The tasting room at 8th Day Distillery sparkles with white walls, bright hanging lights, and new wooden tables. This modern-rustic space stands in stark contrast to the construction outside at its Circle City Industrial Complex location. Brothers Matt and Mason Lamping leased the space in 2015 and have been working on their dream ever since.
The Indy natives were engineers before opening the distillery. Matt worked a corporate job for 10 years, and Mason had just finished his degree at IUPUI. “I remember my mentors telling me, ‘I can’t wait to retire at 55 or 60 years old,’” Matt says. “It’s like, ‘Hey, if I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m going to be that guy potentially who’s waiting for retirement.’”
They enrolled in a weeklong distilling class in 2014 at Michigan State, and then they took what Matt calls “internships,” working with some out-of-state distilleries on the weekend. Matt and Mason learned the tricks of the trade, and the distilleries appreciated the free labor. They started producing spirits in October of 2016 and began selling to distributors the following February.
Today, the spirits distill in a giant copper pot nicknamed Gertie. The brothers put an emphasis on local ingredients and American-made equipment. They opened a tasting room in June, and now customers can drink cocktails or buy a bottle of rum or gin. A massive window allows patrons to see into the warehouse where their drinks were literally made from scratch. The brothers’ German short-haired pointer, Dottie, completes the warm feel. When the road construction outside finishes later this summer, they expect more foot traffic. “A lot of people haven’t been over to the near-east side lately,” Matt says. “It’s fun to show them how much it’s changed and what’s going on.”
1125 E. Brookside Ave., 317-600-3791, 8thdaydistillery.com