BLOOMINGTON - An organization that supports the burgeoning craft distillery industry in the state has announced two steps forward in its advocacy efforts. The Indiana Distillers Guild has issued a Request for Proposals for lobbying services at the Indiana Statehouse and is launching its inaugural event: the Craft Distillers Festival September 30 at the Circle City Industrial Complex in Indianapolis. The guild currently includes 17 distilleries in 11 Hoosier communities.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, co-founder of Bloomington-based Cardinal Spirits and guild President Jeff Wuslich said the industry continues to develop. A total of 25 Indiana distilleries "in various stages," Wuslich says dot the map and he says that number could double over the next 10 years. "I also think you're going to see some of the distillers segregate out just like the brewers," he said. "We already have that with a few distillers that have a regional or even national footprint and then you'll have a smaller model like a brew pub, where they're happy to distill and support their local community."

The guild has recently put its house in order with the recent election of a board and a membership that now pays dues. "Bringing together distillers from across the state to promote our craft both to consumers and legislators is vital to our new industry," he adds. "We're fortunate that legislators created this industry in 2013, and the craft distilleries in our guild are excited to grow it together."

The board is made up of Wuslich, Vice President David McIntyre, who is co-founder of Indianapolis-based West Fork Whiskey Co. and Treasurer Brian Willsey, who is co-founder of Hotel Tango in Indianapolis.

Indiana Distillers Guild members include:

  • 12.05 in Indianapolis
  • Three Rivers in Fort Wayne
  • 8th Day in Indianapolis
  • Bear Wallow in Nashville
  • Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington
  • Danny Boy in Carmel
  • Edwin Coe Spirits in Fort Wayne
  • French Lick Spirits in French Lick
  • Hard Truth Distilling in Nashville
  • Hotel Tango in Indianapolis
  • Hunt Club in Sheridan
  • Lucky 7 Distillery in Batesville
  • Mogul in Indianapolis
  • Oakley Brothers in Anderson
  • Old 55 in Newtown
  • Starlight Distillery in Borden
  • West Fork Whiskey in Indianapolis

You can connect to more about the September 30 Craft Distillers Festival by clicking here.