Craft Distilleries Aim to Make Whiskey an Experience

Despite the financial pain wreaked by the pandemic, the industry grew in 2020 as businesses moved tastings and other activities outdoors.

The Hard Truth Distillery, in Nashville, Ind., includes a tour center, tasting room, restaurant, outdoor amphitheater, event venue and rickhouses for its rye whiskey and bourbon barrels.Credit…Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

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By Keith Schneider

GETHSEMANE, KY. — As pandemic lockdowns closed businesses around the nation last year, craft distilleries braced for the worst. Their business, after all, was built on the intimacy of sampling spirits in person.

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