Indianapolis-based 1205 Distillery has seen a lot of change since its founding in 2014. The spirits maker recently announced plans to open a 15,000-square-foot distillery and tasting room in downtown Lebanon. Owner Nolan Hudson says the new location will allow the distillery to increase production by about 400%.
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business TV, Hudson tells Gerry Dick why the Boone County location was so attractive for expansion.
“We’re really excited to join the Lebanon community. I’ve been in talks with the mayor and a bunch of people involved for the past eight months,” said Hudson. “And we try to find those smaller cities that we see growth potential, like Lebanon. We know that we can help the community grow, but also the community is going to help us grow.”
Hudson says the new location will also help the distillery to respond to growing market demand by increasing production levels.
“We’re doing about a barrel and a half of whiskey a week now. And we’ll be making about a barrel a day once we get into the full swing of things,” said Hudson.
Hudson says when 1205 launched about eight years ago, it was strictly focused on production of vodka and gin. It was not even distilling whiskey. Nor did the company have any tasting rooms. But when it did make that decision and investment, business boomed.
“The first tasting room just blew up. Then we decided to go into Westfield,” Hudson explained the opening in Hamilton County happened just four weeks before the COVID shutdown.
“But even with that, the community and people were coming in and supporting us. We blew our first-year projections out of the water. And we realized that our growth in our tasting rooms is really going to help push our growth out in the market as well,” said Hudson.
1205’s growth appears to be running parallel to trends throughout the distilled spirts industry in Indiana as a growing number of Hoosiers seek out custom whiskey and rye.
“We’re seeing a lot more distilleries open up. When we first started, there were just a handful of us and maybe five or six. And now we’re seeing around 30 to 40 around the state.”