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Fort Wayne's First Distillery Opens, But Alcohol Not Available Yet

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Lisa Ryan, WBOI News
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Co-owners Travis Kraick (left) and Stephen Blevins (right) hold scissors to cut the ceremonial ribbon.
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Credit Lisa Ryan, WBOI News
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The barrels used to make tables will actually be used to hold alcohol.

Fort Wayne’s first distillery opened its doors to the public Friday, but it won’t be able to sell alcohol in the building until 2019.

A co-owner of Three Rivers Distilling Company says due to Indiana distillery license laws, they won’t be able to sell alcohol directly to the public until January 2019. But they hope to start selling to retailers in June of this year.

Fort Wayne natives Stephen Blevins and Travis Kraick started the distillery in 2013, which is located at 224 E. Wallace St. just south of downtown. Blevins says it was important to him that all the grains used for the spirits are locally sourced.

“You know, we want to see those local economies grow and benefit from small business and we think that those decisions to source locally only foster more and more of that end result,” Blevins said.

The corn and wheat used in their vodka and gin are mainly from Lebanon, Indiana. The sugar used to make the distillery’s River City Rum is not made in Indiana, but they purchase from Indiana Sugars in Gary.

Blevins says even though they can’t sell alcohol to customers directly, he hopes people will stop by to get a tour or buy merchandise.

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