Seymour native brewing up success


A Jackson County native has been working with fellow Hoosiers for more than 10 years to change state law so distilleries could sell directly to the public.

The mission was accomplished in 2013 with the Indiana Artisan Distiller’s Permit, which allowed Hoosier distillers to sell directly to consumers.

In June 2018, Heartland Distillers filed the paperwork with the state of Indiana to sell to the public and then the company opened it’s doors to the public last month.

Heartland Distillers, located in Indianapolis, is the first new distillery in Indiana since prohibition.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

The company was founded in 2008 by Stuart Hobson of Fishers. 

Hobson grew up in Seymour and graduated from Seymour High School in 1985. He is a graduate of Indiana University with degrees in both business and law.

Hobson’s family owned the Seymour Manufacturing Company downtown in Seymour, on Broadway street. He is the son of the late Harold and Peggy Hobson.

History of Heartland Distillers

“I left Seymour to go to college at Indiana University,” Hobson said. “Then after college I went to law school and was a lawyer for a little while, then I opened up the distillery about 10 years ago.”

Hobson entered the spirits business in 1994 when he purchased a family owned liquor store in Fishers. Many years and several stores later he exited the liquor store business and founded Heartland Distillers.

“I was traveling through northern Michigan in 2007 and saw a small distillery,” Hobson said. “Indiana didn’t have one at the time, so I set about learning that side of the business and opened up Heartland a few years later.”

Spirits of Heartland

Heartland Distillers distills and produces vodka, flavored vodkas, gins, liqueurs, whiskeys and bourbons, which are available overseas and in 15 states throughout the Midwest, New York, California and Florida.

The popularity of vodka was one reason Hobson chose the spirit as his first product, also the fact that a batch of vodka can be made in less than two weeks. Whereas other liquor, such as bourbon, must be aged for several years.

“Different products are made with different ingredients and our vodka is made with one hundred percent corn,” Hobson said. “Our bourbon is made with corn, plus some rye wheat and malted barley and the gin is 100 percent corn, but then flavored with juniper berries and other botanicals.”

Indiana Vodka is mostly produced from local corn, but grains for Heartland’s other products come from many other places. Hobson doesn’t do any of the farming because that’s not his area of expertise.

Looking forward

“Right now people can purchase our products mainly in liquor stores all over the state and in some grocery stores,” Hobson said. “Our bourbon is available in Sam’s Clubs and there are some restaurants and bars that carry our products. We’re in about 500 different towns across the state.”

Hobson said their current facility, located at 9402 Uptown Drive, Suite 1000, Indianapolis, was not set up to be directly open to the public, but they decided to open up anyway.

“We’re also looking to possibly move the distillery to a better location,” Hobson said. “We’re shopping around different locations right now.”

Featured Heartland Distillers products

Indiana Vodka is created using only the finest midwestern grain and is distilled six times for maximum flavor and smoothness. The company handcrafts their vodka in small batches, utilizing the copper pot still process. Indiana Vodka was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2010 World Spirits Competition.

Heartland Distillers American Gin is crafted by master distiller, Hobson. The classic gin is crafted using highly refined, six times distilled neutral spirit. Then the gin is blended with a balanced mix of herbs and spices.

Spring Mill Bourbon is handcrafted with corn, rye and a bit of malted barley. It is then aged in new charred oak barrels. A portion of the bourbon is finished in a second set of new charred oak barrels to give this twice=barreled bourbon additional character and flavor.

Hobson said, in celebration of the distillery being open to the public, they are taking orders for their limited release Spring Mill Bourbon that has been aging for the past nine years.

“Once this special bourbon is gone, it will never return, bottled in a white ceramic clay bottle,” Hobson said. “Bourbon connoisseurs can reserve a bottle on the Heartland Distillers website.”

Hobson enjoys boating, skiing, hunting, and sports in general. He has coached football, baseball, and basketball. He is the father of four boys, Ian, Alec, Evan and David, who passed away in 2014 after a bout with clinical depression.

Hobson has set up a charitable organization, Underneath the Smile, to raise awareness and money for educational and prevention programs.

“The name draws attention to the fact the clinically depressed many times do not exhibit outward signs of depression,” Hobson said. “It also is a tribute to David’s infectious smile.”

Hobson hopes to host the Gleam Gala in Indianapolis next year to raise money for Underneath the Smile and other like-minded charities.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”On the Web” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Contact information about Heartland Distillers or Underneath the Smile:

Heartland Distillers, 9402 Uptown Drive, Suite 1000, Indianapolis.

Email: [email protected]


Phone: (317) 714-4138


No posts to display