Spirited Indy: Exploring Indianapolis’ distillery scene

Discover Indy’s distillery scene with this local guide.

Interior shot of the bar area at Four Fingers Distillery

Pop by 4 Finger Distillery for its upcoming annual Tiki Party.

Photo by INDYtoday team

Let’s raise a toast to locally-made spirits in this Indy-scribable distillery crawl. Ready to barrel through the fun?

4 Finger Distillery, 634 Virginia Ave.

Formerly 1205 Distillery, it rebranded to 4 Finger Distillery after the owner and distiller Brad, had a mishap with a saw, resulting in the loss of a finger. Located near Amelia’s Bakery in Fletcher Place, this corner gem offers a unique blend of spirits, including bourbon, absinthe, and bottled old fashioneds. This spot also has its own signature liqueurs, such as its tasty rhubarb liqueur. The industrial-chic decor makes it a fun place to hang in the neighborhood. Pro tip: If you get hungry, Greek’s Pizzeria is available to order.

Hotel Tango Distillery, 702 Virginia Ave.

Established in 2013 by Travis and Hilary Barnes, Hotel Tango is the first combat-disabled, veteran-owned distillery in the US and Indy’s first post-prohibition. Named after owner Travis and Hilary using military phonetics (Hotel for Hilary, Tango for Travis), it started with two employees and now boasts more than 50. Crafting cocktails from spirits including vodka, rum, rye whiskey, reserve bourbon, and cherry liqueur, the distillery located in Indy’s historic Fletcher Place supports local communities and veterans — one drink at a time. It also has an array of food options, such as sandwiches and charcuterie, if you get hungry.

West Fork Whiskey, 1660 Bellefontaine St.

Right off of 17th Street lies West Fork Whiskey, where visitors can explore a range of whiskeys. West Fork commits to sourcing 100% Indiana grains, which is apparent when tasting the wheat-centric bourbon or earthy, spicy rye. It has a variety of cocktails — including hot cocktails and mocktails — which you can sip on in the intimate seating area near the bar or back room.

Pro tip: If you want to take home any products, bottles are also available for purchase. And if that’s not enough liquor, you can take it to the next level by purchasing a whole barrel. Additionally, there’s a distillery, restaurant, and cocktail lounge located in Westfield, IN.

8th Day Distillery logo on the wall of bar area

8th Day Distillery was a participating business in the “Fall in love with the near east side” event.

Photo by @miaonthemap

8th Day Distillery, 1125 E. Brookside Ave.

8th Day Distillery is nestled in the Circle City Industrial Complex and aside from its craft cocktails, you can expect cozy lighting, comfy seating, and local artwork. Owners Matt + Jaime, wanting to live without regrets, asked themselves what they would do with an eighth day, which led to them opening this distillery in 2015 and expanding to a bottle shop and cocktail lounge in 2018.

Crafting cocktails with their in-house spirits including navy strength gin, absinthe, rum, and bourbon, the seasonal menu offers a variety of cocktail and mocktail options. Pro tip: If you’re in a hurry, you can get cocktails to-go or purchase a four-pack of its canned cocktails (including N/A options) to take home.

A pack of four canned Hi & Mighty Lemon Shake Up cocktails

The perfect bubbly cocktail for a hot summer day.

Hi & Mighty Distillery, 1202 E. 38th St.

In 2021, co-founders of Hi & Mighty Distillery Dan and Jamie Fahrner partnered up with longtime friend and national chef Nick Traeger to craft unique spirits and canned cocktails in their distillery. Located at the Indiana State Fair, this local spot is inspired by their family value of celebration. A few of their iconic canned cocktails include the Lemon Shake Up and Spiced Apple Sidekick. Hi & Mighty also offers two types of gin and will be unveiling two new canned cocktails in the near future.

If these places don’t whet your whistle, there are plenty of other distilleries in and around Indy, including Hard Truth Distillery in Nashville, Sun King Distillery in Carmel, and Moondrops Distillery in Fortville.

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