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Our Story

Bear Wallow Distillery is family run and 100% owned by Susan Spagnuolo.
We are one of the very few female owned distilleries in the country.  

After discovering a craft distillery on a foodie road trip to North Carolina in February of 2012 the seed was planted and in March of 2012, Bear Wallow Distillery (BWD) was formed.  We became part of the small group that worked for a year and a half to get the law changed in Indiana and were the first new distillery to open in Indiana after the Artisan Distillers law passed in July of 2013.  After a year of permitting (Federal and State), construction and equipment instillations, we started production in May 2014, finally opening the doors to the public on August 1st, 2014 in Nashville, Indiana.

We often joke about having the first “legal” still in Brown County because there was, and still are, a lot of illegal stills in Brown County.  Bear Wallow is also a real place in Brown County with a real history of whiskey making, in fact, during prohibition, Moonshiners used to hide from the law in Bear Wallow because at that time there were so many bears in Bear Wallow that the Sheriff would not go after them for fear of being attacked by a bear.

BWD is working hard to produce the highest quality, handcrafted spirits and has earned the following designations; Certified Farm Distillery (because we use all Indiana grown grains), Indiana Artisan (a juried award and the only distillery in Indiana to earn this designation) and Indiana Grown (certified 100% Indiana product), we’re a top ranked Brown County attraction on Trip Advisor, Yelp and Google and we're even listed in the 2016 and 2017 Rand McNally as a “Best of the Road Trips” stops in Indiana (they only listed 5 road trips total).  BWD has also been featured in Midwest Living, Travel Indiana, had the signature cocktail at the Indiana State Fair which was profiled on a national food network show which generated calls from all over the country asking for our Hoosier Hooch Lemonade Moonshine. 

At BWD all we do is make whiskey (currently 5 different whiskeys), by hand, in small batches, with grains we get from local Indiana Farmers (100% Indiana Grown).  We cook the grains (Mash), ferment the Mash, then distill the Mash to remove the spent grains (which we give to local farmers who feed it to their livestock) then we distill the alcohol a second time in our custom made (in Louisville, KY) old fashioned Scottish Gooseneck Copper Pot Still.  Some of our whiskeys go straight to the bottle but most of our production goes into brand new, hand made (in Louisville) American White Oak Charred Barrels to become one of our aged whiskeys.


Bear Wallow Distillery is a family affair. Susan’s youngest son, Adam, is head of production. Her middle son, Jon, creates all the labels, logos, and other marketing.  Susan’s Husband, Mike also helps on the weekends when he’s not working his regular job.  Sometimes Susan’s other family members help out and she currently has three other employees that have joined the “BWD Family”.

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