It was Michael’s birthday weekend and we decided to travel down south to the Indianapolis area and visit some of the craft distilleries. Since it was about 20 degrees outside with snow on the ground here in Northern Indiana, any excuse to travel towards the equator was a welcomed excursion.
The new distillery is located in a Hoosier poplar barn South West of downtown Sheridan, right on Indiana 47.
The distillery was a lifelong dream of four friends: Steve Specht, Greg Albershardt and Mark Schilling. Their intent was to make Gin just the way they liked it. To make a good Gin you have to make a good Vodka. We tasted their Vodka mostly out of courtesy, because, well… “Vodka sucks!” However we both must admit theirs did not. It actually wasn’t half bad. Then we tried their Gin, and it is proof to their desire to make a very fine Gin that it was really good. Good enough for Michael and I to purchase a bottle. The very few non Bourbon bottles in our speakeasy are mostly from Indiana or local distilleries close to us and this bottle of Gin will have a home on our self.
Meet the four friends:
The first thing you notice when you arrive at the distillery is the building, which has a classic look of a monitor barn.
When entering the distillery, you travel inside the front screened in porch that has spaces set up to play checkers or cards, and also serves as their smoking lounge. It also displays some of their antiques that are for sale.
After walking the short distance through the porch you enter through the main door into the gift shop/antique store. The gift shop and antique store features official distillery-licensed collectibles as well as an eclectic swath of unique antiques, alcohol-and-smoking related merchandise, general gifts, gently used books, magazines and tasteful pin ups.
The second floor of the distillery contains the cocktail bar. An interesting thing about the actual bar is that it was constructed out of the wood create that the still arrived in. Also on the second level are the handmade cigars in their walk in humidor.
Michael liked their collection of vintage Playboy magazines, which was acquired from a local fire station break room. He admits that he looks at them but just for the posing and lighting examples. (And I can attest that he really does, that is the photographer in him.)
We met Mark Schilling, one of the owners, when we first walked in, he greeted us with a loud and friendly “Hello!” It was his land they built the distillery on after being turned down by the zoning commission in nearby Zionsville.
Mark told us of the genesis of the distillery and then graciously showed us around the distillery, the grounds and the barrel room. The barrel room, as the name suggests, is where they store their whisk(e)y barrels. It has its own bar and it serves as a wedding venue when needed.
Outside of the barrel room is a stage they use for live music, well, when it isn’t snowing that is. They have weekly music events with a wide variety of styles of music, and have plenty of seating for everyone, and you can bring your own blankets or chairs and food.
Back inside the distillery, Mark told us about their still. It was made in Portugal and they named it “Stilla.” They looked at stills made in the US, but all were out of their budget, and this one was available.
Watch the video below to see more detail of our time spent at the Hunt Club Distillery.
Dawn and I enjoyed our tour of the distillery, and very much enjoyed our samples. The crew at the distillery all signed our bottles and we look forward to putting them up oh the shelves of our speakeasy when we are finished building it!
If you are traveling around the Indianapolis area do treat yourself to a visit there, and tell them Michael & Dawn sent you!