A New Chicago Delivery Service Brings Hard-to-Find Spirits to Your Door
Give your home bar a crafty makeover without leaving the couch
Ever feel like you’re the last to know about the latest and tastiest small-batch bourbon or handcrafted, locally sourced liqueur to hit the scene in Chicago? Probably because you’re stuck in a booze rut, destined to circle Jewel-Osco’s fluorescently lit aisles with a cart full of the same overpriced swill you’ve been draining since before you were legal.
But it’s not entirely your fault. Thanks to our country’s post-Prohibition attempt to regulate the alcohol biz by instilling a boatload of complicated checks and balances meant to separate distillers from drinkers, tapping into a pipeline of new and exciting booze brands has never been an easy endeavor.
Correcting that: BigFish, an online marketplace for craft spirits based in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, which is taking on America’s notoriously tricky three-tier system and emerging victorious, artisanal gin in hand.
By partnering directly with top independent distilleries, the company recently opened Illinois’s floodgates to an endless stream of never-before-seen bottles from all over the world. And if you need a little more incentive to step outside your comfort zone and try something different, note that these surprisingly affordable bad boys are delivered right to your door.
“When you visit your local grocery or liquor store, your options for craft spirits are very limited because shelf space is occupied solely by big brand labels, giving smaller, independently-owned distilleries no room to compete,” said BigFish Founder and Chief Operating Officer Michael Weiss in a recent press release. “We founded BigFish because we wanted to help give a name to these distillers and give our customers the ability to discover and experience new craft spirits they may have never known existed.”
These guys aren’t the first to get into the alcohol delivery game: national players like Drizly and Minibar have been at it for years while smaller operations like Off Premise, Foxtrot and Saucey continue to hold their own. But they are the first to focus exclusively on indie producers. The website stocks more than 750 options, including Montanya Distillers’s belly-warming Colorado-born rums, addictively smooth ryes from Virginia’s Catoctin Creek Distilling Co., ultra-potent navy strength gin from Durham Distillery and a devilishly herbaceous fernet from Portland’s Townshend’s Distillery.
The website’s layout is also unique. You can search by spirit type, distillery name or place of origin, pick up curated seasonal bundles and sort partner distilleries into themes like “Certified Farm To Glass,” “Veteran Owned” and “Mountain Made.”
Let’s face it: With cold weather fast approaching, BigFish may very well be your new liquor store of choice.