Koval DistilleryRavenswood | Website
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While Chicagoans geeked out over the recent rise in local brewing thanks to Metropolitan Brewing and Half Acre Beer Co., they almost missed the quiet opening of this Ravenswood distillery earlier in 2009. Well, stay in the dark no longer. Scoop up organic vodka, pear brandy, rose hip liqueur and other boutique mixers made by the husband-and-wife team. Owners Robert and Sonat Birnecker started the business in the name of Robert’s distilling Austrian grandfather and meticulously grow their ingredients in-house—hence the organic label. Distillery tours and "whiskey workshops" are available frequently. Bottles range in price from about $30-$40 and can be bought at the distillery store or other retail locations.