After finding success with his 1205 Distillery in downtown Indianapolis, Carmel native Nolan Hudson is excited to have launched another 1205 Distillery location in Hamilton County.
Hudson and his partner Brad Colver grew up in Hamilton County, and Hudson says since 1205 Distillery’s spirits have had a long-time presence in the county, bringing a physical presence to the northside was the next logical step for the company.
Located in Westfield off of Main Street, the new location will serve craft cocktails made exclusively with 1205 Distillery spirits, as well as select local beer and wine options. Although the Westfield location does not have a kitchen, Hudson plans to partner with local restaurants and food vendors for food delivery and catering options, giving customers something to munch on while they enjoy a delicious craft cocktail.
Since December of 2014, Hudson and his 1205 Distillery staff have produced local, handcrafted spirits made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
“We started off with vodka and gin,” Hudson says. “Then we came out with our whiskeys, which were a wheat whiskey, a rye whiskey and a bourbon. We also have our rhubarb liqueur. Those are all sold in Westfield.”
1205 Distillery also offers absinthe and rum, both of which will soon be available at the Westfield location.
According to Hudson, 1205 Distillery’s expansion to Westfield was initially prompted by a conversation he had with Karen Radcliff, vice president of Hamilton County Tourism, Inc.
“I was working an event in Noblesville, and Karen Radcliff stopped by and tried our liquor,” Hudson says. “She asked if I had any interest in opening up in Hamilton County, and I told her, ‘I’d love to, but we’re just not in a position to do it.’”
Hudson eventually connected with Matt Skelton, former director of community development for the City of Westfield.
“I thought we were just going to have a nice sit-down and talk,” says Hudson of the first time he met with Skelton. “The first thing we did was drive around and look at buildings. The building we have now was the third one we looked at, and I was just like, ‘Yep, that’s it. We’re taking it.’”
In addition to its garage, Hudson was also drawn to the Westfield building’s overall look.
“If you’ve ever been in our downtown location, you know we have a very rustic feel,” Hudson says. “We like the wood, metal and copper look. I’m not into brand-new, sterile-looking buildings. I don’t like that feel.”
At 1205 Distillery’s Westfield location, the focus will be on serving up delicious drinks showcasing the distillery’s handcrafted selection of spirits.
“Westfield is going to be our cocktail lounge where we really get creative with cocktails,” Hudson says. “We’re also allowed to do other stuff that we’re not allowed to do downtown, like carry local beer and wine.”
In particular, one special cocktail that visitors will find on the menu is the Hamilton Co. Smash, which is also the official cocktail of Hamilton County.
“Kentucky has their Kentucky Mule, and everywhere you go you can get a Kentucky Mule,” Hudson says. “We wanted to bring something like that to Hamilton County – something that really no other county has.”
Ingredients in the Hamilton Co. Smash include 1205 Distillery’s New American Gin and its Rhubarb Liqueur, as well as simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and small mint leaves. According to Hudson, another popular cocktail on the menu is the Giggle Water.
“If we took it off the menu, there’d be riots,” Hudson says of the Giggle Water cocktail. “It’s like a rhubarb mule. It’s vodka, rhubarb liqueur, lime and ginger beer. It’s unique to us because we’re the only place that makes a rhubarb liqueur.”
Although it hasn’t been open long, Hudson says the response to 1205 Distillery’s Westfield location has already been positive.
“Everyone keeps telling us that Westfield has needed something like this for a long time, so I think it’s going to go really well,” he says.
1205 Distillery is located at 120 Camilla Court, Suite A in Westfield. To learn more, visit 1205Distillery.com and call 317-439-4997.