West Fork Whiskey Co. craft spirits distillery was founded in 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The distillery sits in a downtown Indianapolis neighborhood. They’ve expanded about as much as they can in their current location and decided it was time to take the business to the next level. In August 2020 the company announced plans to expand, not just a little but a lot, a whole lot.
West Fork Whiskey distillery co-owners Blake Jones, David McIntyre and Julian Jones plans include a $10,000,000 investment in a new distillery and agritourism destination in Westfield, Indianapolis, about 20 miles north of their current location. They’ve now sealed the deal with an official groundbreaking for their new destination. The initial primary phase includes a 35,000 square-foot agritourism facility on 12+ acres. When complete this will be one of the largest agritourism experiences in Indiana.
“We see this expansion as an opportunity to invite Indiana residents and visitors to experience a taste of Indiana whiskey, and to continue changing the perception of our state as a leading whiskey producer,” said Co-owner of West Fork Whiskey Blake Jones.
“We look forward to joining the Westfield community and bringing together people from near and far for memorable shared experiences over our approachable craft whiskey.”
Jones added that about two-thirds of the space will be dedicated to distilling and warehousing of barrels. They are still wrapping up the final details on the equipment but the plan is to increase spirits production about 10 times what they are making now. They also have an option on an additional 12+ acres for future expansion.
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Nearly a year in the making, the expansion will feature a 5,000 square-foot event space, retail store, a 4,000 square-foot restaurant with a cocktail lounge, a speakeasy, additional production and aging space, and more. The restaurant will focus heavily on Indiana ingredients and will primarily offer seasonal menu items native to Indiana. The new family friendly facility will also offer interactive tours, tastings and other educational components.
“It’s truly an exciting day for the state of Indiana and the city of Westfield as we break ground on West Fork Whiskey’s new facility,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “Agritourism is a vital part of Indiana’s economy, contributing to a sector that provides more than $31 billion annually to our state, and its developments like this that continue making Indiana the best place to work, live, play and stay.”
“Grand Park sees more than 2.5 million visits a year,” said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook. “West Fork offers a unique experience and opportunity for our residents and visitors. I am thrilled we will have this partnership in our community.”
Grand Park Sports Campus is the official home of Indianapolis Colts Training Camp. The entire campus is 400+ acres and has helped the city of Westfield attract over $1.5 billion in economic development since development began in 2007.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered West Fork Whiskey Co. up to $450,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired. Holladay Properties a full-scale land development, design/build, fully integrated real estate company, and one of the largest property management firms in the country, is the development partner for the project, which includes potential future phases to include outdoor spaces.
The new West Fork Whiskey Co. expanded facility is expected open to the public in Summer 2022 and will create up to 52 new jobs by the end of 2024.