Best Distilleries in Indiana: Your Ultimate Guide to Hoosier Spirits

Alright, let’s dive into the liquid gold that is Indiana’s best distilleries! You might think of cornfields and basketball when you hear “Indiana,” but there’s another gem hiding in the heart of the Hoosier state. Yep, I’m talking about distilleries. Indiana is making a splash in the world of spirits with some truly top-notch distilleries.

Now, before you start packing your bags for a tasting tour, let me give you the lowdown on where to find these hidden gems. Whether you’re a whiskey aficionado or a gin lover, there’s something for every palate here. From traditional bourbon to inventive craft cocktails, these distilleries are serving up some seriously good sips!

So buckle up and get ready to explore! We’re embarking on an intoxicating journey through rolling farmlands and vibrant cityscapes as we visit the best distilleries Indiana has on offer. Trust me, this is one flavorful adventure you won’t want to miss out on!

Exploring Indiana’s Distillery Scene

Indiana, you might be surprised to know, is a paradise for all those spirit enthusiasts out there. Bursting with some of the finest distilleries in the country, it’s an undiscovered gem that you’re sure to fall in love with. Whether it’s whiskey, vodka or gin that tickles your fancy, Indiana has got your taste buds covered.

brew in review featured image

Let’s dive into some of these amazing distilleries that call Indiana their home. For starters, there’s Starlight Distillery. Nestled among rolling hills and sprawling orchards, this family-owned business has been producing award-winning spirits since 1843! Here you’ll find everything from bourbon and rye whiskeys to brandies and vodkas – all made using locally-sourced ingredients.

Next on our list is Three Rivers Distilling Co., Fort Wayne’s first craft distillery since prohibition. They’re committed to creating high-quality spirits from locally sourced grains – a testament to their dedication towards sustainability and community support! Their variety includes rum, vodka and even coffee liqueur!

But wait! There’s more! You can’t talk about Indiana without mentioning its largest distillery – Heartland Distillers. This Indianapolis-based facility is known for its handcrafted artisanal spirits including Spring Mill Bourbon which has won numerous awards at international competitions.

Then we have craft gin lovers’ favorite: Cardinal Spirits, based in Bloomington. They pride themselves on making beautiful American gins using unique botanicals right from scratch!

So there you go folks, just a sneak peek into what awaits you as you embark on the journey through the best distilleries of Indiana!

Here are few must-visits:

  • Starlight Distillery
  • Three Rivers Distilling Co.
  • Heartland Distillers
  • Cardinal Spirits

Remember though this isn’t an exhaustive list but rather a glimpse into some gems waiting for your visit in this spirited state!

The History of Distilleries in Indiana

A glimpse into the past reveals that distilleries have been a part of Indiana’s landscape long before it even became a state. In fact, whiskey production was one of the earliest industries to sprout up in the region. It was the pioneers who first brought their distilling skills with them as they journeyed westward. They saw opportunity in Indiana’s abundant cornfields and swiftly set up primitive stills.

Fast forward to 1816, when Indiana became an official state. By then, whiskey had already become deeply entrenched in local culture and economy. Distilleries dotted every corner of the state, from bustling cities like Indianapolis to smaller towns such as Lawrenceburg and West Baden Springs. However, not all was smooth sailing for these early establishments.

As time wore on, societal attitudes towards alcohol began to shift quite dramatically. Mounting opposition against alcohol culminated in Prohibition era during the 1920s which dealt a devastating blow to distilleries nationwide – including those in Indiana.

Following Prohibition’s repeal in 1933, it took several decades for distilleries across America to recover and regain their former glory; however, Indiana seemed particularly slow on this front due largely to stringent regulations imposed by state authorities.

But don’t be fooled! Despite these challenges over the years, Hoosier spirit (both literally and metaphorically) never waned completely! Indeed its resilience is evident today as we witness an exciting resurgence of craft spirits industry across this heartland state.

Today you’ll find a diverse range of thriving distilleries throughout Indiana offering everything from traditional bourbon whiskies reminiscent of yesteryears to innovative craft spirits that reflect modern palates – a testament indeed that history does come full circle!

Here’s hoping you now have a good grasp on how deep-rooted & varied the history of distillation is within our beloved Hoosier State! Now let’s move onto exploring some top-notch distilleries that are making waves today!

Top 5 Must-Visit Distilleries in Indiana

So you have a thing for good spirits, huh? Well, Indiana’s got your back! The Hoosier State is home to some pretty amazing distilleries and we’re about to take you on a virtual tour of the top five that are absolutely worth your visit.

First up is Huber’s Starlight Distillery. They’ve been around since the late 1800s, can you believe it? Nestled in the rolling hills of Starlight, this family-owned distillery offers an impressive range of spirits from brandies to vodkas but their real stars are their bourbons and ryes.

