The Chicago Independent Spirits Expo is here this week.
“We’re glad that we were able to create a forum that provides the smaller American & imported brands an opportunity to reach both consumers and trade alike. ” Marty Duffy- Co-Founder
There will be the gathering of some of the best spirits minds in the country speaking about their passion; the craft spirits industry. Events for the week include Bourbon Brunches, roundtable discussions, book signing, and of course the after party.

“The largest gathering of small, independent, family owned, handcrafted spirits and the distillers, importers, bottlers, distributors and representative under one roof! Sample some of the best of the boutique vodkas, gins, rums, tequilas, mezcals, whiskies and liqueurs from all around the world.”
This is not an event you want to miss

Sunday, September 28th

Quincy Street Distillery Tours
Date: Sunday, Sept. 28th
Time: By Appointment
Location: Quincy Street Distillery, 39 East Quincy Streey, Riverside, IL. 60546
Info: The $10.00 tour requires a reservation and is usually available Friday, Saturday, or sometimes Sunday. It includes a visit into the bonded area of the distillery where we produce and bottle our spirits. Bottles are also available for purchase. Book your tour at

A Bourbon Brunch: Unlocking the Myths and Mysteries of Bourbon with Michael Veach
Date: Sunday, Sept. 28th
Time: Promptly at 12noon
Cost: $40.00
Location: Fountainhead, The Barrel Room, 1970 West Montrose Ave. Chicago, IL (773) 697-8204
Info: Join us for a 3 course family style Bourbon Brunch with Special Guest Historian and Author Michael Veach as he unlocks for us the Myths and Mysteries of one of the most magnificent spirits in the history of humanity…Bourbon! We could not think of a better guide to walk us through the maze of myths and mysteries of Bourbon and it’s history. All the while Chef Cleetus will be providing fantastic family style brunch.
 Course 1 will be paired with Fountainhead’s Arlington featuring Bulleit Bourbon.
 Course 2 will be paired with an expression of Few Bourbon.
 Course 3 will be paired with a Heaven Hill Bourbon expression.
Immediately following Brunch guests are invited to join us and Michael Veach for an Industry Round Table on the Fountainhead Roof Deck. A ticket for the Bourbon Brunch also reserves a seat for the Roof Deck Round Table. Visit at or for tickets go to

Journeyman Distillery Tours
Dates: Saturday, Sept. 27th & Sunday, Sept. 28th
Times: 12:30pm, 2:00pm. 3:30pm & 5:00pm
Cost: $10.00
Location: The Journeyman Distillery in the Historic Featherbone Factory
109 Generations Drive, Three Oaks, MI 49128 (269)-820-2050
Info: Just about a 45 minute drive from downtown Chicago, we invite you to tour our unique & historical distillery, explore the history of the featherbone factory and at the end of your tour, taste of our product! Please bring a valid photo I.D., as we wouldn’t want you to miss out on the good stuff! Children are permitted on tours but we just ask that you keep them within arm’s reach of a parent at all times. We highly recommend you use the online reservation system, as we have a maximum of 15 spots available per tour. Space permitting, tours can be reserved up to two weeks in advance, on a first-come, first-serve basis. In the event that a tour is not full, walk-in spots will be available for reservation in-person on the day of the tour. Visit at

Koval Distillery Tours
Date: Sunday, September 28th
Time: 2pm & 4pm
Location: Koval Distillery, 5121 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640 (312) 878-7988
Cost: $10.00
Info: As Chicago’s first craft distillery, KOVAL is pleased to offer tours every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as private tours for large parties and special events. Bottles are also available for purchase. For $10.00 reservations, please email or call (312) 878-7988 or register online at
FEW Spirits Distillery Tour
Date: Sunday, Sept. 28th
Time: 3pm
Cost: $10.00
Location: Few Spirits Distillery, 918 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202 (847) 920-8628
Info: Located on the very streets that once fostered the ideas of the Temperance movement, FEW Spirits has established Evanston’s first licensed distillery.. Tours are $10 per person. To reserve a spot, please call 847-920-8628 or email info@fewspirits. Bottles are also available for purchase. Visit

