When people think about Indiana, locally distilled spirits are probably nowhere near the first thing that comes to mind. But thanks to a law that went into effect last summer, Indiana may join the ranks of other states that have thriving locally distilled spirit industries.

Indiana now offers an Artisan Distiller’s permit that allows qualifying organizations and individuals the opportunity to distill and distribute their own brand of local spirits directly to the consumer. Under the old law, distillers could only sell their spirits to distributors and never directly to the public. Now, an already-licensed brewery, winery, or distillery can produce and sell spirits to the public by the glass, bottle, and case from its premises with an Artisan Distiller’s permit. The law also allows the holder of an Artisan Distiller’s permit to produce up to 10,000 gallons of liquor in a calendar year.

The law does have its quirks, however. Holders of the permit cannot sell their spirits by the bottle or case on Sundays. Additionally, distilled spirits tasting rooms must serve specific types of food.

Craft distilling, much like craft brewing, is a growing industry in the United States. The American Distilling Institute counted 69 distillers in 2003. That number has since risen to nearly 400 and presently 45 states allow craft distilling. Currently, Indiana has only four craft distillers whereas our western neighbor, Illinois, has approximately 40.

Prior to this new law, Indiana distillers and brewers that wanted to test the waters of the liquor industry were left with limited and complicated options. The Artisan Distiller’s permit offers a somewhat simplified distribution process that could kick-start an Indiana micro-distilling industry, much like the microbrewery boom we have seen across the state over the last few years.

In a state with blossoming craft beer and wine industries, briefly discussed here and here, it seemed only a matter of time before Indiana created laws paving the way for the development of a locally distilled spirit industry. If you have an interest in exploring the world of Artisan Distilling, contact the attorneys at McAnlis Law to see if you qualify under the law’s requirements.

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