2024 Sustainability Report Now Available
Company News, Sustainability in Action

Veteran-owned distillery uses O-I’s new Forte bottle for military-inspired spirits

For more information, contact:
Ryan McCarthy
Regional Communications Specialist
[email protected]

Veteran-owned distillery uses O-I’s new Forte bottle for military-inspired spirits

Perrysburg, Ohio (April 23, 2015) – Hotel Tango, Central Indiana’s first small-batch artisan distiller, is also one of the first to use the new Forte bottle offered by Owens-Illinois (O-I) as part of the glass packaging supplier’s Covet Classics™ collection.

As they searched for the right package for their spirits, Hotel Tango’s owners found O-I’s Forte design to be a perfect match for their unique identity and for their small but growing business needs.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, the distillery was founded in 2013 by Marine Corps veteran Travis Barnes, his wife, Hilary, and a small group of friends. They use high-quality local ingredients such as Indiana-grown corn, and have the distinction of being the first disabled veteran-owned distiller in the U.S.

As a start-up distillery, the Hotel Tango team ran into challenges with the minimum order and lead time requirements of the first glass packaging supplier they contacted. So they turned to O-I’s Covet Classics collection of timeless bottle designs. This collection offers speed-to-market and the convenience of ordering as little as a pallet at a time, without sacrificing premium design and appearance.

The timing was right for Hotel Tango products to be among the first to use the Forte bottle, which O-I introduced in February as a modern take on their classic Kaleido design. Forte’s updated silhouette and taller, prouder shape create a more pronounced vertical canvas to take brand identities to a higher level.

“Everybody who has seen the Forte design is immediately attracted to it and bartenders like the way it feels,” Barnes said.

After returning from three tours of duty with the Marines, Barnes took an interest in distilling as he and his wife attended law school. Their studies helped draw their attention to a new state law that opened up a short window for new craft distillers to obtain artisan distiller’s permits.

They assembled a team made up of two fellow law students, Adam Willfond and Nabeela Virjee, and friend Brian Willsey, an MBA student. The team quickly established their business, obtained their permit, and opened a distillery and tasting room in a historic carriage house in Indianapolis’ up-and-coming Fletcher Place neighborhood.

Taking their name from the military alphabet phonetics for Barnes’ and his wife’s first initials, they launched with a family of similarly named spirits – Golf Gin, Lima Charlie Limoncello, Mike Moonshine, Romeo Rum and Victor Vodka. A flagship Hotel Tango Whiskey is aging in barrels for an eventual debut. All of Hotel Tango’s spirits are packaged in 375 and 750 mL Forte and Kaleido bottles from O-I and sold at their Indianapolis distillery. They will also be available at Indianapolis bars, restaurants and retailers, with plans to expand to nationwide distribution. 

Barnes said the flexibility and scalability available through O-I’s Covet Classics collection appealed to the Hotel Tango team.

“It’s good to know that we can place smaller, quicker orders now, and that we have the support and reliability of a leading global glass packaging manufacturer as we grow,” he said.

Covet Classics is part of O-I’s Covet™ line, a collection of luxury glass packaging products and services. Covet Classics bottles are available in a variety of sizes and can be modified with embossing, coatings, labels and closures (bar top, screw top and decanter-style) for a distinguished look. Covet also offers design services to create custom looks for customer brands.

For more information on O-I’s Covet Classics line, visit www.o-i.com/covet-classics1.

About Covet
Covet is a collection of luxury glass packaging products and related services that help super premium brands achieve their business objectives and deepen their connections with consumers. Covet brings the best of O-I’s global capabilities, including custom glass design and decoration, a collection of classic O-I bottle designs and O-I’s innovation portfolio to help high-end brands seize market opportunities.

About O-I
Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) is the world’s largest glass container manufacturer and preferred partner for many of the world’s leading food and beverage brands. The Company had revenues of $6.8 billion in 2014 and employs approximately 21,100 people at 75 plants in 21 countries. With global headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio, USA, O-I delivers safe, sustainable, pure, iconic, brand-building glass packaging to a growing global marketplace. For more information, visit o-i.com.
O-I’s Glass Is Life™ movement promotes the widespread benefits of glass packaging in key markets around the globe. Learn more about the reasons to choose glass and join the movement at glassislife.com.

O-I Newsroom
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.