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.
Recently revamped by the Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible, this lounge and eatery serves classic American cuisine with a twist. Under the watchful eye of chef Robert Irvine, the staff of Copper Still delights visitors, seated in an upscale environment, with dishes like pretzel-bun burgers, blackened mahi sliders, crispy pork with mushroom risotto, and slow-cooked pulled pork poutine. Diners can pair plates with craft beer or handcrafted libations as they survey a menu full of martinis, like the salted caramel apple, and specialty cocktails created with spirits from Mid-Oak Distillery, including the gold medal winning CD Vodka and Torta Bianca liqueur.