BETHEL TWP., Miami County — Indian Creek Distillery, a family operation located at the Staley Farm property, is growing.
Plans are being finalized for an expansion to include a tavern where visitors checking out the offerings of the distillery will be able to gather for conversation, drink and some food.
Missy and Joe Duer opened Indian Creek Distillery in 2012 on property that has been in Missy’s family for more than 200 years.
“There were three businesses here originally, the grist mill, the distillery and the sawmill,” she said. “It was such a busy complex, a pioneer complex that was very necessary. Here, we are making the old farm come alive again.”
The business began with the rye whiskey operation of the property’s past, followed by bourbon.
The rural setting of the property located off Ohio 201 in eastern Miami County is a plus, Missy Duer said.
“There is something very magical and enchanting and wonderful about a destination like this. There are no stop lights on this country road. When you come, you have to make an effort. It is a journey, but the journey is worth the drive. That is what sets us apart from other craft distilleries,” she said.
The additional offerings will be a plus for visitors, she said.
“If people make the effort to come out here, we want you to go home with more than a bottle of bourbon. They want to go home with the experience embedded in them because they start to feel like family here.”
The project has an estimated cost of $1.25 million, according to building permit information from the Miami County Building Department. Plans for the expanded operation were outlined briefly for the Miami County commissioners recently.
The Duers are working with Andrew Circle as project architect.
The new building will include an expanded retail shop and a museum room to feature the property’s history.
The expansion centerpiece will be the tavern with a late 1800s/early 1900s antique bar purchased recently from the Poconos and an eight-foot indoor/outdoor fireplace.
Small seating areas will be incorporated to encourage conversation. Planning continues for a menu described by Duer as small bites to go with the whiskey.
“These will be old fashioned appetizers — canapes — made by our mothers and grandmothers,” she said.
The building will include large windows looking onto a porch and the rural setting beyond.
“I wanted people to be able to look outside while maintaining that intimate feel inside the tavern. I will have a little modern, but a lot of old,” Duer said.
Hopes are the project can be complete by the holidays at the end of 2023.
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