"Meet the Merchant" was created to introduce the individuals behind the boutiques, restaurants and galleries in Historic Park City. This month we introduce you to Jane and David Perkins with High West Distillery. Dave was born in Denver, CO and Jane was born in Bethlehem, PA. Dave and Jane have been full time residents of Park City for 12 years. In 2009 High West opened in Park City and became the “world’s only ski-in gastro distillery” where visitors could experience the whiskey-making process in a restaurant serving delicious, innovative, locally sourced food designed to pair with and teach appreciation of whiskey.
Tell us about yourself.
Jane and I were engaged under the Delicate Arch in Moab, Utah. That was my little trick to get Jane to move to Utah…and it worked! Before moving to Utah, both of us worked in biotechnology. It turns out, making whiskey is “biotechnology” so it was a natural progression.
- Tell us more about your business.
High West Distillery and Saloon is a dream come true for both of us as it has allowed us to pursue our passion of not only making world class whiskey but also being able to share our love for and educate people about whiskey in the context of good food as well as the home we love, the American West. Renovating the National Garage and maintaining its history was a labor of love – we really owe a lot to the support we got from the Park City community to make High West a reality.
Describe Historic Park City in 5 words.
Charming, breathtaking, magical, uphill, nirvana.
- What is your favorite time of year in Park City? Why?
Fall. The colors are amazing and its relatively not crowded. I especially like that rare but magical snow dusting you can get with the golden leaves.
- What is your favorite time of year in Park City?
Halloween is just the best with all the local families and their adorable kids and dogs. And, if we’re lucky, it snows!
- What do you do on your day off?
There’s no place we’d rather be, than staying home in Park City. This is the ultimate place to come for a vacation, why leave it on a day off? We hike or bike or do something outside, no matter what the weather is like. It is so special here. I also like to cook something low and slow.Something we would be surprised to know about High West Distillery?
The first name for the business was “Quaking Aspen Distillery.” We decided to change the business name and logo after watching Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter and discovering a horseshoe during the renovation of the National Garage. The garage was a former livery stable.
Jane’s family was in the whiskey making business for 3 generations (1840s-1915) until Prohibition, they owned the Rochestor Distilling Co and made the famous Duffy’s Malt Whiskey.What else would you like to share with the Main Street Merchants?
We (and that includes everyone at High West) want to give a huge thanks to our wonderful, supportive home and community of Park City… we are grateful everyday for the fact the town eagerly embraced this wild idea!