Whiskey in the Windy City: Summer Whiskey Tasting Festival Comes to Chicago

If you’re a whiskey drinker who lives near (or just loves) Chicago, the Chicago Summer Whiskey Tasting Festival is the place you need to be! The event is happening for one day only on Saturday, August 26. Spend the summer afternoon with a loved one or a group of friends, or fly solo for a few hours of sipping and people watching.

What to Expect at the Whiskey Tasting Festival

The exact offerings vary depending on the type of ticket you purchase. At the very least, each guest can expect 15+ tasting cups and access to 20 or more local and international whiskey varieties. If you’re worried about drinking too much, it may be helpful to know that each tasting cup is worth a pour of .25 ounces. A typical shot is 1.5 fluid ounces, so this works out to be two-and-a-half shots for general admission and just over three shots for exclusive ticket holders.  

If you’re worried about drinking too little, never fear. There will be other drink options, including more tasting cups, available for purchase. Additionally,  you can grab a bite to eat, groove to the sounds of live music, and even go back to order your favorite whiskeys of the day! Simply scan the vendor QR codes to get your new go-to whiskeys delivered right to your front door.  

All About Tickets to the Chicago Summer Whiskey Tasting Festival

General and exclusive tickets for the Chicago Summer Whiskey Tasting Festival are available for purchase now. Also, at time of posting, early tickets at each tier were available at a discount. Moreover, tickets purchased at the early buyer rates are also good for a half hour beyond the time included with the regular rates. 

At the regular rates, here’s what each ticket will include:

Exclusive Tickets:

  • 3 hours of whiskey tastings (3:00-6:00 PM)
  • 20 tasting cups
  • Exclusive whiskey samples from ultra-high-end brands (2:30-3:30 PM)
  • .25 oz pour per cup
  • Exclusive buffet style bites (3:00-4:00 PM)
  • Whiskey tasting glass

Exclusive tickets give you early access to the festival. So, you can beat the crowds and long lines before general admission begins at 4:00 PM. This gives you more time to taste whiskey and get to know the brands.

General Tickets:    

  • 2 hours of whiskey tastings (4:00-6:00 PM)
  • 15 tasting cups
  • .25 oz pour per cup

More tasting cups are available for purchase for ticket holders of either tier, and the cost for 15 additional tasting cups is $35 (not including fees). Additionally, 100% of the money from the extra tasting cups will be given to charity. Just make sure you have already bought your ticket, or your order will be refunded!

Other Things to Do in Chicago

Are you an out-of-towner looking to spend more than an afternoon in Chicago? This tasting festival and event will take place in the beautiful Lincoln Park neighborhood, home to one of America’s last free zoos, and not far from Chicago’s bustling downtown. 

If you’re planning to be in town the weekend of August 26, the Chicago Summer Whiskey Tasting Festival will only occupy you for a few hours. Luckily, there are more diverse and distinctive neighborhoods in Chicago than you’ll possibly be able to explore. The city’s extensive public transit system makes it easy to get around by train or bus.

Things to Do in Lincoln Park 

Stay close to the event and explore the plenty of restaurants, shops, and things to do — including visiting the park itself. The neighborhood’s namesake, which honors the recently assassinated Abraham Lincoln, contains various cultural institutions, including the Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park Conservatory. Both offer free admission! 

Other things to do in the 7 miles that make up Lincoln Park include:

  • Learn about Chicago’s storied past at the Chicago History Museum
  • Visit The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, which includes a butterfly house with 200+ species of exotic butterflies
  • Eat a meal at The Lakefront Restaurant and/or take in a show at Theater on the Lake
  • Spend the day at North Avenue Beach
  • Walk, bike, or run along the coast of Lake Michigan via the Lakefront Trail

Other things to do in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood:

  • Watch some improv at The Second City 
    • This comedy school is known for launching the careers of famous comedians like Joan Rivers and Stephen Colbert. Additionally dozens of future SNL cast members found their footings here, most notably, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Still, others including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John and Jim Belushi, and Bill Murray cut their comedic teeth here! 
  • Hear some Chicago blues at Kingston Mines
    • This world-famous music venue opened in 1968 and is the largest (and officially the oldest) continuously operating blues club in Chicago.
  • Explore the Armitage-Halsted hub
    • Charming boutiques, exciting restaurants, and fine wines make this historic shopping district the perfect spot for a vacation splurge! 

Things to Do Downtown

If you’re looking for the quintessential visit to Chicago, you’ll want to go to the center of the action. For example, the main section of downtown is called The Loop, which is enveloped in gorgeous architecture. Also, it is the second largest commercial business district in the United States after Midtown Manhattan. If you’re looking for other things to do downtown, you can:

  • Shop the Magnificent Mile
  • Visit the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Eat a regional deep dish pizza, or do a taste comparison with legendary Chicago pies from Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s (most Chicagoans have a strong preference).
  • Take pictures in Millennium Park at Cloud Gate, better known as The Bean

Frequently Asked Questions About the Chicago Summer Whiskey Tasting Festival

Can I get a refund if I can no longer attend the Chicago Summer Whiskey Tasting Festival? 

No, unfortunately there are no refunds available for pre-purchased tickets. However, you are able to transfer your ticket to a friend if you can’t attend.

I want to be a designated driver. Can I access the event?

As long as the venue has not reached capacity, a designated driver should be able to walk around with their group.   

Do you provide transportation?

No, guests and visitors can rely on public transportation, ridesharing apps, or a designated driver to ensure your safety. 

Distillery Nearby can help you find distilleries across the country. Moreover, you can find more tasting experiences in Illinois, or explore the options in your home state! Visit distillerynearby.com to get started. 

Share this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.