The Buzz: Hotel Tango

Fletcher Place raises a glass to a new artisan distillery and tasting room.

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Built upon the boutique notion that smaller equals better, Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery opened its doors in September with just three 25-gallon stills cranking out first-run batches of rum and vodka. The coils and vats were not even firing until a week before customers bellied up to their first tipples in an open-concept lodge featuring sandblasted brick walls and a massive, hand-built stone fireplace. “We were staying until 4 in the morning—or even all night—just to keep the stills running,” says Brian Willsey, one of the five young owners who took advantage of a new Indiana law that allows distilleries to sell directly to the public. Operating out of a former carriage-repair shop that was built in 1890 and used as storage for the last two decades, the business plans to crank out a modest 2,500 cases in its first year—focusing first on the less-complicated 90-proof rum and vodka, the two spirits in Hotel Tango’s repertoire that do not require aging, before moving on to small-batch limoncello, gin, moonshine, and (hold onto your rocks glass) a line of whiskeys. “We’ll start out with a nice, young white whiskey,” Willsey says. 702 Virginia Ave., 317-653-1806, hoteltangowhiskey.com

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