These Chicago Distilleries are Your New Favorites

tl;dr: Chicago Distilleries make great bourbon, whiskey, and rye, including globally recognized brands like Koval, FEW, Judson & Moore, and Wolf Point.

(Get to the whiskey)

Chicago distilleries have exploded since the early oughts. A string of distillers from the far south side to the far north side has been cranking out local liquors since Koval opened in 2008. There are Chicago whiskey tours. It’s a thing.

Being that we’re based in the Windy City, All American Whiskey thought that maybe we ought to turn our attention to our esteemed neighbors and make a list of the distilleries we know and love. We present to you our first round-up of Chicago Distilleries.

Also, Illinois distilleries because Chicago isn’t really defined by its city limits. It’s a mindset with a fiercely loyal tribal territory extending from Hammond, Indiana to the dusty hem of Wisconsin. We’re including whiskey makers in the broad geological footprint known as Chicagoland and we’re not sorry.

The Big Three Chicago Distilleries

The moly trinity of whiskey houses, the crown of Chicago’s distilling royalty includes Koval, F.E.W., and Wolf Point. Before the great fire of 1871, Chicago made a lot of whiskey. Being centrally located in the country’s breadbasket, it was a perfect choice with rail and river transport. But the fire wiped them out, then prohibition finished them off. Whiskey distillation didn’t come back for another century.

But it came back hard.

Koval’s philosophy and method set a tone. Their whiskey is meticulously crafted from locally sourced grains using only heart cuts. Their whiskey is unique. Smooth. A wonderful tasting experience.

Since Koval, more whiskey distilleries have opened in the city limits: FEW in 2011, Rhinehall in 2012, Chicago Distilling Company and CH in 2013, Maplewood in 2014, and Judson & Moore and Wolf Point in 2021.

Bourbon made in Chicago

The defining quality of Chicago bourbon may be the meticulous attention of its makers. Of the six distilleries making whiskey in the windy city, all of them nerd out on sourcing their ingredients. Koval only uses midwestern grain, filters Lake Michigan through charcoal, and controls the product from milling to bottling. Judson & Moore do the same and use Minnestoa White Oak for their barrels.

Another thing about any decent bourbon distillery in Chicago is how they nerd out. One of FEW’s bourbons uses a 70% corn mash and is fermented with a special yeast normally used in Saison beer. That’s how crazy people make bourbon. That’s also how a great whiskey distillery in Chicago makes bourbon.

Chicago bourbon brands: our list

chicago whiskey koval bourbon


The oldest of the new distilleries. Koval makes a range of whiskies with distinct flavor profiles.

chicago bourbon FEW


FEW makes wingnut whiskies, rock star whiskies, and please just go get some.

chicago bourbon

Judson & Moore

The new kid on the block. We expect big things.

whiskey in chicago single malt

Chicago Distilling Company

Their whiskies are nucking futs and we love them.

wolf point chicago bourbon

Wolf Point Distilling

Their Bourbon is luxurious.

yeah, they make malort

CH Distillery

Jeppson’s Bourbon—wait, don’t they make malört?

fat pug is fat

Maplewood Brewery & Distillery

Fat Pug is phat.

Is there a whiskey distillery in Chicago?

There are at least seven. Koval, FEW, Judson & Moore, Wolf Point, CH Distillery, Chicago Distilling Company, and Maplewood Brewery & Distillery all make whiskey.

Is there a whiskey distillery in Logan Square?

Maplewood Brewery & Distillery and Chicago Distilling Company are both in Logan Square.

Are there any distillery tours in Chicago?

Yes. The Barrel Run puts you in a barrel-shaped bus that goes to various distilleries. Most of the distilleries also have their own tours.