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Food & Drink

Brew Ha

If you pound $2 PBR’s, you’re a hipster.

If you sip organic, locally brewed spirits, you’re just hip.

Start with a blend from Koval, Chicago’s first boutique distillery. Owners Robert and Sonat Birnecker abandoned academia and diplomacy (she was a tenured prof; he was assistant press secretary for the Austrian embassy) to learn their craft.

Today, with a snazzy German still and insight from Robert’s grandfather (an Austrian distiller), they use local, all-natural ingredients to produce pure, high-quality drinks from scratch: rose hip and ginger liqueurs, wheat and rye spirits, and more. Summer will bring additional, seasonal liqueurs like strawberry rhubarb and orange cardamom, spelt and millet spirits, and pear brandy.

Straight up or mixed, the wholesome brews are the perfect way to support local businesses.

Koval hosts tours by invitation only.

If you want proof.


Available at Andersonville Wine and Spirits, 5201 North Clark Street, at Foster Avenue (773-769-0858); Drinks Over Dearborn, 650 North Dearborn Street, at Erie Street, second floor (312-337-9463); online at binnys.com. For more information, go to koval-distillery.com.