18th Street Distillery is the first artisan distillery to open since prohibition in Hammond, let alone Northwest Indiana. Hammond has a rich distilling history. In 1901, The Hammond Distilling Company was the second largest distillery in the nation, producing 25,000-50,000 gallons of alcohol on a daily basis. The Hammond Distilling Company was producing items such as “The Hammond Rye,” “Hammond Dry Gin,” and other refined spirits.
18th Street Distillery will be producing Rye Whiskey, Bourbon, Gin, Rum and Moonshine. Owner Drew Fox says, ‘We will not rush any of our aged spirits, instead we want to continue to build a brand that will not take shortcuts because of demand. We want to take the time honored tradition of producing high quality spirits using the best ingredients possible’. Hannah Fox, the co-owner of 18th Street Distillery, went through painstaking measures to make sure the look and feel of the distillery and tasting lounge was warm, welcoming and as authentic as possible. Drew even went as far as to work with Vendome Copper & Brass Works, Inc. in Louisville to custom build the 250 gallon copper pot still and 400 gallon cooker which is all hand made in America. The distillery also has 3 small batch stills which will be used to distill all of its open fermentation Rye Moonshine. The distillery has the unique opportunity to distill some of the high gravity beers like Hunter Double Milk Stout and Imperial Blud which are being produced by its sister company 18th Street Brewery.
18th Street Distillery has already won 5 National awards for its Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey & its 90 proof Rye Whiskey. At the 2018 American Distilling Institute Craft Spirits Competition, both whiskeys received Bronze Medals. The Barrel Proof also took home a Bronze Medal for Best in Class. From the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the 90 Proof Rye Whiskey took a Bronze Medal and the Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey took a Silver Medal.
Drew and his wife Hannah Fox chose Sara Jean Potts, a local Chicago Designer, to design the beautiful tasting lounge with the overall feel of the Roaring 20’s and The Great Gatsby. When you walk into the tasting lounge you will notice it’s sleek and has a laid back feel, but most importantly it takes you back to the “speakeasy” times. All of the imagery has been done by none other than Joey Potts. 18th Street Distillery will serve a wide range of handcrafted cocktails using its own spirits that are distilled in house. The cocktail menu will change seasonally depending on the fresh fruits available for syrups and house made bitters. The cocktail lounge will also serve a few select beers in cans from its sister company, 18th Street Brewery, and have a full food menu. The distillery will employ 8 full time people, with positions that range from servers, bartenders, and hosts. The distillery will be open 7 days a week.
18th Street Distillery is very proud to have its name etched in history as the only operating distillery in the city of Hammond.