By Aubrey Sitzman
Sitting high atop a hill in Nashville, Indiana, tucked away in the woods, is Big Woods’ newest venture, Hard Truth Hills Distilling Co. That’s right, this Indiana-based restaurant and brewing company is at it again. Not only have they expanded their drink brand far beyond beer with a lineup of delicious spirits, but they’ve also created a whole destination dedicated to their craft.
From learning the Big Woods story and sampling some of their top-notch spirits to savoring their mouthwatering cocktails and taking in a stunning view at the bar, Hard Truth Hills is more than just a place to grab a drink, it’s a unique experience worth checking out. And there’s still more in the works. After all, when you have 325 acres to work with, the possibilities are endless.
It all started way back in 2009 with the original Big Woods restaurant in Nashville’s village, and small-scale craft beer brewing behind the kitchen. Making a tiny 12 gallons at a time (that’s less than one keg), Big Woods and QuaffOn! Brewing Company was up and running, crafting a look, taste, and experience all their own.
The momentum just kept going as more restaurants were built, brewing expanded to its own facility, and a distillery was even created–Hard Truth Distilling Co., Big Woods’ exclusive line of liquor, was started in 2015. Featuring gin, rum, and vodka in the beginning, they spiced it up, adding a cinnamon flavored vodka to the repertoire.
That’s not all; they also have crafted a truly special agave spirit. Not only is it the first aged product to come from Hard Truth, but it also put them in the Indiana history books as the first distillery to ferment, distill, and sell such a spirit. They are even working on a rye whiskey, bourbon, and wheated bourbon, all of which are still in the aging process, but can be reserved by the bottle for when they’re finished.
Along with all these scrumptious spirits, the Big Woods brand also has created a long list of equally delectable cocktails. Something for every taste, they have all the classics plus several creative concoctions that are uniquely their own. And, you can enjoy them all at the Hard Truth Hills bar. Big Woods’ craft beer is on tap too.
Besides unwinding with some drinks at the bar, Hard Truth Hills also offers tours at their Welcome Center. On their Shot of the Truth Tour, not only will you learn the history of the Big Woods/QuaffOn!/Hard Truth brand, but you’ll also learn a thing or two about Brown County history. Get the inside scoop on the ingredients and process Big Woods uses to make their tasty beer and spirits and do some tasting while you’re at it.
And more tours are in the works. You’re likely to notice some major construction going on while you’re up on the Hill and that’s because a brand new production facility is being built…a big one at that. When it’s completed, which should be late spring or early summer, the around 30,000-square-foot facility will be going full speed, distilling all the Hard Truth spirits. Tours of the distillery also will be offered so you’ll be able to see first-hand how it’s done.
Along with the production facility, a rack house is on the construction docket too. The future home of Hard Truth’s barrel-aging program, the rack house will provide the perfect space for those whiskeys and bourbons to get better with age.
With hundreds of acres to work with, the Big Woods team also is going to add a restaurant atop the Hill. Family friendly and offering spectacular wooded views, Hard Truth Hills’ onsite restaurant is sure to be a special dining experience. Be on the lookout for it to open…hopefully by summertime.
Eventually there is going to be a whole trail system too. Imagine being able to enjoy some cocktails before or after a hike as you revel in the beautiful Brown County forest. Soon you’ll even be able to go on an ATV tour of the property. Let an expert driver guide you across the grounds for a little history lesson and a whole lot of adventure.
Keeping with the Big Woods way, there’s sure to be other exciting developments as time goes by as well. Head to the Hill and see for yourself…after all, the truth never tasted so good!
Hard Truth Hills
418 Old State Road 46, Nashville, IN, 47448
Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Friday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.