Beer Tasting At Lake Bluff Brewing Company And North Shore Distillery

A day of Lake Bluff drinking

With Lake Bluff Brewing Company's and North Shore Distillery's new tasting rooms and tours, the peaceful hamlet of Lake Bluff now has ample fodder for a daylong drinking excursion.

Forty miles due north of the city, it's an easy Saturday getaway for fans of craft beer and booze.

Start with a tasting and tour ($10) at North Shore Distillery, offered Fridays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 and 4 p.m. You'll spend an hour behind the scenes as Sonja and Derek Kassebaum talk through the history of the distillery, the mechanics of distilling and the quirks of their hammered-copper still, which they've named Ethel.

The tour includes samples of their full line of vodka, gin, aquavit and absinthe, including their lively new chamomile-citrus vodka, Sol. And the tasting room's leather couch is a fine spot for a cocktail, like a spiced mule ($8), with Maine Root ginger beer, lime cordial and aquavit.

Post-tour, drive three miles east to Lake Bluff's three-block downtown, home to the tiny, three-month-old Lake Bluff Brewing Company, a closet-size brewery with eight excellent beers on tap, available by the pint or as a flight of four (pictured; $9).

Finish the day with dinner at Inovasi or takeout from Wisma, eaten across the street on the sprawling village green.

North Shore Distillery, 28913 Herky Dr., Unit 308, Lake Bluff, IL; 847-574-2499 or

Lake Bluff Brewing Company, 16 E. Scranton Rd., Lake Bluff, IL; 224-544-5179 or