Classic Chicago

FEW Spirits Pays Homage to the World’s Fair

See How FEW Spirits Connects to the 1893 World's Fair

See How FEW Spirits Connects to the 1893 World’s Fair

FEW Spirits, headquartered in Evanston just north of Chicago, took the beverage world by storm when it debuted a few years ago. It’s ironic they produce in Evanston, a former base of the American Temperance Movement, which advocated against drinking alcohol and kept Evanston a dry town for more than a century. These days, plenty of places serve booze and feature FEW. The local distiller, which produces various gins, bourbons and whiskies, pays homage to a significant moment in Chicago history: The 1893 World’s Fair. Each bottle label features a different iconic image from the fair like the Ferris Wheel or the Statue of the Republic, a.k.a. Big Mary. We asked FEW about what each label is all about. Here’s what they had to say:

  • American Gin: The Ferris Wheel (the world’s first) that was a main attraction at the fair. It stood 264 feet tall and had 36 cars that could each accommodate 60 people (and which each held a bar)
  • Standard Issue Gin: A British warship that was docked on Lake Michigan during the fair. The gin is a navy-strength gin, so a ship is fitting!
  • Barrel Gin: The fair’s Midway, the main area of attractions and exhibit, is still a park today at the University of Chicago.
  • Breakfast Gin: This is actually the image we use on all of our limited-edition labels. It’s the Midway, looking in the other direction. The domed building is the Palace of Fine Arts, one of the only buildings from the fair that’s still standing today, which is now the Museum of Science and Industry.
  • Bourbon: The Statue of the Republic, a 65-foot statue that dominated the fair’s skyline. The original was destroyed, but there is a 24-foot bronze replica in Jackson Park that was created for the 25th anniversary of the fair in 1918.
  • Rye Whiskey: The world’s first electrically powered fountain, another highlight of the fair
  • Single Malt: This is the Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Railroad, the first section of today’s ‘L’ train lines to be built, which connected downtown with the fair and other parts of the South Side.

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