Sip, savor, and enjoy the fruits of our labor this summer at Ridge Runner Distillery

CHALKHILL – Christian W. Klay, namesake of the Chalkhill based winery and owner of Ridge Runner Distillery announced today plans for the Grand Opening Weekend of their new addition. The 30 x 30 addition to the existing distillery building features an eighteen-foot bar, seating for 40, room for private parties and an indoor-outdoor space for bands and entertainment. The grand opening weekend-long celebration will take place May 5 through May 7th.

At the helm of this enterprise is Christian W. Klay, who first learned to grow grapes and make and sell wine from his mother, Sharon. Though wine may have been his initial source of appreciation, it was whiskey that truly stirred his passion. Through thorough research, Christian turned his vision into reality, giving birth to Ridge Runner Distillery.

“If you taste Ridge Runner once, and it's sure to leave an unforgettable impression” said Christian Klay, the distillery’s owner. “I am excited to pull back the curtain on this new space where the community can come together to relax, enjoy the atmosphere, and sample our product.”

The planned festivities include a 3 p.m. ribbon cutting on May 5th with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce and local dignitaries, featuring tasting of distilled beverages and free charcuterie. May 6th will include a bonfire with make-your-own smores, and music. The weekend will be topped off with a Bloody Mary bar from 12 p.m.-5 p.m. and live music by Hollow Point on Sunday, May 7th from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Food from the Grapevine Gourmet will be available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as well cigars from the Rollin’ Stogies cigar mobile trailer. The entire community is invited to stop by and enjoy the festivities.

Muriel Nuttall, executive director of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, remarked “To have a business the caliber of Ridge Runner as part of Fayette County and part of ever-growing tourism industry is wonderful!  We are so very proud to see the expansion of this business and know that there are more great opportunities ahead.” 

Ridge Runner is nestled in the Laurel Highlands, the historic birthplace of the Whiskey Rebellion, and was meticulously crafted from the ground up to bring the utmost excellence to their locally made products. Libations are marked by a unique flavor, unlike anything else on the market.

Construction on the new addition, funded through a loan by the Progress Fund, started in September 2022 and has already hosted minor events for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter while under construction. The facility is now booking after-hours private events and has released a full schedule of Sunday afternoon summer music.

“Working with clients to make their events extraordinary is something I'm eager to do” commented Rebecca Dowling, event manager and owner of Coordinated 360. “Ridge Runner's new venue is ideal for any occasion, be it a birthday party, business gathering, political occasion, fundraiser or shower and is a compliment to the existing barn space at the winery”

Ridge Runner’s tasting room, located at 417 Fayette Springs Road, is open Monday – Thursday 12 Noon – 6 p.m.; Fridays 12 – 9 p.m.; Saturdays 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; and Sundays 12 Noon – 6 p.m. For more information, or to book a private event or tour, contact the distillery by calling (724) 434-6659 or visit