Bear Wallow Distillery Updates

Makers of Handcrafted Artisanal Distilled Spirits

Now open in Brown County, Indiana; Bear Wallow Distillery is a woman owned, family operated, business producing handcrafted artisanal distilled spirits. Check back for future updates!

December 9th, 2015

A Handcrafted Bear Wallow Update

Our opening weekend went great for us, and it got even better with this article that appeared on the front page of the Business section of the Indianapolis Star!

Craft distillers using Hoosier goods to make Indiana whiskey

by Ryan Trares

From the hollows and hills of Brown County, the tradition of creating Indiana whiskey is being carried on.

Moonshiners have been distilling their own whiskey around Nashville, Bean Blossom and Morgantown since the 1830s. Even during Prohibition, bubbling stills dripped potent alcoholic beverages.

That history is re-created with every batch started at Bear Wallow Distillery.

"There's the three different phases - the cooking, the fermenting and the distilling. They've been doing this in the woods for hundreds of years," said Susan Spagnuolo, owner of Bear Wallow.

Indiana might not have the whiskey reputation of Kentucky or Tennessee, but a handful of emerging craft distillers like Bear Wallow are putting their own bourbons, ryes and moonshine out on the market...

Continue Reading on The Daily Journal's Website!


August 3rd, 2014

A Handcrafted Bear Wallow Update

Our opening weekend went great for us, and it got even better with this article that appeared on the front page of the Business section of the Indianapolis Star!

Hoosier moonshine trickles into the marketplace with Bear Wallow Distillery

by Chris Sikich

Indiana's first artisan distilleries have fired up their copper stills and begun serving up a mix of trendy spirits in glass jars, marking the beginning of what promoters hope will become a Hoosier tourism market akin to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Near Louisville, Huber's Orchard, Vineyard and Winery began selling retail vodka in June and is planning to roll out a variety of gins, whiskeys and bourbons.

In Nashville, Bear Wallow Distillery opened Friday, specializing in white lightning - yep, real Hoosier moonshine - among other spirits.

Bear Wallow owners Mike and Susan Spagnuolo believe Indiana is thirsty for home-grown craft spirits. They're distilling both straight up and flavored 'shines, and a variety of cocktails. The distiller also will roll out rye whiskeys and bourbons over time.

Not too long ago, state law would have labeled the Spagnuolos as bootleggers...

Continue Reading on The Indianapolis Star's Website!


Fall 2013

A Handcrafted Bear Wallow Update

Finally, the Indiana Artisan Distiller's Bill became law on July 1, 2013 and about a week later we submitted our application for our Federal Distillers Permit, which we must receive before we can apply for the New Indiana Artisan Distillers Permit. Also on July 1st we moved into our 4,000 sq. ft. building in Nashville, IN and began filling it with the stuff we've been accumulating over these last months for the distillery. Additionally we have been getting the space ready for the full renovation and instillation of equipment once we get our permit. We will be meeting with our contractor in October to finalize our renovation plans and hope to get the project started by Dec 1st so we can get our equipment installed in January or early February of 2014.

Our sons have all been working on selecting the bottles and the names and labels for all the products we plan on having when we open (see a list and descriptions in the product section). The government also has to approve the labels and this takes 4-6 weeks so we need to get these ready and approved in advance. They have also been working on our new web site.

We have also been busy finalizing the equipment options, vendor selection, cost estimates and financial projections needed to complete our business plan which we presented to our bank in early August. Our loan request was approved in late September which means we will be able to finance all of our equipment purchases, thank you Main Source Bank, especially Zachery Greiner our Loan Officer.

In August we also placed the order for our large still from Vendome Brass and Copper in Louisville, KY which has a long lead-time due to the demand for stills and the scarcity of copper. Vendome is the only American maker of this kind of equipment and they provide stills for all the big distilleries including Jack Daniels, Maker's Mark, Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam, Four Roses and now Bear Wallow Distillery. We are very proud to be working with the folks at Vendome (Gordon is our Project Manager) and look forward to a long and productive relationship with this historic family run business. Our 250 gallon still should arrive in late February or March.

Finally, we were told by our TTB Consultant that we were in the final supervisor review and should expect to get our Federal Distillers Permit any day - and then the Federal Government shutdown. The bad news is we have to wait until they re-open the TTB and the great news is that once they do we should have out Distilled Spirits Permit in just a few days.

Check back for more frequent updates and other exciting news, Thank you for your support,

Susan Spagnuolo
President and Founder
Bear Wallow Distillery