Bar Native’s Guide to Chicago Area Distilleries

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“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” – Ogden Nash

It might have been a long time coming, but it appears the Chicago area is poised to take a big step into the distillery boom, reminiscent of it’s recent explosion into the craft brewery world. It is still in the early stages, and the sheer volume of craft breweries in the area is always going to be far greater, but each year adds new members to the distillery ranks.

Since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, Illinois did not have a distillery until Lake Bluff’s North Shore Distillery opened in 2004. Chicago’s first distillery, Koval, followed in 2008 and even Evanston, the home of the Temperance movement, is now home to FEW Spirits. Certainly, a corner has been turned!

With that in mind, we present our guide to Chicago area distilleries. We have sampled as many of these fine spirits as possible (ahem…reporting purposes), and are extremely pleased with the results. And with holidays approaching, we would point out what fine gifts a bottle or two would make. Not just to us, but your other loved ones, as well.

Similar to our Bar Native Guide to Chicago Area Craft Brewerieswe will constantly be updating this list as new distilleries open, delicious spirits become available, or nifty events are announced. Please check back often.

Click on the distillery name to access their address, phone number, social media links and any other relevant info we have. If you know of any distilleries we might have missed, please leave a comment or send us an email so we can update our list. Cheers!

CH Distillery & Cocktail Bar – Chicago, IL

Established 2013

Spirits Available
    • Vodka
    • Key Gin
    • London Dry Gin
    • Amaro
    • Bourbon
    • Giuliana’s Handmade Limoncello
    • Peppercorn Vodka
    • Aquavit
    • Whiskey
    • Rum
Tasting Room Hours
    • Tuesday – Thursday: 5pm – 11pm.
    • Friday – Saturday: 5pm – Midnight.
Retail & Bottle Sales
    • Monday – Friday: 10am – 4pm.
Distillery Tours

Chicago Distilling Company – Chicago, IL

Established 2010

Spirits Available
    • Shorty’s White Whiskey
    • Ceres Vodka
    • Finn’s Gin
Tasting Room Hours
    • Sunday: 3pm – 11pm
    • Thursday: 5pm – 11pm.
    • Friday – Saturday: 5pm – 1am.
Distillery Tours

Copper Fiddle Distillery – Lake Zurich, IL

Established 2013

Spirits Available
    • Bourbon Whiskey
    • Fiddle Gin
    • Tom Gin
Tasting Room Hours
    • Sunday: 12pm – 5pm.
    • Wednesday: 12pm – 5pm.
    • Thursday – Friday: 2pm – 9pm.
    • Saturday: 12pm – 9pm.
Distillery Tours

Few Spirits – Evanston, IL

Established 2011

Spirits Available
    • Bourbon Whiskey
    • Barrel Gin
    • Rye Whiskey
    • American Gin
Distillery Tours

Fox River Distilling Company – Geneva, IL

Established 2014

Spirits Available
    • Herrington Premium Vodka
    • Geneva’s Preservation Gin
    • Rev. Mike’s White Lightning Moonshine Corn Whiskey
Tasting Room Hours
    • Friday: 12pm – 6pm.
    • Saturday: 10am – 5pm.
    • Sunday: 12pm – 5pm.
Distillery Tours
    • Every hour on the hour during Tasting Room hours. Last tour is 1 hour before close. Cost: Free. For more info: Fox River Distillery Tours.

Frankfort Spirits – Frankfort, IL

Established 2014

Spirits Available
    • Emil Simple Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    • Verdict Vodka
Bottle Sales
    • Sunday: 12pm – 5pm.
    • Monday – Friday: 10am – 4pm.
    • Saturday: 10am – 3pm.
 Distillery Tours

Koval Distillery – Chicago, IL

Established 2008

Spirits Available
    • Bourbon Whiskey
    • Four Grain
    • Millet
    • Oak
    • Rye
    • White Rye
    • Dry Gin
    • Vodka
    • Apple Brandy
    • Pear Brandy
    • Sunchoke Brandy
    • Bierbrand
    • Orange Blossom Liqueur
    • Coffee Liqueur
    • Ginger Liqueur
    • Chrysanthemum & Honey Liqueur
    • Jasmine Liqueur
    • Rose Hip Liqueur
    • Caraway Liqueur
Cocktail Classes
Distillery Tours
    • Sundays at 2pm & 4pm. Wednesdays at 7pm. Saturdays at 1pm, 3pm & 5pm. Cost: $10. For more info: Koval Distillery Tours.
Whiskey Workshops

