Indie Spirits Expo Returns to Chicago


For the seventh year, the world largest gathering of small, independent & artisanal brands will converge on Chicago, much to the delight of spirits enthusiasts everywhere. The Chicago Independent Spirits Expo is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 3 at the Chicago Hilton Hotel.

What started out as just three small brands conducting a tasting in a bar in New York City over 10 years ago has now grown to become one of the most anticipated underground spirit tastings on the planet.  The brainchild of Dave Schmier, former owner of Redemption Rye & Temptation Bourbon whiskey brands, and Martin C. Duffy, U.S. brand representative for Glencairn Crystal and former Sr. Masters of Whisky for Diageo, the Indie Spirit Expos has taken place in San Francisco, New York City, Las Vegas and New Orleans (during the fabled Tales of the Cocktail week).  However, the Windy City hosts the grandest one of them all!

The CISE provides members of the service industry as well as consumers an opportunity to meet the new wave of creative & innovated distillers, bottlers, importers and distributors as they sample & speak about their spirits. Attendees will be able to chose from over 600 spirits within the major liquor categories of vodka, gin, rum, tequila, mescal, whisk(e)y, liqueurs and even unique drink mixers from around the world.

According to Mr. Schmier, “The Chicago Indie Spirits Expo is a direct response to both the growing interest in craft spirits among consumers and the growth of craft distillers and other spirits entrepreneurs.“ Co-producer Martin Duffy, after experiencing Dave’s New York event in 2011, convinced his friend to bring his Indie Spirits Expo to the City of Big Shoulders. “Chicago has always been a progressive drinking town, so it only seemed logical to bring this event here and make it the biggest and best event of its kind”, said Duffy.  “Plus, it is a great chance to highlight the best of the Midwest’s own burgeoning distilling community.”

The 2016 Chicago Independent Spirits Expo featured over 150 exhibitors sampling over 600 different artisanal and independent spirits from all over the world (The USA, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, France, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, etc.) to over 1200 key bartenders, F&B managers, bar owners, distributors, importers, retailers and spirit aficionados coming from all over the North, Central & South America as well as Europe & Asia.

Purchase tickets to the 2017 Chicago Independent Spirits Expo here.

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