Hotel Tango

Hotel Tango Distillery

  • USA, Indiana
  • Gold at the 2021 San Francisco Spirits Competition, Bronze at the 2021 American Craft Spirits Association, Best of Category at the 2018 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition
Phone Number
  • +13176531806
  • 702 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46203

Brick building exterior of Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery.

History of Hotel Tango Distillery

Founding and Inspiration

Hotel Tango Distillery was founded by Travis Barnes and his wife Hilary in 2014. The story of Hotel Tango begins with Travis Barnes, whose life took a pivotal turn following the September 11 attacks, leading him to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps.

After extensive training and three tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he faced intense combat and earned multiple medals, Barnes returned to civilian life.

He went on to complete law school, where he met his future wife, Hilary. It was during this period that Travis discovered his passion for spirits and began experimenting with distilling.

Establishment and Growth

The idea of Hotel Tango was conceived as a result of Travis’s growing interest in spirits, which he pursued after law school.

In 2014, capitalizing on a new Indiana law that permitted artisan distilleries to have tasting rooms, Travis and Hilary took the opportunity to establish Hotel Tango. They named the distillery using the NATO phonetic alphabet, “Hotel” for Hilary and “Tango” for Travis, reflecting Travis’s military background.

Hotel Tango Distillery is notable for being one of the first to receive an artisan distillery license in Indiana, allowing them to serve and sell their spirits from a tasting room.

Spirits Offered

Under the guidance of Head Distiller Bob Yates, Hotel Tango produces a range of spirits, including vodka, gin, orangecello, a reserve bourbon, and “ready-to-drink” rye and bourbon.

Their bourbon and rye whiskeys have been well-received, with the bourbon characterized by notes of brown sugar, orange zest, and toasted rye, and the rye noted for its warm baking spices and toasted rye bread flavors.

Mission and Expansion

The ethos of Hotel Tango is deeply rooted in supporting local businesses, hiring veterans, and giving back to the community.

Over the years, Hotel Tango has grown significantly, not just locally and regionally, but also nationally. Their spirits are distributed on military bases across the country, including Puerto Rico and Hawaii, and they have seen substantial growth in sales through distribution outside the distillery.

Awards Won by Hotel Tango Distillery

  • New York International Spirits Competition (2015) Awards:
    • Indiana Distillery of the Year: Hotel Tango was named the Indiana Distillery of the Year.
    • Silver Medal for Romeo Rum: This spirit was recognized with a silver medal.
    • Bronze Medal for Golf Gin: Another of their products that earned a bronze medal​​.
  • Denver International Spirits Competition Awards:
    • Gold Medal for Mike Moonshine: This product topped its category.
    • Silver Medal for Romeo Rum: Continuing its success, Romeo Rum gained a silver medal here as well.
    • Bronze Medal for Lima Charlie Limoncello: This product was awarded a bronze medal​​.
  • Awards for American Straight Bourbon Whiskey:
    • 88 Rating by 2022 Whiskey Advocate
    • 87 Rating by 2022 Chilled100 Spirit Awards
    • Platinum at the 2021 SIP Awards
    • Gold at the 2021 San Francisco Spirits Competition
    • 94 Rating by 2021 Wine Enthusiast Spirit Ratings
    • Bronze at the 2021 American Craft Spirits Association
    • Silver at the 2020 American Distilling Institute Craft Spirits Competition
    • Best of Category at the 2018 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition
    • Gold at the 2018 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition​​.

Hotel Tango Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Visiting Hotel Tango Distillery offers a unique experience where guests can explore the world of artisan spirits in an environment that reflects both a military heritage and a passion for high-quality distillation. Here’s what you can expect from a tour and visit to Hotel Tango Distillery:

Location and Ambiance

Hotel Tango has several locations, with the flagship situated in Indianapolis’ historic Fletcher Place neighborhood.

This location is housed in a refurbished carriage house, characterized by an “Eclectic Americana” style which includes elements like a stone fireplace, cement and barrel stave bars, and an industrial commissary. The ambiance is warm and welcoming, fitting for a variety of visitors.

