Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 47

"I like the way people here can make
anything and fix anything; I like their
independence," Galyean says.
of downtown green space to co-founding
what's been acclaimed as the nation's best
craft distillery as well as a state-of-theart cooperage, to helping a team of high
school students plan and raise millions for
a community aquatic center.
"My wife Annabelle and I made a decision when we moved here 30 years ago to
avoid being on a lot of committees, but
to devote ourselves to one big project at a
time," Galyean says.
Galyean has been creating designs
and master plans for resorts around the
nation from his Lewisburg base since
he re-invented the Greenbrier's mineral
bath department in the mid-1980s. His
client list includes RockResorts, Anheuser Busch and Hershey. He's designed architecture, landscape and graphics as the
master designer for the Broadmoor in
Colorado Springs.
"Here in Lewisburg, we decided to do
things that needed to be done, things that
required our skill set in design and building. We committed without fee to projects
till they were done," he says.
Carnegie Hall came first-Lewisburg's
own Carnegie Hall, funded by steel baron
Andrew Carnegie as a classroom building in 1902. The four-story Greek Revival
structure was converted to a cultural center in 1983 and needed some work. Galyean designed a major renovation, making
the Carnegie into a community showplace worthy of hosting Wynton Marsalis
and the Vienna Boys Choir as well as a
woodwind orchestra of nearly 100 Greenbrier County fourth graders.
Then he started on the town.
"When we moved back here, 25 to 30
percent of the stores were empty. There
was maybe one good restaurant. Downtown was hollow," Galyean says.
The Lewisburg Foundation had created a historical district, removed over-

head powerlines, installed street lamps,
and considered their work done. Galyean
thought more could be done to lure in
businesses, and asked if he could take over
leadership of the foundation.
"That's the great thing
about a small town," he says.
"You couldn't just come in
and take over in New York,
but here people said 'sure.'"
The Galyeans had their
eyes on regional tourism.
Under their leadership, the
foundation created and maintains small parks, gardens and
public sculpture in downtown Lewisburg. Thousands
of flowers are planted each
spring and fall. No government money is involved. Galyean simply asked 120 local
citizens for contributions and
the funding rolled in.
Things began to happen. The Greenbrier Valley
Theatre, formerly in a barn,
moved into the old Leggett's
store downtown. Stores, galleries and restaurants opened.
Residents and visitors now
TOP: Galyean's son-in-law John Little stands with a
have a dozen options for good
sampling of product at Smooth Ambler Spirits distillery.
dining.
ABOVE: Galyean founded Smooth Ambler Spirits in 2009;
"It's a desirable destinait was named the nation's #1 craft distiller in America by
tion," says Galyean, still
USA Today in 2018.
foundation president after 22
years.
Superior Spirits and Homegrown
Barrels
But Galyean was far from done. In 2009,
he and son-in-law John Little started
Smooth Ambler Spirits, a distillery of
small-batch handcrafted whiskies, outside
of Lewisburg. They employ 24 people and
use as much local grain as they can find.

USA Today named Smooth Ambler the
No. 1 craft distiller in America in 2018,
fulfilling Galyean's desire to produce a
world-class consumer product in West
Virginia.With the recent sale of two-thirds
of the company's stock to Pernod Ricard,
the world's second-largest spirits group,
Galyean realized another goal: to market

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

47



Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 72
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 73
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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