High West Distillery was founded in 2006 by David Perkins and his wife, Jane. David, a former biochemist, was inspired to open his own distillery after seeing the parallels between the fermentation and distilling process and his own work in biochemistry during a trip to a whiskey distillery in Kentucky. In 2004, David and his family relocated to Park City, Utah to begin their new venture, where they began distilling in 2007. They chose Park City because of David’s love of the Old West and Utah’s little-known whiskey history.
High West began with humble roots, opening a small, 250-gallon still and Saloon in an historic livery stable and garage. What was once a small operation in downtown Park City has grown to be an internationally-recognized, award winning brand.
The word Saloon comes from the French word “Salon” which means “large room.” As America expanded West and founded new towns, a saloon was often the first place in town to open up. At its simplest, it was a tent with a plank slapped across the top of two whiskey barrels, but it soon became the social epicenter of each new town. Located at the bottom of Park City Resort's Quittin’ Time ski run and next to the Town Lift, High West Saloon is the world’s first and only ski-in gastro-distillery. You can find High West at 703 Park Avenue in Old Town Park City, just one block off historic Main Street.
THE ELLSWORTH J. BEGGS HOUSE
The Ellsworth J. Beggs house was built in 1914 and is architecturally significant as one of only a few two-story Victorian style pyramid houses in Park City. The October 3, 1914 issue of the Park Record reported: “E.J. Beggs, the well known mill and carpenter, has pulled down his old home on lower Park Ave. and will erect on the site a modern 8-room, two-story house. Mr. Beggs has one of the finest building lots in the city and a two-story house will set it off splendidly.”
Ellsworth J. Beggs was a master carpenter, having just built the Summit County Courthouse in Coalville, so a high quality home could be expected. Beggs was born in Pennsylvania in 1861, and moved to Park City in 1889, the year he married a local lady, Eva Jane Lockhart. Eva was active in community activities, and many functions were held in her home. Once the yard hosted a picnic for some 200 people. Beggs was a prominent citizen serving as a city councilman. He also built and operated a tailings mill north of town on Silver Creek. After Eva died in 1933, Ellsworth sold the house in 1939 to Byron F. Wilde, a banker in town. Beggs died in Pennsylvania in 1946. Burnis and Betty Watts purchased the house in 1965 and lived in it until the City purchased it in 1997.
The horseshoe in High West’s logo and on our bottle honors a shoe we found during renovation of the “National Garage” which was originally a livery stable to service the workhorses that pulled the heavy ore carts up and down to the mines. Master Carpenter Ellsworth J. Beggs rebuilt a smaller livery stable in 1907 for his “Beggs and Buckley Livery”. As automobiles became popular, the partners began servicing cars, changing the name to Beggs and Buckley Garage. Local sign painter Roy Fletcher painted the original National Garage sign. Later, when the business became the Sinclair Park Motor, Fletcher painted that sign as well. The garage business operated until 1942 then the garage went through other owners and sat mostly vacant. In 1981, when the Silver King Coalition Mines Company building burned down across the street, the heat was so intense it melted the paint away from several layers of re-painted signs to what you can see today. High West preserved the layered-looking sign when we revitalized the building in 2008.