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Rieger’s Resurgence

From Prohibition to prosperity

Who doesn’t love a good comeback story? With this event, we'll celebrate another triumphant return as we breathe new life into the J. Rieger whiskey brand.

What does it take to turn an almost forgotten neighborhood, a hidden historical gem, into the trendiest spot in town? We’re about to unveil the captivating story behind the J. Rieger – from its family roots to surviving prohibition. Paying homage to the amusement park that inspired Walt Disney, the brand stands as a testament to resilience. However, this transformation wasn’t accomplished alone. The visionaries from Gastinger Walker will share intricate details from their architectural journey, turning the dream of revival into a stunning reality.

Join us for an extra special presentation, an immersive tour, and an optional whiskey tasting at the J. Rieger distillery. Step back in time as they share the legacy of J. Rieger, weaving in stories of the neighborhood's revival and the brand’s pivotal role in this exhilarating comeback.

04.23.24 | 5:00-7:00pm
  • 5:00pm | Registration
  • 5:30pm | Program
  • Whiskey Tasting Provided
$30 + fees in advance | no tickets at door
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Ryan Maybee

As a lifelong bartender, restaurateur, certified sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) from the society of Wine Educators, Ryan Maybee, co-founder of J. Rieger & Co., is a veteran when it comes to wine, spirits and mixology.

His entrepreneurial spirit and creativity has led him to many successes including becoming the first person to complete the Bar Master Certification from Beverage Alcohol Resource in New York City, being named  Bartender of the Year by Imbibe in 2013, and a former finalist in Vinos de Jerez Cocktail Competition and the Angostura Bitters Global Cocktail Challenge. Before spearheading the resurrection of J. Rieger & Co., Maybee co-founded the Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival, two-time James Beard Semifinalist cocktail bar Manifesto, and The Rieger, located on the main floor of the Rieger Hotel building. 

It was at Manifesto—located in the basement of the Rieger Hotel—where Maybee became fascinated by the history of the building and he discovered its connection to the historic J. Rieger & Co. distillery, originally founded in 1887. From that point on, he was set on ensuring it was resurrected. After meeting Andy Rieger at the opening of The Rieger in 2010, Maybee and Rieger started putting together a plan to bring back the old distillery.

In 2014, the plan fully came to fruition and Maybee and Rieger successfully relaunched the brand with the release of Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey. As co-founder of J. Rieger & Co., Maybee has played a crucial role in reviving the brand and gaining national prestige. His creative libations have also received national acclaim in top-tier publications like Wine EnthusiastFood and WineImbibeVogueGQEsquireVanity Fair and more. In 2023, he also was elected to the position of President of the Missouri Craft Distillers Guild. 

Dan Nenonen, AIA

Passionate about pushing the boundaries of design and creating innovative spaces that inspire and engage, Dan Nenonen, Partner at GastingerWalker&, seamlessly merges form and function with a keen eye for detail. His journey as an architect is driven by an enthusiasm for problem-solving and creative expression, reminiscent of his childhood days spent playing with Legos and bringing imaginative ideas to life.

At the core of Dan's design philosophy is the belief that every space should tell a unique story, evoking a profound sense of connection and purpose. This principle aligns with his goal to explore all 63 National Parks while visiting other national monuments and sites of which each have their own unique story and purpose.

His extensive experience managing diverse projects provides invaluable insight into the intricate blending of the practical needs of projects with design. Adept at managing multiple projects and coordinating consultants, he brings an in-depth understanding of the documentation and construction required for a successful project.

Dan’s commitment is to provide solutions that surpass client expectations and provide spaces that users appreciate and enjoy.