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Distilleries, like Wolf Point, are becoming more popular in Chicago.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

10 Great Chicago Distilleries to Raise Spirits

From Malört to vodka, these tasting rooms bring the heat

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Distilleries, like Wolf Point, are becoming more popular in Chicago.
| Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Seeing how a favorite spirit is made can be a thrill — and it’s even more fun to taste the distiller’s other offerings. Chicago is home to a number of great brands, from CH Distillery and its beloved Jeppson’s Malört to Koval, which, when it opened in 2008, was the city’s first distiller to launch since Prohibition. Here are eight great local distilleries to check out.

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North Shore Distillery, LLC

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Established in 2004 by husband-and-wife team Derek and Sonja Kassebaum, North Shore Distillery has the distinction of being the first craft distillery in Illinois. Featuring a Tahitian vanilla vodka, multiple whiskies, absinthe, and even a seasonal curacao, their portfolio is impressively broad. Their Green Oaks distillery offers tastings, events, fresh cocktails, and snacks.

KOVAL Tasting Room

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The Koval campus has it all: tours, classes, a tasting room, and even a store where visitors can pick up bottles to take home. The Ravenswood mainstay is best known for its gin and whiskies: the bourbon is rightly popular, but make sure to check out the more uncommon millet and oat varieties as well. Specialty liqueurs like coffee, rose hip, and ginger mix things up a bit.

Judson & Moore Distillery

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Judson and Moore, which just opened this spring, focuses on Midwestern grain-forward whiskies, and you can sample them at the handsome bar in the Avondale distillery’s tasting room. Tours are also available on weekends.

Maplewood Brewery & Distillery

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Maplewood is best known for its fine beer offerings, but the Logan Square brewery’s spirit game is also strong. Their tasting room’s cocktail list features many of their spirits (though having a fresh pull of Son of Juice or Pulaski Pils on the side never hurts). Sometimes, they will offer beer aged in barrels that once held spirits and vice versa.

Chicago Distilling Company

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Featuring single malt whiskies, gin, and even an absinthe, Logan Square’s Chicago Distilling Co. is owned by members of the DiPrizio family, who were inspired by their grandfather, a Wisconsin bootlegger who made his own  moonshine. There’s a tasting room as well as classes and special events like ping pong matches.

Rhine Hall Distillery

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Run by father-daughter duo Charlie and Jenny Solberg, Rhine Hall specializes in eau de vie,  or fruit brandy. In addition to a tasting room, the West Town distillery offers classes, tours, and private events.

Wolf Point Distilling

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Wolf Point is a small-batch distiller that makes bourbon, vodka, and moonshine. While the West Loop space’s tours are appointment-only for now, its tasting room is open on the weekends serving flights and cocktails.

CH Distillery

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In addition to owning beloved — or maybe just notorious — local spirit Jeppson’s Malört, CH Distillery makes Illinois-grain vodka, aquavit, London Dry gin, and more. Visit Jinsei Motto, a sushi bar inside the distillery, for fresh cocktails, or schedule a distillery tour and spirit tasting.

Marz Community Brewing Company

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Though Marz Community Brewing Co. has been a player in the local beer scene since 2013, they’re the new kid on the block with regard to spirits. This summer, they announced their first three (Fellowship of the Gin, Bourbon of the Future, and Society of Vodka), which are starting to make appearances at stores and at Marz’s Iron Street brewery and Bucktown taproom. Canned cocktails are also available.

Quincy Street Distillery

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Quincy Street Distillery, a staple in suburban Riverside, is home to a speakeasy with cocktails and spirits, and interested parties can schedule a tour and tasting. Some of Quincy Street’s more unique options include a corn whiskey and Prairie Sunshine, a spirit distilled from mead made from wildflower honey.

North Shore Distillery, LLC

Established in 2004 by husband-and-wife team Derek and Sonja Kassebaum, North Shore Distillery has the distinction of being the first craft distillery in Illinois. Featuring a Tahitian vanilla vodka, multiple whiskies, absinthe, and even a seasonal curacao, their portfolio is impressively broad. Their Green Oaks distillery offers tastings, events, fresh cocktails, and snacks.

KOVAL Tasting Room

The Koval campus has it all: tours, classes, a tasting room, and even a store where visitors can pick up bottles to take home. The Ravenswood mainstay is best known for its gin and whiskies: the bourbon is rightly popular, but make sure to check out the more uncommon millet and oat varieties as well. Specialty liqueurs like coffee, rose hip, and ginger mix things up a bit.

Judson & Moore Distillery

Judson and Moore, which just opened this spring, focuses on Midwestern grain-forward whiskies, and you can sample them at the handsome bar in the Avondale distillery’s tasting room. Tours are also available on weekends.

Maplewood Brewery & Distillery

Maplewood is best known for its fine beer offerings, but the Logan Square brewery’s spirit game is also strong. Their tasting room’s cocktail list features many of their spirits (though having a fresh pull of Son of Juice or Pulaski Pils on the side never hurts). Sometimes, they will offer beer aged in barrels that once held spirits and vice versa.

Chicago Distilling Company

Featuring single malt whiskies, gin, and even an absinthe, Logan Square’s Chicago Distilling Co. is owned by members of the DiPrizio family, who were inspired by their grandfather, a Wisconsin bootlegger who made his own  moonshine. There’s a tasting room as well as classes and special events like ping pong matches.

Rhine Hall Distillery

Run by father-daughter duo Charlie and Jenny Solberg, Rhine Hall specializes in eau de vie,  or fruit brandy. In addition to a tasting room, the West Town distillery offers classes, tours, and private events.

Wolf Point Distilling

Wolf Point is a small-batch distiller that makes bourbon, vodka, and moonshine. While the West Loop space’s tours are appointment-only for now, its tasting room is open on the weekends serving flights and cocktails.

CH Distillery

In addition to owning beloved — or maybe just notorious — local spirit Jeppson’s Malört, CH Distillery makes Illinois-grain vodka, aquavit, London Dry gin, and more. Visit Jinsei Motto, a sushi bar inside the distillery, for fresh cocktails, or schedule a distillery tour and spirit tasting.

Marz Community Brewing Company

Though Marz Community Brewing Co. has been a player in the local beer scene since 2013, they’re the new kid on the block with regard to spirits. This summer, they announced their first three (Fellowship of the Gin, Bourbon of the Future, and Society of Vodka), which are starting to make appearances at stores and at Marz’s Iron Street brewery and Bucktown taproom. Canned cocktails are also available.

Quincy Street Distillery

Quincy Street Distillery, a staple in suburban Riverside, is home to a speakeasy with cocktails and spirits, and interested parties can schedule a tour and tasting. Some of Quincy Street’s more unique options include a corn whiskey and Prairie Sunshine, a spirit distilled from mead made from wildflower honey.

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