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Manic Meadery, 18th Street Distilling win national awards: 'NWI can no longer be ignored'
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Manic Meadery, 18th Street Distilling win national awards: 'NWI can no longer be ignored'

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Region-based craft beverage makers won big at prestigious national awards this week.

Manic Meadery in Crown Point won a silver medal at the Mazer Cup competition that judges the country's best mead, an ancient honey wine. And 18th Street Distillery in downtown Hammond cleaned up with six medals at the American Distilling Institute's Craft Spirits Awards.

"We are proud and honored just to be recognized for our efforts among our peers," 18th Street founder Drew Fox said. "At 18th Street Distillery we all work very hard every day and only want to produce world-class spirits."

18th Street Distillery, which opened a retro cocktail lounge at 5417 Oakley Ave. in downtown Hammond last year, won silver medals for Rye Whiskey, Bourbon, Pot Still Rum and Contemporary Gin, and bronze medals for 100 Proof Rye Whiskey and Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey.

The slew of honors could help make the craft distillery, the first to open in Hammond since Prohibition, even more of a draw, Fox said.

"People from all over our state and country who visit us at our Hammond location are able to enjoy our spirits via our tasting lounge which has an incredible cocktail program," Fox said. "They can also visit our Gary location which carries our spirits and also has an amazing cocktail program. Northwest Indiana can no longer be ignored when it comes to manufacturing award-winning distilled spirits. We have opened the door and I'm sure we will see a few more Region distilleries on the awards stage next year."

Manic Meadery, which opened at 1003 E. Summit St. in Crown Point last year, won a silver medal for Sweet Dessert Mead with its Vanilla Elliot at MeadCon in Broomfield, Colorado.

"Vanilla Elliot is made with orange blossom honey, Michigan blueberries, and Madagascar vanilla beans," owner Tony Qualls said. "We released Vanilla Elliot the week before Mazer Cup weekend and it sold out in a few hours. We are greatly humbled by the experience and look forward to continuing the success with a year full of reserve releases."

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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