LOGAN SQUARE — Get ready booze hounds. After months of wading through government bureaucracy at all levels, the Chicago Distilling Company is all legal and ready to sling its unique brand of craft spirits.
Following last month's opening of The Radler, the Chicago Distilling Company has become the second among a slew of new businesses to open in a half-block strip of the 2300 block of North Milwaukee Avenue.
Located at 2359 N. Milwaukee Ave., the distillery will open its doors Friday afternoon, about four months later than originally hoped.
Every level of government takes a keen interest in the production and sale of spirits, so there was plenty of red tape to get through.
"Now that this is finally opening, we can focus on our production, which is what we love to do," said one of the distillery's owners, Vic DiPrizio. "It's exciting."
The distillery is launching with a vodka and a white whiskey, both of which will be served up three different ways in its tasting room — neat, in classic cocktails such as Moscow Mules and Manhattans, and in a handful of rotating house cocktails conjured up by their bartender.
Shorty's White Whiskey is 90 proof and made from "100 percent Illinois corn," said Vic's brother and co-owner Jay DiPrizio, who characterized white whiskey as something like an unaged bourbon.
The vodka, dubbed Ceres Vodka, is 80 proof, the minimum allowed for a vodka in the United States, putting it on the mellower end of the vodka spectrum.
"What we like about it is the smoothness of the finish, so you don't get the burn at the end that you sometimes get with vodka," said Jay, adding that he likes his spirits neat or with a single ice cube.
The vodka will be on sale in the tasting room Friday for $28 a bottle, while the whiskey will go for $22 a bottle.
Eventually they hope to get wider distribution and online sales, but for now their booze will be available on site only.
Tours of the distillery itself will start Saturday, and they eventually plan to offer cocktail-making classes as well as other "educational pieces," such as banners or posters that explain what goes into producing spirits.
"So it'll be like, 'Hey, here's what you're drinking, and here's why it is what it is,'" said Jay DiPrizio.
For their next round, so to speak, the brothers said they hope to start producing a gin in a month or so, though are not giving up any hints about what it will be like.
"We're keeping mum on that," said Jay DiPrizio.
The Chicago Distilling Company opens Friday at 4 p.m. Its regular business hours will be Thursdays, 4-10 p.m., Fridays, 4-11 p.m., Saturdays 3-11 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To book a tour, visit their website at chicagodistilling.com.