Letherbee Distillers – Chicago, IL

Established 2012

Spirits Available
    • Original Label Letherbee Gin
    • Charred Oak Absinthe Brun
    • R. Franklin’s Bësk
    • Letherbee Fernet
    • Vernal Seasonal Gin
    • Autumnal Seasonal Gin

Mid-Oak Distillery – Midlothian, IL

Established 2012

Spirits Available
    • CD Vodka
    • CD Chocolate Peppermint Vodka
    • CD Pineapple Vodka
    • CD Raspberry Vodka
    • CD Vanilla Vodka
    • CD Lemon Vodka
    • CD Peach Vodka
    • Torta Bianca Liqueur
Lounge Hours, Martini Making Classes & Tastings

Next Star Vodka - Chicago, IL

Established 2012

Spirits Available
    • Vodka

North Shore Distillery – Lake Bluff, IL

Established 2004

Spirits Available
    • North Shore Vodka
    • Sol Chamomile Citrus Vodka
    • Tahitian Vanilla Vodka
    • Distiller’s Gin No. 6
    • Distiller’s Gin No. 11
    • Mighty Gin
    • Aquavit-Private Reserve
    • Sirène Absinthe Verte
Tasting Room Hours
    • Sunday – Thursday: 12pm – 6pm.
    • Friday – Saturday: 12pm – 9pm.
Cocktail Bar Hours
    • Sunday: 12pm – 6pm.
    • Friday: 4pm – 9pm.
    • Saturday: 12pm – 9pm,

Oppidan Spirits – Wheeling, IL

Established 2012

Spirits Available
    • American Botanical Gin
    • Malted Rye Whiskey

Quincy Street Distillery – Riverside, IL

Established 2011

Spirits Available
    • Water Tower White Lightning Whiskey
    • Old No. 176 Railroad Gin
    • Prairie Sunshine
    • Prairie Pumpkin
    • Bourbon Spring
    • Old No. 176 Barrel Reserve Gin
    • North American Steamship Rye
    • Laughton Bros. Single-Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    • Groninger Hoek Genever Gin (Coming soon)
    • QSD Vodka
    • Salt Creek Corn Whiskey (Coming soon)
    • Andersonville Akvavit (Coming soon)

Distillery, Retail Shop & Speakeasy Cocktail Bar Hours

    • Sunday: 12pm – 6pm.
    • Wednesday: 5pm – 9pm.
    • Friday: 4pm – 9pm.
    • Saturday: 2pm – 9pm.

Distillery Tours

Rhine Hall – Chicago, IL

Established 2013

Spirits Available
    • Apple Brandy
    • Oaked Apple Brandy
    • Grappa
    • Oaked Grappa
    • Mango Brandy
    • Plum Brandy – Coming December 13th!
Tasting Room, Brandy Bar & Store Hours
    • Thursday: 5pm – 9pm.
    • Saturday: 2pm – 7pm.
Distillery Tours
Events
    • Saturday, December 13th, 2pm-7pm: Plum Brandy Launch at Rhine Hall.

Tailwinds Distilling Company – Plainfield, IL

Established 2012

Spirits Available
    • Taildragger White Rum
    • Taildragger Amber Rum
    • Taildragger Coffee Rum
    • Midnight Caye Silver Agave
    • Midnight Caye Rested Agave
Tasting Room Hours
    • Sunday: 12pm – 5pm.
    • Friday – Saturday: 12pm – 7pm.
Tastings
    • Saturday, December 20th, 4pm-7pm at BJ’s Wine & Spirits – 1154 Douglas Rd, Oswego, IL.
    • Sunday, December 21st, at Binny’s – 1950 Lincoln Highway, St. Charles, IL.
Distillery Tours
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