When he wasn’t piloting a plane, Toby Beall spent time with his bare feet in the Caribbean sand and a cocktail mellowing in his hand. Looking to share that laid-back lifestyle, Beall, his wife Jillian and brother Jamey founded Tailwinds Distilling Company. Today, the Plainfield-based specialists blend premium ingredients such as organic molasses and 100% blue agave, and carefully age them in french-oak barrels to create their tropically-inspired amber rum. After the signature, small-batch distilling process—which avoids the use of carbon filters so as to leave the flavors intact—each bottle is individually signed. That attention to detail hasn’t gone unnoticed: their Taildragger white rum earned a silver medal at the 2012 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition, and their 100% blue agave spirit was featured in Chicago Magazine's Holiday 2012 Gift Guide: For Imbibers.
Visitors can take a jetlag-free trip to the tropics during tours of the facility, learning about distillation and sampling sips in a tiki-bar-themed tasting room. Merchandise such as T-shirts, snifters, and flasks provide more lasting souvenirs than the imaginary tan the island vibe might inspire.
Naturally, the chefs at Cooper’s Hawk have a sharp eye when it comes to wine pairings. Each of the restaurant’s contemporary dishes is crafted with a particular wine in mind, which makes plenty of sense given the fact that there’s a winery located just next door. Surrounded by oaken barrels and racks lined with glistening bottles, diners may be forgiven for thinking that they made a wrong turn and ended up in the winery itself. After your meal, see the real thing in the Napa–style tasting room, where you can sample up to eight different wines. The selection includes something for everyone, including graceful blush wines and cabernets whose flavors unfold like a novel scribbled on the wings of an origami crane.
Picturesque rows of vines and trellises blanket Acquaviva Winery's 40-acre estate. But this idyllic outdoor setting is hardly the only draw. In fact, it may even be overshadowed by the elegant edifice standing nearby. That would be Acquaviva's tasting room, full service restaurant, and marketplace. This structure, whose architecture and decor are the work of artist Andrew Zabela, features the rich color palette and complexity associated with the high Renaissance. Domed ceilings display elaborate, gold-painted plaster filigrees, which, in turn, frame Zabela's hand-painted murals.
The elaborateness of the decor actually stands in stark contrast to the simplicity of the wines. "We have a minimal intervention approach to our process," says wine maker Sergio Benavides, "permitting our terroir, grapes, and vines to speak for themselves." He manages every acre of the vineyards, coaxing flavor from 23 different varieties of grapes. His care and tending pay off: virtually every bottle of wine the vineyard produces, from the Bianco Bello to the Frontenac, boasts multiple awards and notes of robust self-esteem.
Visitors have an unusual transportation option for getting to Summer Solstice: if they get an early enough start, they can float up to the day of craft beer and concerts by canoe. As the Fox River ambles past the historic buildings of downtown Yorkville, it deposits a flotilla of revelers in Riverfront Park. Those who don’t want to paddle in are also allowed to arrive on foot or palanquin to enjoy the rootsy music and frosty brews of the fest, a collaboration between Rogue Barrister Records, Three Angels Brewing, and the Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Shake off your long day with a meal from Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co., a casual American restaurant.
Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co. is a jackpot for those looking for low-fat and gluten-free meal options.
Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co. is fully loaded with TVs for your viewing pleasure.
Bring the whole clan to Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co. — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Big groups always enjoy coming to Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co.
Wireless Internet access is available for no charge at Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co.
Dine under the sun (or stars) at Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co. with their charming outdoor seating.
The restaurant can get thronged with crowds on Fridays and Saturdays, so book your table ahead of time through their reservation system.
Not a popular place for dress-up dining, most Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co. patrons come in casual attire.
You can also grab your grub to go.
For the tastes of Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co. from the comfort of your next party, the restaurant also offers catering services.
Guests of Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co.'s W Main St location can park their vehicles on the street.
Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co. makes bikers feel at ease with the multiple storage racks outside.
Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Co. offers a nice selection of mid-range cuisine, so you can expect a meal there to cost about $30 or less per person.
With its massive selection of varietals and styles, Lynfred Winery seems determined to make something for almost any wine drinker. The cellar brims with everything from bold, spicy reds to crisp and refreshing whites, as well as fruit wines made from apples, cherries, rhubarb, and pears. The grapes arrive from vineyards throughout California and Washington state, although the rest of the fruit typically comes from a bit closer to home, including growers throughout Michigan and Wisconsin. Despite this variety, the staff's commitment to approachable, fruit-forward flavors characterizes virtually everything that the winery makes.
This dedication to easy drinking seems only natural given the winery's origins in a home basement. In 1975, Fred Koehler, along with his wife Lynn, decided to try to re-create the family wines his father and grandfather had made throughout the 1920s. The batches grew larger with each passing vintage, and, in 1979, Fred and Lynn chose to upgrade their homespun hobby into a commercial venture. Within six years, Lynfred Winery's creations began to appear in the national spotlight as they garnered awards and medals from wine competitions across the country. This attention allowed Fred to swell production even more, eventually expanding to a larger location in 1990.
Fred and Lynn's legacy continues to inspire the staff as they operate a facility that creates more than 100,000 gallons of wine each year using as many as 80 varietals. These wines appear on restaurant menus, on retail shelves, and inside fish tanks throughout the Chicagoland area.