Chicago's New Source of High-End Spirits

After navigating a legal tangle, the Kassebaums' microdistillery is forging ahead, and its vodkas and gins are earning rave reviews. Next up: whiskeys

Chicago's Derek and Sonja Kassebaum were once a typical North Shore power couple. A chemical engineer with an MBA, Derek was a business consultant, while Sonja, a tax lawyer, worked in human resources at eLoyalty (ELOY), a management consultancy. Both enjoyed their work but never felt passionate about it. Then, a few years ago, they read about a couple like themselves who had quit their Wall Street jobs to make specialty spirits. Now there was a profession that spoke to them. "We'd played around with making beer and wine at home," Derek says. "There's a sense of satisfaction in seeing something we made on the shelf."

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.