Supporting the little guy can be very gratifying, not to mention frequently necessary, as Verne Troyer is seldom sober enough to walk on his own. Support an even greater swath of little boozy guys, at the Independent Spirits Expo.
An ever-growing gathering of boutique booze-makers stopping in Chi after previous events in New York, San Francisco, and Vegas, a ticket to ISE gets you 2.5hrs of unfettered access to more than 140 unique, small-production spirits, from local faves like Koval to single malt whiskeys made in France, which could never have happened during the Bourbon dynasty. A few other highlights:
Few Spirits: Gallingly established in the birthplace of the Temperance Movement (boooo, Evanston), FS's inaugural offerings consist of an American gin with notes of vanilla and citrus peel, and a barrel-skipping white whiskey that was all the rage during Prohibition.
Corsair Artisan: With small distilleries in Nashville and Bowling Green, CA bottles unusual batches like Red Absinthe flavored with citrus, tarragon, and red hibiscus (hence the color), and seasonal riffs like Pumpkin Spice Moonshine, perfect for fall. And falls.
NutLiquor: Billed as the world's first peanut butter vodka (probably a safe bet), NL touts a creamy mouthfeel, a lack of burn, and a PB-cup-like aftertaste, making it ideal for loosening your dog's inhibitions about becoming a nutliquor himself.
Because you're important, use the promo code THRILLIST to get $25 general admission tix (typically $60), or drop $35 (instead of $75) for VIP and get an extra 1.5hrs with smaller crowds, much preferable, as a ton of Verne Troyers would fall in front of you as you went for the hooch.