Call It A Night

How to spend a weekend in the woods at Hard Truth Distilling Co., a true celebration of Southern Indiana’s whiskey tradition and rugged topography.
Photography by Leah Trib Productions

Built in the hills of the Brown County woods, Hard Truth Distilling Co. (418 Old State Rd. 46, Nashville, 812-720-4840) features a two-story craftsman-style overnight cabin made especially for the outdoorsy whiskey enthusiast. There, you can enjoy fine libations as you spot deer meandering the tree line. If that isn’t the perfect fusion of the great outdoors and whiskey heaven, guests to the cabin are also guaranteed a weekend distillery tour.

The distillery is located on a 325-acre wooded campus. Not even a third of the property is developed, which is just the way founders Ed Ryan, Jeff McCabe, and Tim O’Bryan like it. As the story goes, early in 2015, Dunbar and McCabe, with whiskey glasses in hand, explored the property, marking off areas they wanted to keep true to nature. Only the tallest rolling hills would host the timber frame buildings of the restaurant and distillery. Then, the pair planned the ground’s walking paths, some of which lead down to a pond where the “world’s smallest rackhouse” now bobs on the water and where guests can feed fish (machines nearby dispense food). The same trails host runs like the Frosty Trails and the Whiskey Chaser races.

If exploring on four wheels is more your thing, the Get Lost ATV tour (you drink, they drive) provides some rugged backwoods scenery. In summer and fall, visitors can imagine the woods taking on an island vibe during Hard Truth’s Tiki Cruises, when party pontoons transport guests, tropical drinks in hand, across a man-made lake.

Even when you go indoors, there’s no avoiding Hard Truth’s obsession with the surrounding natural beauty. During one of several mixology classes, you can craft your own bespoke couple’s cocktail beneath the taxidermy turkey hanging out in the rafters. Afterward, head to the distillery restaurant for a menu featuring, among other signature inventions, the Lost in the Woods cocktail made with

Hard Truth Vodka and citrus juices. For an entree, opt for the Campfire Roast Beef: red skin potatoes, pot roast covered in beef gravy, carrots, and corn on the cob, all wrapped in aluminum for that around-the-fire touch. From spring through fall, check out live music at Hard Truth on the Rocks, a large outdoor sitting area complete with personal campfire pits.