First Look: Inside Chicago Distilling Company

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Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 4:20pm

The food and drinks scene in Logan Square took another leap forward this weekend with the opening of Chicago Distilling Company

One of several new bars and restaurants planned for the 2300 block of N. Milwaukee, the new distillery hosted their first public tour on Saturday and gave us a behind the scenes look at their new operation.  

The history of distilling goes back three generations to Noelle DiPrizio’s great-grandfather in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Picked up by her husband Jay and his brother Vic, the brothers received perhaps the best gift anyone could receive from their in-laws.

After a series of garage experiments, the pair decided to wade through piles of government paperwork to set up commercial production and open their new space.

Built in a former printer shop, the distillery’s airy tasting room features exposed brick walls, an arched ceiling and windows that look through to the still. There’s a TV on the wall, but the relaxed vibe will yield more conversations than sports fans.

For now the 50+ seat tasting room is serving the distillery’s Shorty’s White Whiskey and Ceres Vodka in four cocktails, including a Gimlet and Old Fashion.

One of my favorite elements of the operation is that the corn and grain used in Shorty’s White Whiskey is 100% from Illinois. The grain, certified organic, comes from DeKalb and the corn is from throughout the state.

Jay has plans for the tasting room to also serve Revolution beer and outside spirits, but has he’ll quickly admit, there’s more red tape to get through before that can happen.

In addition to the white whiskey and vodka, the distillery’s rack room is already aging several barrels of whiskey and the group is developing a botanicals profile for gin.

So what’s next for Chicago Distilling Co.? A third distiller is joining the company to help with round the clock production, with the ultimate goal of being sold in liquor stores across the city.

For now you can buy bottles of Shorty’s White Whiskey (350ml) and Ceres Vodka (750ml) from the tasting room for $28.


Note: CDC’s website is short on information, but the tour is $10 per person and cocktails are $8. 

Joe Piehl's picture
Chicago Editor Joe Piehl
Joe Piehl

A TLT contributor since 2010, Joe is the Chicago Editor. Outside TLT, Joe keeps an eye out for awesome activities and he writes a travel blog: Joe the Explorer.

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