Meet the Maker: Hotel Tango
Name: Travis Barnes
Company: Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery
What do you sell? We sell locally produced artisan spirits including Bravo Bourbon, Whiskey, Golf Gin, Victor Vodka, Romeo Rum, Mike Moonshine, Lima Charlie Limoncello, and Oscar Charlie Orangecello. We also serve craft cocktails made with our in-house artisan spirits at our tasting room on 702 Virginia Avenue.
When did you start your business? Hotel Tango opened on September 15, 2014.
Social Media: Facebook @HotelTangoWhiskey, Twitter @HotelTangoIndy, Instagram @HotelTangoIndy
Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery is the nation’s first service-disabled combat veteran-owned distillery, and the first artisan distillery to open in Indianapolis since Prohibition. Located in the historic Fletcher Place neighborhood of downtown Indianapolis, Hotel Tango operates a tasting room where customers can sample all spirits, as well as enjoy craft cocktails made with the in-house product. The distillery’s spirit line includes Golf Gin, Romeo Rum, Mike Moonshine, Bravo Bourbon, Victor Vodka, Lima Charlie Limoncello, Oscar Charlie Orangecello, and Whiskey. Today, Hotel Tango spirits are distributed to five states including Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and parts of Texas.
Are you charitable? Who do you support? We field many donation requests and support as many local causes as we can, from adult literacy to hunger relief. Our foremost concern, however, is supporting veteran issues and veteran organizations. Before I went to law school and opened Hotel Tango, I was a three-time combat Recon Marine, and I want to make sure our business gives back to organizations that support veterans. Every November, we hold our biggest fundraiser of the year with HVAF of Indiana (Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation) called Operation Alpha. Just like Hotel Tango as a business, Operation Alpha gets bigger and better every year, and the amount of funds raised for HVAF of Indiana grows.
What was the hardest thing about starting your business? The hardest thing about starting this business was breaking into an established market that already has very high-quality products available. Hotel Tango produces spirits that can compete on a national basis with other high-quality brands, but it's certainly a challenge.
What is the go-to meal for your product that you love? My favorite cocktail is a Gin Bravo, featuring our Golf Gin. Golf Gin is citrus-forward and very friendly, known to convert even non-gin drinkers. The Gin Bravo has blackberries, basil, lemon juice, and green tea simple syrup, which we make in-house. The Gin Bravo is typically on our cocktail menu in the spring and summer.
Find this maker’s product at the Carmel Market District!