Bourbon & Books with Bourbon Historian Michael Veach and Distillers Paul Hletko (FEW Spirits) and Bill Welter (Journeyman Distillery)
Date: Sunday, September 28th
Time: 4-6pm
Cost: Complimentary
Location: The Book Cellar Café, 4736 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (773) 293-2665
Info: Join whiskey author Michael Veach as he speaks with Paul Hletko, owner of FEW Spirits Distillery, and Bill Welter, owner of Journeyman Distillery, as they discuss the state of American whiskey ~ Past, Present & Future. Samples of FEW & Journeyman whiskies will be available, as well as full whiskey cocktails for sale. Mr. Veach will also be signing copies of his book, “Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage”. Visit

Chicago Distilling Company Distillery Tour
Date: Friday, Sept. 26th
Time: 6:30pm
Cost: $10.00
Location: 2359 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (872) 206-2774
Info: Discover the process of Distillation and the difference between Bourbon and Rye Whiskey. We aim to educate you on the entire process from grain to bottle. Online tour reservations close one hour prior to the beginning of the tour. If spaces exist after this point, they can be filled by walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sign up for tours below and plan to arrive early or stick around after your tour to enjoy a cocktail in our tasting room or purchase a bottle of one of our Handmade Spirits. Schedule a tour online at

Talking Bourbon: An evening with drinks authors Michael Veach and Josh Noel
Date: Sunday, September 28
Time: 7:00pm
Cost: n/a
Location: Jerry’s – Wicker Park, 1938 W Division St, Chicago, Illinois 60622
Info: Listen, learn and laugh as Author/Historian Michael Veach talks about all things bourbon with Josh Noel, Travel and Beverage Writer at the Chicago Tribune. There will be lots of info shared, whiskey tasted, and plenty of time for questions from the audience. This is a free event, but we will be taking donations for the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, KY. In addition, Jerry’s will be donating a percentage of all food and drink sales this night to the Filson. We strongly encourage arriving early if you plan on eating before the discussion begins. Special gratitude for extended to Beam Suntory, Four Roses Bourbon, Stoller Wholesale Wine & Spirits, and Campari/Wild Turkey for their support and donations of spirits for this event.

Monday, September 29th

The American Whiskey Class with whisky author & historian Michael Veach
Date: Monday, September 29th
Time: 9-4pm
Cost: $125.00
Location: Columbia Yacht Club, 111 North Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, Illinois 60601
Info: Enhance your appreciation of bourbon and increase your knowledge of Kentucky whiskey products. 50 seats are available at a cost of $125.00 for a day-long event including bourbon tastings and box lunch. Reservations are required. Please call The Filson to make your reservation at (502) 635-5083 or visit us online at Please reserve your spot by September 27th.

Master Mezcalier Program, Parts I
Date: Monday, September 29th
Time: 10am-3pm
Cost: $225.00
Location: Fountainhead, The Barrel Room, 1970 West Montrose Ave. Chicago, IL (773) 697-8204
Info: Barbara Sweetman from Scorpion Mezcal will be conducting a 2-part Mezcal Master Certification Course. Those wishing to sign up may do so at The cost of the class is $225.00 per person (includes lunch).

The Up Down Pre-CISE Smokin’ Garden Party
Date: Monday, September 29th
Time: 5-8pm
Cost: $35.00 per person
Location: Up Down Cigar Store, 1550 N. wells St., Chicago, IL. (Old Town Neighborhood)
Info: Suppliers can Sample out their Spirit brands and have them paired with a fine cigar at one of Chicago’s oldest & fabled tobacco shops. Attendees pay $35.00 at the door which includes 2 cigars, samples of local craft spirits, food on the grill and Goose Island Beer. A portion of all ticket sales go to UN86’d*, a charity created to aid in monetary relief for restaurant professionals in need. Confirmed distilleries: Mississippi River Distilling, FEW Spirits, Koval, North Shore Distillery, Tail Winds Distillery, Quincy St. Distillery, Journeyman Distillery, Redemption Rye, Great Lakes Distillery, Temptation Rye, Rhine Hall Distillery, Blaum Bros. Distillery, Caledonia Spirits, Copper Fiddle Distillery, Del Maguey Mezcal, Tobermory/Lediag/Bunnahabhain single malts, Premiere Distillery, Chicago Distilling Co. and Oppidan Spirits. Visit at

After Party at Delilah’s
Date: Monday, September 29th
Time: 9pm-2am
Cost: free entry/cash bar
Location: Delilah’s, 2771 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL. 60614
Info: Come unwind with the distillers at Chicago’s granddaddy of whiskey bars as they get ready for the next day’s big event. Samples of Redemption Rye & Temptation Bourbon will be made available.

