New Mexico State University on Wednesday unveiled its own officially licensed whiskey, making it the first college to do so as schools across the U.S. try to create new revenue streams amid shrinking higher education budgets.
Pistol Pete’s Six-Shooter whiskey expands on the university’s brand building effort, which started several years ago with a golden ale crafted by one of the state’s largest brewing operations. Last month, the school added a signature wine developed by vintners with deep New Mexico roots.
It’s a good thing, ’cause money.
The university has worked on the whiskey project with Dry Point Distillers for about six months with the help of marketing professors and students sworn to secrecy. For Chris Schaefer, an owner of the distillery and an Aggie alumni, it was more than a chance to fuel his passion for whiskey.
“It’s throwing us a lifeline because with the pandemic bar sales are down,” he said. “To be able to add a product to our package wholesale liquor line, something with the backing of New Mexico State University and the notoriety of that and to tie in the trifecta of the beer and the wine and now to have the whiskey, I think is going to be very beneficial.”
Just don’t let college athletes in on it. That would be violate the spirit the sacred academic mission surrounding collegiate sports, you know.