Imagination Has No Limits.

How Do You Turn A Dream Into Whiskey Business?

For Dad’s Hat Rye distillery Founder Herman Mihalich, the seeds of his life’s passion were sowed in his Pittsburgh-area childhood. It was then, growing up in an apartment above his family’s Monessen, Pennsylvania bar, where he would experience the sights, sounds and stories that would never leave him. Things like tales of the past. Like the care his father would put into carefully making a selection from his crowded hat rack and donning it each morning before he left for work.

Signature works hand-in-hand with Dad’s Hat to craft a brand unique to the spirits world yet true to their Pennsylvania roots.

It was there, where visions of revitalizing a long dormant Pennsylvania Whiskey making tradition were sparked. Of course, the journey to rye grain and malt took plenty of time and effort. Not to mention years of planning and a partner with the same drive, ambition and most of all, a lifelong love of rye whiskey, to help realize his mission.


Mihalich Family Bar in Monessen, PA (circa 1940)


The Dad’s Hat Rye distillery has won multiple craft spirits awards

That person would come in the form of Bronx, NY native, and fellow Penn alum, John Cooper. It was at that Ivy League institution where a shared passion for the spirit helped spur a lifelong friendship between the two — one that long preceded their status as business partners.

Fueled by a New York Times story about the re-emergence of rye whiskey, Mihalich and Cooper joined forces to found Mountain Laurel Spirits in Bristol, Pa. — becoming the first Pennsylvania distillery to make rye whiskey since 1990.

One of the newly-formed distillery’s first endeavors was to seek out a creative team capable of transforming their burgeoning dream into a marketplace reality.

That agency would be Signature Communications.

Once on-board, our initial goal was to come up with what, exactly, to call their yet-to-exist product. After exhaustive exploration, we proposed ‘Dad’s Hat’ in honor of Mihalich’s father. The idea proved to be a hit with the proud son and his business partner, resulting in a resounding ‘yes’. With a name in place, we next set about the monumental task of building, developing and promoting the brand completely from the ground up.

“Signature’s been helping us tell our story right from the beginning. While we were formulating our rye whiskey, they were creating our brand — from the ground up. Hats off to Signature Communications!”

— Herman Mihalich, Founder / Dad's Hat Rye

From naming, visual identity and brand voice to product design and web development, Signature has guided the Dad’s Hat brand from two college friends with a barrel aged vision to a top shelf market presence. With multiple varieties and limited editions available in stores, bars and restaurants across the country and Europe, Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey is the toast of the whiskey drinking public.

Now, more than six years on, and boasting six distinct varieties of their trademark rye whiskey, Dad’s Hat has carved out an indelible niche in the craft spirits market, with availability in over a dozen states and parts of Europe.

At Signature, we’re proud to say we were there every ‘sip’ of the way.

Would you like to learn more about what Signature can do for your brand? Call today.

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