey distiller Meredith Grelli shares why the city is such a hub of innovation.

By Google Arts & Culture

Meredith M Grelli

American whiskey was born in Pittsburgh. At the height of Whiskey making we were producing half a barrel of whiskey for every man, woman and child in America. Pittsburgh has always been a hotbed of innovation, in alcohol and beyond.

From whiskey to the pull tab on beer cans, from glass and steel to artifical intelligence and robots, we’ve pioneered industry after industry. This City is just oozing with an up-by-your-bootstraps entrepreneurial spirit.

Meredith & Alex Grelli: James Beard Nomination

So one of the most inspiring spots to hang out is the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University (full disclosure, I’m a faculty member there). In this gleaming building entrepreneurs are working on startups to address some of society’s biggest challenges:

Climate, infrastructure, food--and using the world class technology coming out of the Universities to do so. 

Halvard Grimstad, mechanical engineer, in field with agriculture robot which aims to improve farming (2020-05-13) by thisisengineeringMuseum of Engineering Innovation

There are so many visionary companies getting off the ground in Pittsburgh—from self-driving car companies including Argo AI to language learning leader Duolingo. Fifth Season founder Austin Webb formed a robotics-driven agriculture start up which is changing the way we farm...

... using less water and less land — and they are producing delicious salads to boot. 

Another Pgh innovator, Leah Lizarondo pioneered a tech-based food recovery solution with her non-profit 412 Food Rescue, which mobilizes thousands of regional volunteers to redistribute food which would otherwise go to waste to people all over the region who need it.

Wigle Distillery: Eau de Pickle Bridge Photo by Meredith Meyer Grelli

Pittsburgh, home of Heinz, is also the mother of the pickle! At Wigle Whiskey and Threadbare Cider & Mead, we're suckers for anything fermented. We love celebrating the pickle in an annual festival on the downtown bridges and roads.

Called Picklesburgh, the Festival brings together hundreds of thousands of fermentation enthusiasts and food and beverage innovators, sampling their pickled wares.

We can't wait to have you in Pittsburgh!


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