Next stop, Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington. This place is all about craft and creativity. Their spirits are made from locally sourced ingredients and they’ve got a lineup that’ll make your head spin – vodka, gin, rum… even liqueurs infused with local fruits!

Third on our list is Hard Truth Hills in Nashville (Nope! Not Tennessee). Surrounded by beautiful forests and hills, it’s not just the scenery that’ll catch your eye here. They’re famous for their cinnamon vodka and rum aged in white oak barrels.

Fourthly, we have Three Rivers Distilling Co located right at the heart of Fort Wayne. With sustainability as their mission statement, these guys create high-quality spirits like gin, whiskey or rum using locally sourced organic grains.

Finally rounding off our list is 8th Day Distillery, based out of Indianapolis. Run by two brothers who love experimenting with flavors – their offerings include traditional gin and rum along with unique creations like chamomile-infused gin!

Here’s a quick rundown for ya:

Distillery Location Notable Spirit
Huber’s Starlight Distillery Starlight Bourbon
Cardinal Spirits Bloomington Raspberry Bramble
Hard Truth Hills Nashville Rum
Three Rivers Distilling Co. Fort Wayne Rye Whiskey
8th Day Distillery Indianapolis Mead Barrel Aged Gin

All these distilleries offer tours where you get an inside peek into how your favorite liquor comes to life – from grain to bottle! And if that wasn’t enough reason already – sipping samples while learning something new? Yes please!

Just remember while visiting any distillery – always drink responsibly folks! Enjoying great spirits should be fun but safety always comes first.

Spirits to Try at Indiana’s Best Distilleries

When you’re strolling through Indiana, don’t miss the chance to sip some of its finest spirits. You’ll get the opportunity to taste a variety of bourbons and whiskies that are as rich in flavor as they are in history. And it’s not just about whisky – there’s also vodka, gin, rum and more! Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect.

One distillery that deserves your attention is Starlight Distillery. They’re renowned for their Carl T Bourbon – a robust spirit with hints of caramel and toasted oak. It’s got this distinct spicy finish that’ll keep you coming back for more. But wait, there’s another one: Huber’s Orchard Winery & Vineyards with an array of fruit brandies crafted from locally grown produce. Their peach and apple brandies are simply too good to pass up!

Moving on, you’ve got Spirits of French Lick standing out with their vintage-inspired Sinful Thyme Absinthe – yes, absinthe! With its unique herbal blend dominated by wormwood and thyme, it makes quite the impression.

And let’s not forget Cardinal Spirits where they make Terra Botanical Gin by hand in small batches right in Bloomington – definitely worth trying if gin is your go-to spirit!

Another must-try comes from 8th Day Distillery: their rye whiskey has been recognized far beyond Indiana borders for its smooth yet complex profile.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Starlight Distillery: Carl T Bourbon
  • Huber’s Orchard Winery & Vineyards: Fruit Brandies
  • Spirits of French Lick: Sinful Thyme Absinthe
  • Cardinal Spirits: Terra Botanical Gin
  • 8th Day Distillery: Rye Whiskey

So next time you find yourself in Indiana, remember there’s plenty more than cornfields waiting for ya! With these distilleries offering such diverse libations, you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy!

Guided Tours at Renowned Indiana Distilleries

When you step into the world of Indiana’s distilleries, you’ll be greeted by a rich legacy of spirits that’s as vibrant and varied as the state itself. From small-batch artisanal boutiques to sprawling industrial complexes, there’s no shortage of places to explore and learn about the art of distillation.

Let’s talk about Hard Truth Hills in Nashville, Indiana. Here’s where you’ll find a massive 325-acre campus that offers guided tours showing off their impressive operation. You’re not just getting an education here; it includes tastings too! And hey, if whiskey isn’t your thing, they’ve got an array of craft beers and unique cocktails to try out.

Next up we have Huber’s Orchard & Winery in Starlight – an establishment with over 175 years under its belt! They offer guided tours that will take you through their winemaking process from vineyard to bottle. But don’t let the name fool ya – they also produce some top-notch brandies and liqueurs!

Perhaps one of the most well-known distilleries is MGP Ingredients based out in Lawrenceburg. This giant in the industry produces a staggering amount of alcohol used by other brands across America but recently started offering limited public tours due to popular demand.

And then there’s Cardinal Spirits, Bloomington’s first-ever craft distillery. Their guided tour is particularly engaging for those interested in sustainability – much of their equipment is powered by solar energy!

  • Hard Truth Hills: Whiskey, beer, cocktails
  • Huber’s Orchard & Winery: Wines, brandies, liqueurs
  • MGP Ingredients: Bulk alcohol production
  • Cardinal Spirits: Craft spirits with a focus on sustainability

So whether you’re a budding connoisseur or just looking for something new and exciting to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon…Indiana’s got some fantastic options for guided tours at renowned distilleries!

