West Virginia Executive Summer 2014 - Page 101

quality, and they don’t always embrace our honest representation. Honesty, quality and persistence are our strategy for success.” Little doesn’t mind sharing his knowledge and experience with others, either. He’s allowed fledgling distillers to apprentice at Smooth Ambler. “We do it because we want those future distillers to learn from our mistakes,” he explains. “The industry needs good people making good products. I don’t want them to fail or make bad products. That makes the entire industry look bad.” For Galyean, however, the most rewarding aspect is the stories he hears from those around him. “What means the most to me is the pride of a fellow West Virginian telling me, ‘I was in Napa Valley last week, and the best restaurant there was serving your hooch. I couldn’t believe it and told them that Maxwelton was just up the road from where I lived.’ He was beaming with pride to tell that story. The appreciation of West Virginians, wherever they live, who are proud of Smooth Ambler and support us is very rewarding.” Those who want to see and experience the art of Smooth Ambler’s production first-hand can tour the distillery on Fridays and Saturdays. “For guests visiting outside of normal tour hours, we are more than happy to tell them the story of Smooth Ambler Spirits and how we came to be,” says Little. “Right now, we get about 100 visitors a week. We often hear, ‘You guys are the best kept secret in Greenbrier County.’ We’re working hard to change that. We want to be the worst kept secret!”  Photography by Tracy Toler www.wvexecutive.com summer 2014 101