West Fork Whiskey Co. Event Center Is Open for Business
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
When the owners and staff at West Fork Whiskey Co. held their grand opening to welcome the community to their new establishment, they were blown away by the reception they received.
“It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces and hear so many compliments from customers,” says Megan Ray, program manager at West Fork Whiskey Co. “It’s been some time since we have been able to go to an opening, so I think we all enjoyed it even more.”
No doubt, the pandemic has led to a newfound appreciation for socializing, smiling and celebrating. Many are currently in search of places to host wedding receptions, showers, parties and other events. West Fork Whiskey Co.’s event center is a wonderful choice, as it can accommodate all kinds of occasions. Not only does it have a private patio that spans 35 by 90 square feet, but it also has three massive glass garage doors that can open up to invite the outside in. West Fork Whiskey Co.’s exclusive caterer is Kahn’s Catering, whose venues include the Eiteljorg Museum, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, and Dallara IndyCar Factory.
You know what they say – location, location, location. West Fork Whiskey Co., conveniently located across the street from Grand Park, is not only one of the biggest event spaces in Westfield, but it also offers a stunning backdrop.
“The fields of Westfield are so beautiful,” Ray says. “Our event center is positioned on the west side of our building with large garage doors so every evening we get a gorgeous painted sky.”
The event center officially opened and began booking events on October 1. For weeks prior, however, staff members had been fielding inquiries from community members interested in booking site tours, wedding receptions and other events.
“I came from an events background, and I’ve definitely gotten that feeling of, ‘Wow, we’re going to need a bigger boat,’” Ray says with a chuckle.
Actually, their boat is fairly big – the 4,333-square-foot event center can seat 230 people when using a traditional dance floor, and for standing-room events it can hold up to 400.
People may also choose to rent out other spots within the building for private tastings, company retreats or holiday parties. The mezzanine level of The Mash House restaurant can be rented, as can Stave Cocktail Lounge.
The event center will be home to West Fork Whiskey’s wide variety of programming. They will kick off the holiday season with a barrel-tree lighting out front, and offer family-focused Christmas party programming in the event center.
“We’re looking into including some local vendors and maybe a pop-up shop,” Ray says.
They also hope to have a beautiful live Christmas tree in the lobby that includes fun decorations and special retail products. Plus, both the cocktail and entrée menu items at The Mash House and Stave Cocktail Lounge will feature special seasonal items. This is true in the fall as well, when they’ll highlight, for instance, apple whiskey.
“Westfield is a family-focused environment so a lot of our programming will cater towards families,” Ray says. “Still, we’ll also have some really cool stuff for adults too.”
Often when people first set foot inside West Fork Whiskey Co., they are amazed at how much is there – a restaurant, a cocktail lounge, a classroom, a retail bottle bar, and an event center. At its heart, West Fork Whiskey is a whiskey distillery, with full distillation operations coming online to Westfield in early 2023, until then, staff members are focused on each unique piece of the West Fork experience.
“If you decide to host an event here, we’d love to educate you about what we do,” Ray says.
If you host a wedding or corporate Christmas party for your company, the staff at West Fork Whiskey will make it experience based. For example, if a bride and groom want to, they can get their names and wedding date engraved on a whiskey bottle. They get to decide the kind of whiskey too.
“We want to make everyone feel special,” Ray says. “It’s more than just renting a room. We want the experience to be thoughtfully curated.”
The team at West Fork Whiskey is Hoosier focused, meaning they work primarily with local businesses. For instance, they source locally for chickens as well as the corn for the whiskey.
“We celebrate being here in Indiana and being around Hoosiers who share the same pride,” Ray says.
Last May the team held a brainstorming session that included all of their employees, from servers to bartenders to warehouse workers. All were asked to share their input on the types of programs they would like to see at West Fork Whiskey Co.
“It was super collaborative, which speaks to the company,” Ray says. “That was one of the first meetings I’d had with the whole team. Everyone is respected and valued here. That was so refreshing. Everyone is excited to share this space with the community and they are heavily invested in making this a communal space.”
Possibilities for 2023 include hosting a wedding expo, celebrating whiskey days, offering yoga classes, and booking local musicians and other entertainment such as the Colts cheerleaders for autograph signings.
“Who knows what 2023 will hold?” Ray says. “The entire team has pitched some fantastic community programming.”
They recently hosted a volunteer appreciation dinner for the Colts training camp.
“The dinner was super celebratory,” Ray says. “That’s what I want for this space, because at the end of the day we’re making whiskey and creating great times.”