MEET THE TEAM

RYAN MAYBEE

RYAN MAYBEE

CO-FOUNDER, J. RIEGER & CO.

Ryan is a lifelong bartender and restaurateur with expertise in the fields of wine, spirits and mixology. He is a co-founder of The Rieger restaurant in Kansas City with Chef Howard Hanna, as well as Manifesto, an intimate cocktail lounge nominated for a 2017 James Beard Award. A Certified Sommelier, as well as a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) from the Society of Wine Educators, in 2012 Ryan became the first person to complete the Bar Master Certification from Beverage Alcohol Resource in New York City. In 2013, IMBIBE Magazine named him Bartender of the Year. He has also been a finalist in the Vinos de Jerez Cocktail Competition and the Angostura Bitters Global Cocktail Challenge. A co-founder of the Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival, Ryan’s cocktails have been featured in top-tier publications including GQ, Esquire, Food & Wine and Vogue. In 2014, Ryan partnered with Andy Rieger to revive J. Rieger & Co. Ryan is also rumored to have invented ice.

TOM NICHOL

OPERATING PARTNER, J. RIEGER & CO.

Finishing his full-time career as the Master Distiller of Tanqueray in 2015, Tom Nichol has been in the distilling industry since the 1970s and has an unrivaled knowledge in spirit making. Starting his career at a Scottish Whisky distillery (Cambus) where his father also worked, Tom stayed faithful to the same company (through several mergers) for the entirety of his full-time, working career. As a recipient of the lifetime achievement award at the Gin Guild in London, only the second one awarded in history, Tom is widely considered the top Gin expert in the world.

His unique and specialized experience in Gin, Whisky, Vodka, and Neutral Spirit gives him an expertise that is unparalleled in the industry. Tom views his extensive experience to date as an extended apprenticeship for making an array of spirits. By working with other spirits and mastering each trade, he has the unique understanding to take on the complexity of distilling Gin.

Tom founded the Gin program at J. Rieger & Co. once he formally retired from Tanqueray in July 2015. With Tom also being an owner of our company, we enjoy continually learning from him each trip he makes to Kansas City. Tom now focuses on continuing to educate our team, growing our Gin program, and helping push the brand forward.

Tom still lives in the same area in Scotland where he was born and is married with two children. In his spare time, he enjoys walking, fishing, traveling and motorcycling.

STEVE OLSON

OPERATING PARTNER, J. RIEGER & CO.

One of the foremost beverage experts in the country, Steve is a dedicated degustation expert with 40+ years in the food and beverage business. He teaches, lectures, consults, and writes internationally about wine, beer, spirits, sake, and other beverages. Steve founded aka wine geek to make tasting fun by removing the intimidation factor and is also a founding partner of the Beverage Alcohol Resource program. He is also an acclaimed restaurant and bar consultant, known for designing highly creative beverage programs. He has been Santé Magazine’s Spirits Professional of the Year, Cheers Beverage Innovator of the Year, and Best Bar Mentor at the Spirited Awards at the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail.

NATHAN PERRY

HEAD DISTILLER, J. RIEGER & CO.

Nathan joined J. Rieger & Co. in 2015. He has studied Whiskey production under Dave Pickerell, former master distiller of Makers Mark, and Gin production with Tom Nichol, the former master distiller of Tanqueray. Distillation was a natural transition from his previous training at Boulevard Brewing Company. He worked in the microbiology department for five years, and developed a passion for the complexity of the production process, with oversight of new beer development, refining yeast propagation and quality assurance. A graduate of University of Missouri-Kansas City, Nathan has a BS in Biology.

DAVE PICKERELL

OPERATING PARTNER, J. RIEGER & CO.

Formally cutting his teeth in the industry in 1989, Dave Pickerell started his career as an independent consultant in the beverage alcohol industry by working on distilleries world-wide, including locations in China, Scotland, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and all over the US. In 1994, he found himself assigned to Maker’s Mark where he decided to settle down and work full-time with the brand. Progressing to become the Master Distiller and Vice President of Operations of the company, Dave formally left the large brand in 2008. Throughout his tenure, he was involved in ensuring the quality standards of Maker’s Mark 19-barrel batches were upheld by being hands-on in everything from the selection of the grains, to choosing the white oak barrels, all the way to the final Bourbon tasting.

Dave’s career in the liquor industry stems from his education and training as a chemist and his initial field work as a chemical engineer and consultant. His post-collage years began in the military, serving for 11 years as a cavalry officer with logistics, training, and parachutist specialties. He graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point with a BS in Chemistry. Dave later received his master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville.

Often referred to as the “Godfather of American Whiskey”, Dave is well known among Kentucky distillers for his breadth of knowledge in the production of American Whiskey. In addition to serving as a past chair and director for the Kentucky Distillers Association, he served as the chair of its technical committee as well. He has also served on the technical committee of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

In 2014, Dave joined J. Rieger & Co. as an operating partner and owner. He primarily focuses on overseeing our facility’s engineering, aiding in the development of our Whiskey program, and continually educating both our production and compliance teams.

ANDY RIEGER

CO-FOUNDER, J. RIEGER & CO.

A Kansas City native, Andy resurrected Jacob Rieger & Co. distillery in 2014 with Ryan Maybee. Founded in 1887 by his great-great-great grandfather, Jacob Rieger, the original distillery closed during Prohibition. A graduate of Southern Methodist University with a double major in Mathematics and Finance, Andy has a background in private equity and investment banking. His executive experience combined with a passion for manufacturing and brand-building have fueled his transition to daily operations at the distillery.

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