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From Chicago to Carbondale, These Are the 11 Must-Visit Distilleries in Illinois

When you think of Illinois (and you’re not originally from Illinois,) you probably immediately think of Chicago. And while the Windy City is a sight to behold and distillery-rich, it’s not the only city in the state. In fact, there are more than 30 incredible Illinois distillery adventures you should experience statewide. And today, we’ll highlight a few of the most popular so you can start plotting your craft spirit journey through the Midwest. This list of faves is not by any means exhaustive. But it will give you a distillery sneak peek into the craft spirit scene all throughout Illinois.

1. Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.

Explore historic Galena, Illinois, and make sure you stop off at Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. Tour the distillery or enjoy the flavors available at the cocktail bar. You’ll have your pick of straight bourbon, straight rye, Hellfyre Vodka, traditional vodka, gin, Oldfangled Knotter Bourbon, Absinthe Verte, and rum varieties.

9380 US Highway 20 W, Galena, Illinois 61036

2. Whiskey Acres Distilling Co.

Welcome to Whiskey Acres Distilling Co., where you can experience seed-to-spirit flavors. The crown jewel of this distillery is the Bottled in Bond Bourbon, said to taste like “vanilla drizzled caramel corn.” But you’ll enjoy the other bourbon, whiskey, and vodka spirits, too! It’s for sure a must-add stop on any Illinois-based distillery adventure.

11504 Keslinger Road, DeKalb, Illinois 60115

3. Quincy Street Distillery

Along the western state line of Illinois is Quincy Street Distillery, known for its iconic speakeasy bar and artisanal spirit tours. There’s a full menu of sips to sample, too, including whiskey, gin, bourbon, rye, vodka, absinthe, and prairie moonshine. And you’ll love this Illinois city’s river view.

39 E Quincy Street, Riverside, Illinois 60546

4. Kennay Farms Distilling

Experience a true distillery tour of a massive brewery in Rochelle, Illinois. At Kennay Farms Distilling, you’ll relax in tasting rooms overlooking the operations in an authentic farm-to-table spirit atmosphere. Find your new favorite vodka, whiskey, gin, or bourbon! No distillery tour bucket list is complete without a full day at Kennay Farms Distilling.

416 Lincoln Hwy, Rochelle, Illinois 61068

5. Stumpy’s Spirits Illinois Distillery

Another classic stop on your Illinois quest for distillery adventures has to be Stumpy’s Spirits Distillery. Family-grown grains begin the distillation process for a true grain-to-glass sipping experience. Some of the legendary must-try spirits here include Old Monroe Single Barrel Select Bourbon Whiskey and Unbroken Vodka. Explore the other various flavors, like pecan pie-flavored whiskey, green apple-flavored vodka, or lemon drop-flavored whiskey. And grab a souvenir to show the world you’ve been to Stumpy’s!

1727 Centerville Rd, Columbia, Illinois 62236

6. Copper Fiddle Distillery

If your travels take you north of Chicago, find your way to Lake Zurich, Illinois and stop off at the Copper Fiddle Distillery. Take the informative tour, and then be sure to sample every spirit on the menu, including bourbon whiskey, rye whiskey, tom gin, fiddle gin, silver rum, gold rum, and vodka. Rich in flavor and ultra-smooth, you’re sure to find your new favorite craft spirit here.

532 W, IL-22 #110, Lake Zurich, Illinois 60047

7. Thornton Distilling Co. an Illinois Distillery

Spend the entire day in Thornton, Illinois, at Thornton Distilling Co. You can tour, immerse yourself in rich craft spirit history, host an event, dine, and more! Sip through the complete line of Dead Drop spirits, including rum, vodka, whiskey, bourbon, and absinthe blends. 

400 E Margaret St, Thornton, Illinois 60476

8. Rush Creek Distilling

If you’re looking for an uncommon, slow-crafted, distilled spirit, you need to find your way to Harvard, Illinois, and check out Rush Creek Distilling. And if vodka is your jam, you’ll love the coffee-flavored vodka, vanilla-flavored vodka, and jalapeno-flavored vodka. There are also smooth gins, whiskies, and bourbons to sample, too.

1501 W Diggins Street, Harvard, Illinois 60033

9. Rhine Hall Distillery

A Chicagoland must-see, Rhine Hall Distillery is a true gem of a tour, full of rich fruit, brandy flavors, and unique sips. Every drop hails from 100% fruit. And every step of the process, from fermentation to bottling, happens under one roof. Visit the Fulton Street tasting room for cocktail classes, curbside bottle pickup, spirit tastings, and more! 

2010 West Fulton Street, Chicago, Illinois 60612

10. Barnstormer Distillery

At the northernmost tip of Illinois is Rockford, home of Barnstormer Distillery, another iconic stop on your craft spirit adventure through Illinois. Explore brilliant whiskey blends, horseradish vodka, rums, and some pretty incredible moonshines. 

6969 S Main St, Rockford, Illinois 61102

11. Katy Lynn Distillery LLC

At the southernmost tip of Illinois, in Carbondale, home of Southern Illinois University and, of course, Katy Lynn Distillery, LLC. Explore off the beaten path to find this pub distillery and tour featuring rums, whiskey varieties, vodkas, flavored specialty spirits, and brandy. Enjoy the tasting room, too!

1801 Sneed Rd, Carbondale, Illinois 62902

Frequently Asked Questions About Illinois Distillery Tours

Discover quick answers to the most popular questions about carving out your trail and distillery tour adventure through Illinois. Maybe even brush up on your distillery trivia, too!

How many distilleries are there in Illinois?

In 2019, there were 34 federally licensed craft distillery facilities in Illinois. But as the craft spirit scene continues to grow, expect those numbers to boost.

What’s the largest craft distillery in Illinois?

Head up north to Rochelle, Illinois, where you’ll find the state’s largest craft distillery – Kennay Farms Distilling.

What do you need to know before booking an Illinois distillery tour?

Check before you go to see if reservations are required and to verify tour times and procedures. Dress comfortably for walking and the weather. And brush up on your tour etiquette before heading out.

How far is it from the northernmost tip of IL to the southernmost tip?

When plotting your Illinois distillery adventures, remember that it’s a “long” state. From Chicago to Carbondale, it’s more than 330 miles, and driving straight through from tip to tip would take five or more hours. 

Begin Every Illinois Distillery Adventure with Distillery Nearby

Whether you’re traveling for fun or with the job, keep this Illinois distillery list handy. And rely on Distillery Nearby to always find a new craft distillery tour, trail, or festival wherever your travels take you!

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