Meet the Founders

Brad Mead

Kate Mead

Brad and Kate are the founders of Wyoming Whiskey and the keepers of the ranching tradition in the Mead family, overseeing the Spring Gulch and Kirby ranches. Kate runs Mead Ranch Natural Beef and Brad is a pilot and CEO of Wyoming Whiskey. They are pretty much like other business executives, but they do most of it on horseback and with a much better office view.

David DeFazio

When Brad and Kate decided to make bourbon, they turned to “Faz” to figure out how to get it done and he’s been getting it done for Wyoming Whiskey ever since. To keep David’s bio from being too long, we’ll just make a list: lawyer, river guide, late night philosopher, angler, skier, wingman, Yankees fan, and whiskey man.

Distillery Crew

Amanda Moeller

Retail & Event Manager

Amanda is an area local who oversees Wyoming Whiskey’s Kirby Store. Staffing, merchandising, event planning, advertising, dusting, and taking out the trash are but a handful of her duties. She is also the one to call for your Kirby event planning, and she can give you local insight on where to eat, stay, and play!

Nichole Martens

Lead Blender

Nichole has raised the bar for excellence in customer service. Not only is she the sweetest southern gal around, but she is often requested for tastings! When you sign up for the monthly store newsletter, you’ll be hearing from Nichole.

Nancy Fraley

The Sniffer. If there’s a list of world’s best jobs, Nancy Fraley’s gig is surely on it. Her business card reads ‘Nosing Services,’ and she’s in high demand across the Craft Distilling world. Nancy consults with Wyoming Whiskey working to find the perfect mix of barrels for our Small Batch Bourbon and singularly intriguing barrels deemed worthy of our Single Barrel label.
With the barrels and batches determined, the bottling and shipping process begins. It’s the end-of-the-line for the Production Team, but just the start of the journey for Wyoming Whiskey.

Jason R. Brand

General Manager

The enthusiastic optimist and leader setting the goals and on-the-ground strategy to build and expand our organization.  An operational expert keen on shaping the work environment, developing people, and allocating resources to assist in producing premium craft whiskey and bourbon that will be savored and enjoyed by all.   Transplanting from his northeast Ohio roots, whether camping, hiking, golfing, or biking – Jason enjoys the outdoors and all Wyoming offers.

Char Bartlett

Guest Services

“Momma Char” is her well-worn nickname in Kirby. She has been giving tours at our distillery since 2013 and has been earning raves ever since. Char tried to retire, but we needed her back. If you are in the area and need some bourbon wisdom, or some downhome advice, come see Momma Char.

Jordan Hernandez

Packaging Supervisor

Jordan manages the bottling line. Staffing, scheduling, and maintaining the highest quality control are just a few of his tasks. He is charged with making sure that the juice gets from the barrel into the bottle, so it can get into the glasses of our fans.

Curtis Chopping

Distillery Operations Manager

Curtis was born in the same county as Wyoming Whiskey. Curtis has taken his laboratory experience and Master’s in geochemistry from UW to oversee distillery production, lab and making sure that every drop of whiskey is perfect when it goes into the barrel.  He loves all things Wyoming.

David Evans

Lead Distiller 

David comes from a long line of whiskey makers in North Carolina. He is the go-to guy when ensuring your whiskey gets from grain to glass. David enjoys hunting, fishing, and all sports. You won’t find him sitting around inside much.

Colin Young

Cook and Distiller

Colin’s extensive background in culinary arts has led him to whiskey and barreling it up.  Another of our southerners, Colin hales from South Carolina.

Brendan Garcia

Cook and Distiller

A Wyoming native and outdoors enthusiast, Brendan is as proficient at climbing to the top of the still as he is at making whiskey.  When he isn’t at the distillery, Brendan is likely to be in the Bighorn Mountains.

Darren Rowe

Grain & Groundskeeper

Darren is our resident country boy at the distillery.  It is his responsibility to make sure all our Wyoming-grown grains and equipment are ready to go.

Tommy Bainbridge


Retired corrections officer, Tommy works the door during events welcoming in guests and checking ID’s. He has a knack for creativity and has built some beautiful furnishings for the new location, not to mention his ability to fix just about anything.

Shawna Bainbridge

Guest Services

The cleaning lady is in the House! Shawna is our in-house organizer and turbo cleaner. Her sweet façade masks her quick wit and wise cracks. This is the gal for an entertaining tasting experience.

Jody Mickelsen

Guest Services

Jody is a shining star in the Whiskey Shop! Her kindness and consideration for others makes her popular among team members and customers alike.  But don’t be fooled – she can probably drink you under the table!

Carol Abad

Guest Services

Carol started her career at Wyoming Whiskey in Bottling, but found her true calling in the Whiskey Shop! She jumped in with both feet and has been a fantastic addition to our shop team. Come in for one of her classic Old Fashioned cocktails.

Bottling Crew

Jordan Hernandez, Steve Hanson, Sharon Johnson, Gary O’Brien, Jade Young, Veronica Ferguson, Azia Martinez, Chuck Carver, Sheldon Skelton, Cynthia Cassady

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