I celebrated yet another birthday this weekend. So, of course, tacos and whiskey were in the mix.
My wife surprised me with a tour of FEW Distillery. I’ve been a fan of their spirits for quite a while. We recently moved to Evanston, so this distillery is just down the street.
The tour started off with a brief history of FEW, Evanston, and women’s rights. Turns out, Evanston was ground zero for the suffrage and temperance movement back in the day. Frances Elizabeth Willard, a local Evanston educator, was highly influential in the passage of the Eighteenth (Prohibition) and Nineteenth (Women Suffrage) Amendments to the United States Constitution.
Long after the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed, Evanston remained dry. The first bar wasn’t established until the 1970s. Nearly forty years after that, changes to the state’s distilling regulations allowed for more craft distillers to go into business. FEW was one of the first to open back in 2011.
It’s probably not a coincidence that Frances Elizabeth Willard’s initials are FEW.
The distillery is tucked into a relatively small warehouse at the end of an alley, right next to the purple line. Since opening, they’ve expanded to an undisclosed location where their barrels are housed. I’m glad to hear that they are doing so well.
We were lead through the distillery and saw their duel stills, mash-tun and some massive fermenters.
The best part of any tour is the tasting. I’d already tried their barrel aged gin and their rye whiskey, but they have much more to offer. My favorite was their cask strength bourbon.
I’m a bit of a Kentucky bourbon snob and generally avoid bourbons from other states. FEW’s regular bourbon was good, but the cask strength was excellent. Yeah, there’s a bit more fire, but there’s also a lot more flavor. Great stuff.
The tacos were great. The service, not so much… But still a pretty great way to celebrate my birthday in our new home town.