Indiana’s craft distilleries to compete for title of Best State Whiskey at Heartland Whiskey Competition


Contact: Dave Blower Jr. at 317-644-0980;

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 3, 2021) — The Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) plans to take part in the next Heartland Whiskey Competition, July 22-23 in Louisville, Ky., where craft distillers from across Indiana are invited to compete.

ICMC is a sponsor for the competition, which includes multiple corn whiskey categories along with challenge for Indiana’s Best. The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) will oversee blind judging and determine state medalists, category medalists and best of show.

“Finding new markets and uses for Indiana corn is the daily goal for those of us involved in the state’s corn checkoff,” said ICMC Board President Joshua Miller, a farmer from Anderson, Ind. “While corn whiskey isn’t a new use for Indiana corn, the spirits made from our grain is an emerging market for our farmers. Corn has a variety of uses for U.S. consumers. This competition is just one more way we can highlight that versatility.”

This is the third successive Heartland Whiskey Competition that state corn marketing associations throughout America’s Heartland have come together to sponsor. The biennial contest is sanctioned by the ACSA and strictly limited to craft whiskeys that contain some amount of corn as an ingredient.

Any U.S. craft distiller is eligible to enter a product for judging in several categories. The most coveted awards are “Best of State,” which are limited to only those 16 states sponsored by their respective corn associations and “Best of Show” – also limited to sponsor states.

“We are thrilled to once again work with the state corn associations and support a competition that highlights small distilleries in their individual states. This covers more than 90 percent of all U.S. craft distilleries,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, ACSA Chief Executive Officer. “Ours is a rapidly growing industry that requires continual support which corn growers have so graciously provided these last several years. This competition provides craft distilleries – many of which are independent, family-run businesses – a unique opportunity for visibility among consumers and distributors.”

Spirits competitions carry significant weight in the spirits industry, as award medals are often the reason a consumer purchases a product at a retail location. Indiana distillers have performed well in previous Heartland Whiskey competitions, earning several coveted medals. Most craft distilleries use corn mash sourced locally to make their product.

ACSA will select judges from accomplished mixologists who have experience with craft spirits. The actual judging will occur July 22 and 23 and winners will be announced in early August.


About Indiana Corn Marketing Council: The Indiana Corn Marketing Council was established by the Indiana General Assembly to promote the interests of corn growers in the state and to manage corn checkoff funds. The Council is composed of 17 voting directors who guide investments of corn checkoff funds on behalf of more than 20,000 Indiana corn farmers. The ICMC works to assist corn farmers through its strategic initiatives of market development; environmental, social and economic sustainability; value creation and producer engagement. Learn more at

About American Craft Spirits Association: The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) is the only registered non-profit trade association representing the U.S. craft spirits industry.  Its mission is to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers, and membership in ACSA is open to anyone. ACSA is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the eligible voting members of the Association.  Voting members must be independent licensed distillers (DSPs) annually removing fewer than 750,000 proof gallons from bond (the amount on which a Federal Excise Tax is paid.)

This communication was funded with Indiana corn checkoff dollars.