The Art and Craft Behind Hoosier Spirits

Diving deep into Indiana’s distilling scene, you’ll instantly notice a unique blend of tradition and innovation. These distilleries aren’t just businesses; they’re the heart and soul of the local community, pouring their passion and craftsmanship into every bottle they produce. Each sip tells a story, capturing the essence of the Hoosier state.

Let’s take Three Rivers Distilling Co., for example. As Fort Wayne’s first craft distillery since Prohibition, it has set a high bar with its dedication to locally sourced ingredients and sustainable practices. They’ve mastered the art of distillation to perfection, transforming simple grains into diverse spirits that range from smooth bourbons to robust rums.

Meanwhile down in Bloomington, Cardinal Spirits operates on an innovative spirit (pun intended!). This hotspot is known for experimenting with unusual infusions like botanical gins or hibiscus-infused liqueurs. They’re not afraid to push boundaries while still respecting the craft at its core.

Now here are some numbers that’ll blow your mind:

Distilleries Number
Statewide 30+
Bloomington 3
Indianapolis 5

That’s right! There are more than 30 operating distilleries across Indiana! And each one brings something unique to the table – whether it’s Starlight Distillery with their award-winning brandy or Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery in Indianapolis creating spirits inspired by military history.

But what truly sets these Hoosier spirits apart? It’s all about quality over quantity. You’ll find a commitment to handcrafting small batches using traditional methods – often passed down through generations – as well as sourcing local ingredients whenever possible. In fact, many consider this homegrown approach a badge of honor.

So next time you savor a cocktail crafted from Hoosier spirits just remember: there’s more than meets the eye (or palate) – there’s history, ingenuity and relentless passion poured into every drop!

Sustainable Practices in Indiana’s Top Distilleries

Hey, let’s talk about something really cool happening in Indiana. Some of the state’s top distilleries are making waves not just for their quality spirits, but also for their commitment to sustainability. That’s right! They’re going green and it’s pretty awesome.

First up, we’ve got Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington. These guys are known for using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, which cuts down on transportation emissions. But did you know they also donate the spent grain from distillation to local farmers? It’s a fantastic way to reduce waste and support the local community!

Now let’s swing over to Indianapolis where West Fork Whiskey Co is doing its part too. These folks are all about transparency and sustainable agriculture practices – that means using non-GMO grains grown right there in Indiana. Plus, they’ve even partnered with Green BEAN Delivery to reuse whiskey barrels as compost bins – how neat is that?

But wait, there’s more! Let’s take a moment to appreciate what Hard Truth Hills has been up to. Situated amidst 325 acres of pristine woodland in Nashville (Indiana, not Tennessee), this distillery takes water conservation seriously by reusing cooling water during the distillation process.

And we can’t forget Three Rivers Distilling Co out of Fort Wayne which has been recognized as Indiana’s first-ever USDA Certified Organic Distillery! From recycling spent grains into livestock feed to utilizing energy-efficient equipment – these guys truly embody sustainability.

Check out these key stats:

Distillery Sustainability Practice
Cardinal Spirits Uses locally-sourced ingredients and donates spent grain
West Fork Whiskey Co. Uses non-GMO grains and reuses whiskey barrels as compost bins
Hard Truth Hills Reuses cooling water during distillation
Three Rivers Distilling Co. Recycles spent grains into feed and uses energy- efficient equipment

There you have it! Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword for these Hoosier distilleries – it’s woven into every aspect of their operations.

Conclusion: The Richness of Indiana’s Spirit

So, you’ve journeyed with us through the rich tapestry that is Indiana’s distillery scene. From bourbon to brandy, and rye to rum, we’ve dipped our toes into a world of flavors that stand testament to the passion and craftsmanship embedded in every bottle.

Let’s not forget those remarkable distilleries that have stood out on our journey:

  • Starlight Distillery: Known for its farm-to-bottle approach, this establishment embodies an authenticity you’ll love.
  • Three Rivers Distilling Co.: Their commitment to grain-to-glass production shines brightly in their range of spirits.
  • Cardinal Spirits: Innovation is king at this craft distillery where unique infusions take center stage.

Each one has delivered something special and it’s clear why they’re considered among the best in Indiana. But remember, these are just a few highlights. There are countless other hidden gems waiting for your discovery.

When it comes down to it, what makes Indiana’s spirit so rich isn’t merely its fantastic variety or the quality of its produce. It’s also about the people – those dedicated artisans laboring over copper stills and aging casks; pouring their heart and soul into each drop.

It goes without saying – if you’re a fan of fine spirits or simply curious about artisanal distillation, there’s no better time than now to explore what Indiana has to offer.

After all, life is too short for bad drinks! So raise your glass high and toast to the richness of Indiana’s spirit – here’s hoping your next pour is as bold as Hoosier hospitality itself! Cheers!

About The Author

Scroll to Top