Tuesday, September 30th
The Spirits Industry Round Table Discussions
A discussion of industry trends, current issues and the future of independent spirit brands
At The Chicago Hilton Hotel & Towers, The Williford Room A&B, 3rd floor, 720 S. Michigan Ave.
Cost: Included in the price of VIP Ticket and complimentary for all exhibitors

12:00-2:00 PM ~ The Industry Round Table Discussion Panel

Scheduled Panelists include:
1. Aaron Zacharias – owner, Fountainhead/Bar on Buena/Northman (Moderator)
2. Peter F. Wilkins – Mid West Brand Director, International Beverage Company
3. Ryan Burchett – Owner, Mississippi River Distilling
4. Nick Longauer – Bartender, La sirena
5. Scott Crestodina – Retail Owner, Independent Spirits, Inc
6. Monique Huston – Spirit Specialist, Stoller/Glazer
7. Dan Kaman – Midwest, Regional Sales Manager, Blackheath
8. Dave Schmier – Brand Owner, Redemption Rye/Temptation Bourbon/Riverboat Rye
9. Peter Vestinos – Cocktail Consultant/Brand Consultant, Ocho Tequila & Cherry Heering
10. Chris Morales – Business development manager, Clement USA
11. Sonja Kassebaum – Distillery Owner, North Shore Distillery
12. Megan Hurtuk – Brand Manager, Gemini Spirits, Division of Sazerac
13. Paul Hletko – Owner/Distiller, FEW Spirits, DISCUS Advisory Council
2:30-4:30 PM ~ Women of The Spirit World Round Table Discussion

Scheduled Panelist include:
1. Amy Cavanaugh – Food & Drink Editor, TimeOut Chicago (Moderator)
2. Kelly Kniewell – CIO, Fresh Coast Distributor
3. Raquel Leduc – Brand Ambassador/Bartender, Herbsainte
4. Sonat Hart – Owner, Koval Distillery
5. Monique Huston – Spirit Specialist, Stoller/Glazer
6. Hillary Lake, – Bar Owner, The Sedgwick Stop Tavern
7. DeJorn Huffman – Spirit Portfolio Manager, Tenzing Distributor
8. Anne Marineau – Bartender, Randolph Tavern
9. Sarah Sheperd Macfarquhar – Brand Ambassador, North Shore Distillery
10. Jenny Solsberg – Owner, Rhine Hall Distillery
11. Inna Feldman-Gerber – Co-Founder & President, Premiere Distillery
12. Colleen Bush – Manager, The Matchbox Tavern
13. Diane Kelley – Director of Product Development, Southern Wine & Spirits
The 4th Annual Chicago Independent Spirits Expo
Date: Tuesday, September 30th
Time: 4:30 – 9:00pm
Cost: $65.00 GA/$85.00 VIP
Location: The Chicago Hilton Hotel & Tower, 720 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL.
Info: The world’s largest gathering of independent, artisanal distillers of vodkas, gins, rums, tequilas, mescals, whiskies, liqueurs and mixers from the USA, Canada, Mexico, France, Belgium, Ukraine, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland and numerous spots on the globe. Also featuring Industry Round Table Discussions and Spirited Seminars! VIP & General Admission Tickets are now available for sale online at
Wednesday, October 1st

Master Mezcalier Program, Part II
Date: Wednesday, October 1st
Time: 10am-3pm
Cost: $225.00
Location: Fountainhead, The Barrel Room, 1970 West Montrose Ave. Chicago, IL (773) 697-8204
Info: Barbara Sweetman from Scorpion Mezcal will be conducting a 2-part Mezcal Master Certification Course. Those wishing to sign up may do so at The cost of the class is $225.00 per person (includes lunch).

The CISE After Party

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 30th
Time: 10pm-2am
Cost: n/a
Location: Jerry’s – Wicker Park, 1938 W Division St, Chicago, Illinois 60622
Info: Jerry’s is hosting the OFFICIAL The Chicago Independent Spirits Expo After-Party this year for all you weary industry boozehounds to get together before going back to your “normal” lives. We’re keeping our kitchen open until 1am, and we’re bringing in Karaoke by Maryoake. Keep an eye out for our All-Star panel of judges as we pit distillers against each other in the best industry sing-off Chicago has never seen. This will truly be a night to remember (or forget)!