Maryland’s favorite rum gets a new look, expands into new markets

February 28, 2020 – LYON RUM Distillery & Tasting Room has a lot to be excited about entering the seventh year in business in Saint Michaels, Maryland.

For the first time since launching, they are debuting stunning, upgraded packaging on the signature rums – featuring the same spirits, bottle, and logo, but with bold colors, gold foil, and information on the distillation process and tasting notes for each expression. Designer Eric Kass (Funnel : Bespoke Brands) has developed the look and feel of all LYON RUM labels, as well as the original logo, and has been integral in the evolution of the brand.

The company just shipped their single largest order – 200 cases – sporting the new labels to Regal Wine Imports (Mooresetown, NJ) a distributor serving New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, representing a significant and meaningful expansion into key markets for LYON RUM starting March 1st and bringing the total states where LYON RUM is sold to eight: MD, DC, DE, CT, LA, NJ, NY, PA.

Also, the brand has a new name: Windon Distilling, signaling the shift of the company towards a vision, culture and ethos that CEO & Founder Jaime Windon has crystalized over the last few years, and which guides her daily decision making in terms of business, strategy, her team and her community.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned since launching this business in 2012 it is this: a company should always be evolving: redefining who they are, what they stand for, and what is most important – and I couldn’t be happier with the direction and position of my company going into 2020,” says Windon.

“LYON RUM is what we make, but Windon Distilling is who we are. The brand name change is indicative of a focus on the people who make this company run, and the motives behind the efforts that continue to make us thrive – a commitment to quality, a focus on passion, and the desire to demonstrably change people’s perceptions about rum, and spirits, through innovation, education and absolutely excellent customer service.”

According to Windon, “It’s not enough to be successful at what we do, we must contribute something to the greater good of our community, both locally and globally. That is at the core of what inspired the shift in the last two years towards creating a company that truly embodies these values. Our distillery is a place, and a means, to empower people, inspire people, and truly be the good we wish to see in the world around us.”


What began with the decision to stop production of whiskey – retiring the famed Maryland Free State Rye & American Malt Whiskey, in order to fully focus on distilling and developing rum, as well as a more sustainable approach to creating remarkable spirits – has led to re-examining every aspect of production and making purposeful choices regarding how and where to grow and focus. At the top is an emphasis on personal relationships, both among the distillery team, and with suppliers and accounts. Priority is placed on local and American-made, from the sugar cane grown at family farms in Louisiana, to bottle manufacturers in Pennsylvania and Missouri. “In addition to being connected to our supply chain, we are continually working towards being more sustainable and reducing our impact,” according to Windon, “all while preserving a healthy, creative, supportive work environment where people are able to do their best work and be their best selves.”


The company is currently made up of 15 passionate individuals who are part of every step of the process from cane to glass to shelf. That is, 13 LYON RUM employees, plus RB Wolfensberger & Meghan Brown, the duo that launched GRAY WOLF CRAFT (a spirits company located within the distillery). In addition to the core rums & rum liqueurs, the LYON RUM portfolio currently boasts 13 expressions, including seasonal and tasting room only releases.

“Clearly, making rum is what we do, but love is what inspires us: love for the people, the process, and the spirits that we create. Love is what guides and drives me – and I believe our team conveys what we refer to as “rum love” better than anyone else,” says Windon.

Head distiller Brett Steigerwaldt, who joined the company in 2016, famously loves his job, adding, “Every day I get to make delicious spirits and liqueurs and show the world what rum can be – everything we do here feeds my creative energy and makes my role fun, interesting and rewarding.”


Furthermore, the company is doubling down on what Windon refers to as sustainable philanthropy – increasing contributions and creating partnerships with local nonprofits and organizations. This year the company is going beyond providing their time & services and is committing actual dollars to those same organizations, and finding new ways to generate awareness and raise money for the causes the team deeply believes in. Notably, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Special Edition Black Rum raised over $14,000 through sales and contributions, and this year’s partnerships will focus on local organizations Talbot Mentors, Foundations of Hope, the St. Michaels Community Center, the Perkins Family YMCA, the Talbot County Free Library, as well as an international initiative with DomSeTCO in Dominica.


Over the last few years, Jessi Windon, the original LYON RUM Runner & Maryland Sales Manager, has dramatically grown the wholesale side of the company, now serving over 200 accounts across the state. What began as a way to get rum to existing customers, developed into an entire self-distribution division, employing three full-time sales people, who make each delivery personally, as well as providing more opportunities for the entire distillery team to engage with on-premise accounts and retail partners. “We have expanded the wholesale side of our business in an organic way, based entirely on the needs of our customers,” says Jessi Windon. “It is incredibly important for us to be connected to our retail partners as customer service is a top priority for us. Everything we do is with purpose and with the satisfaction of the consumer in mind.”


In 2013 LYON RUM became the first rum in decades to be distilled in Maryland, and for the last seven years the St. Michaels distillery has been a leader in the industry, working to further redefine the category of new American rum. In addition, CEO Jaime Windon has worked to advance legislative goals through the creation of progressive licenses and permits for Maryland distillers to grow and thrive, as president of the Maryland Distillers Guild, since 2015. On a national level, Windon represents small-scale distillers on the Craft Advisory Council for DISCUS (Distilled Spirits Council of the United States) and has been one of the faces of the industry in the national fight for reduced federal excise taxes that have helped spur the growth of the industry across the country in recent years. LYON RUM is also an active member of the American Craft Spirits Association and the American Distilling Institute.


The distillery & tasting room is open every day at 11am for tours, tasting, sales, and soon (thanks to a new, forthcoming local permit) cocktail flights.

Windon Distilling is the proud home of LYON RUM and GRAY WOLF CRAFT SPIRITS.

LYON RUM // Distillery & Tasting Room
605 South Talbot Street #6
{ In the Old Mill, enter via E. Marengo Street }
Saint Michaels, Maryland
(443) 333-9181