Tasting Rooms

Apart from the Indianapolis location, Hotel Tango also has tasting rooms in Fort Wayne and Zionsville. Each location has its unique vibe but maintains a homage to the military background.

The Fort Wayne Tasting Room has a relaxed atmosphere suitable for various events, and the Zionsville location offers a lively cocktail lounge experience.

The Foxhole

Adjacent to the Indianapolis Tasting Room, The Foxhole is an intimate event space that can accommodate 80-110 guests.

It’s an ideal venue for both corporate and social events, featuring a large brick fireplace and the opportunity to enjoy Hotel Tango cocktails and local catering.

Craft Spirits and Cocktails

Hotel Tango crafts a variety of spirits including bourbon, rye whiskey, gin, vodka, and unique offerings like lemoncello and orangecello. They’re known for their high-quality and innovative spirits.

The Tasting Room in Indianapolis offers a seasonal rotating cocktail menu, showcasing the creativity of their bartenders and Flavor Innovation Team.

Commitment to Quality and Community

The distillery is the nation’s first combat-disabled, veteran-owned distillery, founded by Travis Barnes and his wife, Hilary.

They have a strong commitment to creating high-quality spirits and an inclusive environment for both workers and visitors.

Contact and Visit Information

For further details or specific inquiries about tours and experiences, visitors can contact Hotel Tango Distillery at 317-653-1806 or via email at

Flask & Barrel Review of Hotel Tango Distillery

As a whiskey collector who’s been on numerous distillery tours, my visit to Hotel Tango Distillery was a standout experience, deserving a solid 4.7 out of 5.

First off, the place has a vibe like no other – it’s steeped in history and has this really cool ‘Eclectic Americana’ style. Being a vet-owned distillery, there’s a unique and respectful nod to the military, which I deeply appreciated.

Now, let’s talk whiskey. Their range is impressive, and each spirit I sampled was top-notch.

I particularly loved the bourbon – it had this perfect balance of caramel and rye, smooth yet complex. The orangecello and lemoncello were delightful surprises, offering a zesty twist to the usual spirits lineup.

The staff were super knowledgeable and friendly, sharing insights that only added to the experience. And the Foxhole – their event space – was just the cherry on top. Cozy, inviting, and perfect for unwinding with a fine drink in hand.

Overall, Hotel Tango isn’t just a distillery; it’s a celebration of quality spirits, rich history, and heartfelt craftsmanship. A must-visit for any spirit enthusiast looking for something genuinely unique.

What To Do Nearby Hotel Tango Distillery

  • Chilly Water Brewing Company (0.03 miles): Just a stone’s throw away, this brewery offers a great selection of craft beers and a cozy atmosphere.
  • Our Lady Of The Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church (0.2 miles): A beautiful historic church worth visiting for its serene ambiance and stunning architecture.
  • Bankers Life Fieldhouse (0.7 miles): Catch a game or a concert at this large venue, home to the Indiana Pacers and a hub for entertainment.
  • Lucas Oil Stadium (1 mile): A must-visit for sports fans, this iconic stadium is home to the Indianapolis Colts and hosts various events throughout the year.
  • Soldiers & Sailors Monument (1 mile): Explore this impressive monument dedicated to Indiana’s soldiers and sailors.
  • Monument Circle (1.1 miles): A notable landmark in Indianapolis, perfect for a leisurely stroll and to take in the city’s history.
  • Victory Field (1.3 miles): If you’re into baseball, check out a game at this minor league ballpark.
  • Indiana War Memorial (1.3 miles): Pay a visit to this memorial that honors the veterans and explore the museum inside.
  • Indiana Convention Center (1 mile): Check out the events happening at this large convention center.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Hotel Tango Distillery?

  • Bluebeard: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 653 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46203.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +13176861580. 
  • Kuma’s Corner: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 1127 Prospect St, Indianapolis, IN 46203.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +13179291287. 
  • EL Azabache Mexican Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 4200 S East St #11, Indianapolis, IN 46227.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +13177911533.

What hotels are near Hotel Tango Distillery?

  • Fountainview Inn: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 1105 Prospect St, Indianapolis, IN 46203.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +13176866018.