Three Rivers Distilling Company will not have to wait three years to bring a craft spirits tasting room to the city of Fort Wayne. House Bill 1496, authored by Rep. Ben Smaltz, changes the Artisan Distiller’s Permit language to state “…that an applicant for an artisan distiller’s permit must hold a farm winery, brewer’s, or distiller’s permit for 18 months (instead of three years) before the date of the application.” With the reduction in waiting time, this will allow Three Rivers Distilling Company to receive an Artisan Distiller’s Permit in July and the ability to expand their existing facility at 224 E. Wallace Street to include a tasting room.
Many members of the NE Indiana legislative delegation came together to support small business growth. Rep. Ben Smaltz had support from co-authors Rep. Phillip GiaQuinta and Rep. Matt Lehman on HB 1496. Greater Fort Wayne, Inc’s Director of Business Advocacy, Melissa Beber, and Catalyst Public Affairs Group, led by Principal Anthony Mitson, ensured all legislators understood the issue and expertly crafted a solution that was fair for all small businesses in the craft distilling industry.
Three Rivers Distilling Company Co-Founder and CEO, Stephen Blevins praised the efforts of the legislators. “Reps. Smaltz, GiaQuinta, and Lehman are true champions for small business,” Blevins said. “They took the time to listen to our concerns, understand the problem, and provide a comprehensive solution that allows us to grow.”
Three Rivers Distilling Company will hold an invitation only press conference on June 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm at the distillery located at 224 E. Wallace Street to publicly thank all legislators and partners that helped make this expansion possible. At that time, Three Rivers Distilling Company will reveal the expansion plans for the tasting room, including indoor dining and an outdoor courtyard. This expansion will also more than double the current employees at the distillery. It is set to open this summer.
Three Rivers Distilling Company is Fort Wayne’s first and only craft distillery. It is veteran owned and operated. Three Rivers Distilling Co. spirits are available statewide.