Chicagoland Breweries and Distilleries That Sponsor Events

Looking to Serve Alcohol at Your Event? Here Are Some Local Sponsorship Options.

Hosting an event is not cheap. And, although alcohol gives people who are invited more incentive to attend, it’s also an expensive line item for an event budget.

Fortunately, there are several breweries and distilleries throughout Chicagoland that will sponsor your event if it meets certain criteria. Most prefer to sponsor events for local organizations and groups, and – in most cases – everyone at the event must be at least 21 years old.

But whether you’re looking to provide your guests with a wide selection of craft beers or spirits, there’s several on this list to choose from. Some require you to submit a sponsorship request; others ask that you email them. Just follow the links for each brewery or distillery to get the process started. But first, make sure you read our article “Why Your Sponsorship Request Sucks and You’re Not Getting Sponsors.” That’s going to help you understand what you need to bring to the table in order to make this work.

Begyle Brewing Company

Located in the Ravenswood Industrial Corridor, Begyle Brewing was started in 2012 by Brendan Blume, Matt Ritchey and Kevin Cary. Kevin and Matt moved to Chicago together from Michigan and began home brewing. Brendan met Kevin through a pedicab business that Brendan started with his brother.

There are a few ways that Begyle stands out in Chicago’s continuously growing craft beer scene. The biggest is their Community Supported Brewery Membership program, which allows customers to purchase growler subscriptions. They also use a special counter-pressure growler filler, which ensures no beer is wasted. To request a donation from Begyle, fill out the form on this page.

Half Acre Beer Company

This is one of Chicago’s largest craft breweries. Half Acre opened its first location on Lincoln Avenue in 2008. There, you can visit the original taproom and order food. In 2015, it opened a second location on Balmoral Avenue, which significantly increased its production capabilities. Once the Balmoral facility was up and running, the brewery dedicated its Lincoln Avenue location solely to experimentation and fixed fermentation.

Most recently, Half Acre opened another tap room and garden at the Balmoral location. If you’d like Half Acre to sponsor your event, fill out the form on this page, where you also can read more about the brewery’s sponsorship requirements and guidelines.

Empirical Brewery

The concept at Empirical is to use “empirical observations” to make better beer. Learning through experience and experimentation as opposed to following by-the-book processes allows Empirical to bring out unique flavors in its beers, such as its seasonal Singularity Oatmeal Stout and Up Quark Passion Fruit Ale.

In order to continue to push the flavor envelope, they start with a custom one-barrel brewing system so they can tweak a beer’s flavor before brewing it in larger quantities. Empirical collects feedback from customers to incorporate into their beers as well. The brewery is located in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood, and it opened a new brewpub with beer, food and cocktails in Rogers Park during the summer in 2017. To submit a sponsorship request to the brewery, send them an email.

KOVAL Distillery

When it was started in 2008, KOVAL Distillery became the first distillery to open in Chicago since the mid-1800s. It produces organic whiskey, liqueurs, such as Orange Blossom, Coffee, Jasmine and Walnut, and several spirits, including gin, brandy and vodka. Robert Birnecker founded the distillery with his wife, Sonat.

Robert was born in Austria, where he grew up helping his grandparents at their own distillery. Sonat’s great grandfather moved from Vienna, the capital of Austria, to Chicago in the early 1900s to start his own business. The name of the distillery is meant to commemorate both Robert’s grandfather and Sonat’s great grandfather, as their last names 

The word KOVAL translates to “blacksmith” in multiple Eastern European languages, but in Yiddish it means “black sheep,” which is sometimes applied to a person who does not fit in with the rest of their family or chooses to take a less traditional path in life. The connecting point is the last name of Robert’s grandfather, which is Schmid. It translates to “smith” in German.

In order to apply for a KOVAL sponsorship at your event, head here.

North Shore Distillery

Based in Green Oaks, IL, the North Shore Distillery was the state’s only craft distillery when it opened in 2004. North Shore focuses on producing select spirits, including variations of vodka, gin and rum, as well as a few other speciality spirits. It was founded by Derek Kassebaum and his wife, Sonja.

Derek has a background in chemical engineering and Sonja studied to be an attorney. The secret to their success is a handmade still named Ethel, after Sonja’s grandmother. They had Ethel custom made in southern Germany. You can apply to have the North Shore Distillery sponsor your event here.

Chicago Distilling Company

One of the newer craft distilleries in the Chicagoland area, the Chicago Distilling Company opened its doors in 2010. They produce a variety of liquors, including vodka, gin and whiskey. It’s another family business, owned by Jay, Noelle and Vic DiPrizio. Jay and Noelle are married.

The inspiration for starting the distillery was Noelle’s family; it’s believed her family produced moonshine in the Wisconsin Northwoods in the early 20th century. The idea was to keep the trade alive, but in a legal and more sustainable way. They ended up naming their whiskey, Shorty’s, after Noelle’s grandfather. Their gin, Finn’s, is named after Noelle’s and Jay’s son. If you’d like the Chicago Distilling Company to sponsor your event, send them a request via email.

Quincy Street Distillery

Located in Riverside, IL, right off the Des Plaines river, the Quincy Street Distillery produces a wide range of spirits, including whiskey, gin, vodka, brandy and absinthe. The inspiration for many of its drinks is the town itself; the distillery’s goal is to create spirits that are true to the town’s historical heritage.

A large portion of Riverside lies within the Riverside Landscape Architecture District, which was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1970. It’s nationally and internationally recognized as one of the first planned communities in the US. The famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed New York City’s Central Park and the gardens of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, also helped design Riverside.

In addition, many of the homes and estates within Riverside were designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The Quincy Street Distillery sponsors events only for nonprofit organizations. You can email the distillery to find out more about its sponsorship process.

About Eric Dinkins

Eric Dinkins is a freelance writer and manages content creation and support here at GainTap.

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