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Visit the New Tasting Room at North Shore Distillery

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jun 13, 2011 4:00PM

Another great weekend option just opened up in Chicagoland. Chicagoist favorite North Shore Distillery, which we toured in 2009, has opened a tasting room and is giving distillery tours to the public. North Shore Distillery, known for its award-winning gins and crazy limited-edition spirits, has renovated its facility to include a bar and lounge area, so patrons can sample some spirits in comfort. The price is right - $10 for the tour and a tasting of all six spirits in their permanent line-up.

According to Sonja Kassebaum, co-owner of the distillery, they've been working on this project for months. There had to be legal changes, to allow them to pour samples, and some serious renovations, which Sonja and her husband Derek did themselves. The space is gorgeous, with a new wood floor, leather furniture, a long bar with their antique absinthe dispenser front and center, and tons of cocktail knickknacks all around. We won't give away the details of the tour (you should go yourself) but if you're a spirits nerd, you need to make the drive to Lake Bluff right now. You'll get to see inside a working distillery, visit the still and learn how the spirits are bottled and labelled. And, of course, there will be drinks! In addition to the included samples of the spirits, bottles are available for retail sale and Sonja will be pouring out cocktails. At just $8 each (which includes tax and tip) we're going to be making the trip just to hang out and drink!

The tasting room is open from 4-8 on Friday (with a tour at 6) and from 1-6 on Saturday (with tours at 2 and 4). The tours only take 15 people, so it's a good idea to contact North Shore Distillery in advance and make a reservation. If you're a fan of North Shore, consider bringing some cash - if you buy 6 bottles you get 10% off, and if you buy a full dozen, you get a thirteenth bottle for free. "I have no idea what's going to happen. I don't know how many people will come, or what to expect," Sonja told us on Friday afternoon before the first tour. We have a strong feeling that the tasting room will be a complete success.

North Shore Distillery is located at 28913 Herky Drive, Unit 308, Lake Bluff, IL. If you get lost (or need more information) call 847-574-2499.