BLOOMINGTON - A distilled spirit producer founded by a famous Hoosier golfer is bringing its production and bottling operations to Indiana. Fuzzy's Spirits LLC, which has its corporate headquarters in Sellersburg, says it will shift production to Bloomington through a partnership with Cardinal Spirits. The maker of Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka had previously produced the spirit in Bend, Oregon and says, beginning next week, the vodka will be produced locally with Midwestern corn.

In an interview with Inside Indiana Business, Chief Operating Officer Paul Massey said bringing the operation to the Midwest solves a variety of problems for the company.

"Just logistically, getting all of our dry goods up to the Pacific Northwest and then having to ship everything from the northwest back into the central/eastern part of the United States was a challenge and quite costly as well," said Massey. "So over the years, we've been exploring (and) trying to partner with someone closer to home and, you know, Fuzzy always said, 'Hey, if we're going to do that, I want it to be produced in Indiana from Midwest corn and really build the story that way.'"

Fuzzy's Spirits was founded more than 10 years ago by Indiana native Fuzzy Zoeller, who won 10 PGA Tour events during his professional golf career. Massey says Zoeller initially chose a distillery Oregon to produce the spirit due what was then a lack of craft distillers in the United States.

Massey says moving production to Indiana creates "significant efficiencies" for the company. He says the company expects retail pricing of the vodka to come down around $5 per bottle, which will help the company grow in Indiana, which is the company's largest market, as well as surrounding states.

Massey adds the move will also benefit Cardinal Spirits.

"Cardinal has done a great job at building their business in the state of Indiana. I think what we bring to them is a little broader footprint; we have markets like Florida, Texas, Louisiana that are decent size markets for us and when we told our distributors in those markets what the game plan was, they're instantly checking on Cardinal, seeing that they're one of the top craft vodka distillers out there in the United States. So I think it's a win-win across the board."

Massey says the company plans to make a concerted effort to raise awareness among Hoosiers about its Indiana ties and support of Indiana industries.

The company will host an official launch event November 20 at Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington.