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It’s that time of year again: The Chicago Independent Spirit Expo is right around the corner! If you’re a bourbon jockey but you don’t know what this is, well, it’s only the world’s largest gathering of small distillers assembling to celebrate artisanal craft liquor and taste each other’s creations. For most enthusiasts, this would be known as an event simply not to be missed.

This year’s expo will be held on September 21 at Chicago’s Hilton Hotel, after stops in New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Las Vegas for prior years’ expos. One of the  key features for 2016 includes a panel discussion joined by numerous famed distillery owners, bar owners, and the editor of Wine & Spirits Daily.

The main attraction of the Chicago Independent Spirit Expo are the 500 varieties of spirits and mixers, 130 exhibitors from all over the world, and more than 1,200 expert bartenders in attendance. Put all that together in one place and you have quite literally the largest and most hotly anticipated underground tasting event on the planet.

$85 for a VIP ticket or $65 for regular admission seems like a very reasonable price. Better yet, if you use the promo code “Loyola” when purchasing tickets, $10 of the price goes to the Pediatric Oncology Program at Loyola Hospital to help find a cure for childhood Leukemia. Amazingly, this code also gives the purchaser $25 off a VIP ticket, so we’re just not sure who could say no to this deal.

“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,” event co-producer Martin Duffy said in a media advisory. “Plus, it is a great chance to highlight the best of the Midwest’s own burgeoning distilling community.”

Take a look at the exhibitor list below (it’s long), or do what we’re doing and snap up your tickets right here. For more info, check out the event listing on Facebook.

3R Tequila
11 Wells Spirits Co.
Akashi Japanese whisky
Amaretto f.lli d’Italia
Amaro Cinpatrazzo
Astral Tequila
Aviation Gin
Azteca Azul Tequila
Bache Gabrielsen
Balcones Distilling
Balam Raicilla
Bar Napkin Spirits, LLC
Beer Syrup Co.
Beppe & the Architect, LLC
Big Bottom Distilling Co.
Biggar & Leith – Malfy Gin
Bittercube Bitters
Black Dog Distillery
Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.
Bliss Amers
Blue Chair Bay Rum
Bluecoat American Dry Gin
Bond & Royal
– Del Maguey Mezcal
– Siete Leguas
– Encanto Pisco
– Dimmi Liqueur
Boondocks Whisky
Borici Liqueur
Boyd & Blair
BroVo Spirits
Caffo Beverages inc
Cardinal Spirits
Caribbean Spirits
Carriage House Imports
Casa d’Aristi Yucatán Liqueurs (Xtabentún , Kalani, Guanabana)
CH Disitillery
Chicago Distilling Company
Clyde Mays
Cognac Park
Copper & Kings
Copper Fiddle Distillery
Copper Fox Distillery
Corsair Distillery
Cruz de Fuego Mezcal
Dad’s Hat Rye
DC Craft Spirits
Death’s Door Spirits
Del Professore
Dented Brick Distillery
Dictador Rum
Distillerie Tessendier & Fils Inc
Driftless Glen Distillery
Fernet Francisco
FEW Spirits
Figenza Mediterranean Vodka
Fishbowl Spirits
Flor de Desierto Sotol
Fox River Distillery
Frankfort Spirits, Inc.
Gamle Ode Aquavit
Garrison Brothers Distillery
GDL Imports/Laika Spirits
Glenfarclas Single Malt Scotch
Global Beverage Team LLC
Gordon & MacPhail – Benromach
Grand Rivers Distillery
Grappa italiana
Great Lakes Distillery
Haas Brothers
– Tequila ArteNOM
– Cimarron
– Mezcal Don Amado
– Mina Real
– Vallet Amargo + Fernet
Haus Alpenz
Headframe Spirits
Heavenly Spirits
– Armagnac: Delord
– Marie Duffau
– Dartigalongue
– Cognac: Normandin Mercier
– Jean Fillioux
– Distillerie du
Heering Cherry & Coffee
Henry Farms Prairie Spirits
– Polugar Russian Breadwine
– Riserva Carlo Alberto Vermut di Torino
– Bailoni Wachauer
– Enrico Toro Centerba 72
– Paladin Agricanto Venetian Cherry Liqueur
– Th. Kramer’s Aromatique Bitter
– Prince Pastis de Marseille
Ichiros Japanese Single Malt
Infinium Spirits Co
Impex Beverages (Single Malt Scotch Whisky)
– Isle of Arran
– Tamdhu
– Kilchoman Distillery
J. Henry & Sons Bourbons
Jade Liqueurs Fine Absinthes
James E Pepper Bourbon
Journeyman Distillery
Kentucky Moonshine
KOVAL Distillery
LaPavia Beverage LLC
Legends of Kremlin Vodka
Limoncino dell’isola
Los Arango Tequila
Maracame Tequila
Mars Iwai and Iwai tradition
Mala Idea Mezcal
Mezcales de Leyenda / Peloton
Mezcal Vago
Mezcal Yuu Baal
Mississippi River Distilling Company
Nardini Grappa
Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery
New Deal Distillery
New Holland Artisan Spirits
Niche Import Co.
– Mezan
– Barr an Uisce Irish whiskey
– Bepi Tosolini
– Calvados Coquerel
– Schonauer Apfel
North Shore Distillery
OOLA Distillery
Owl’s Brew
Paolucci Amaro Ciociaro
Parce Rum
Paul John Indian Single Malt
– Calvados: Roger Groult
– Claque-Pépin
– Liqueurs: Jules Theuriet
– Domaine de Jacquiot
– Absinthe + Pastis: La Muse Verte
Philadelphia Distilling
Pickett’s Ginger Beer
Pisoni Grappa
Poli Grappa
Purely Syrup Company
Quincy Street Distillery
Rabbit Hole Bourbon/Rye Whiskey
Rogue Spirits
Sambuca Secolare
Scorpian Mezcal
Shrub & Co.
Sombra Mezcal
SoulBoxer Cocktail Co.
St. George Spirits
Tailwinds Distilling Company
Tanduay Asian Rum
Teeling Irish whiskey
Tequila Tromba
Tokiwa Imports
Tomintoul Scotch
Tomr’s Tonic
Top Note Tonic
Town Branch Bourbon
Trianon Tequila
Usquaebach Blended Scotch Whisky
Vecchia Grappa Caffo
Vecchio Amaro del Capo
Vikre Distillery
West Cork Irish Distillery
West Lakeview Liquors
Whiskey Acres
William Wolf Pecan Bourbon
Wolfburn Single Malt Scotch
Wondertucky Distillery & Bottling, Inc.
Wyoming Whiskey
Xante Pear & Cognac
Xicala Mezcal
Xoriguer Mahón Gin
Yahara Bay Distillers
Zodiac Vodka
and many, many more!

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