Evanston’s only micro-distillery is seeking to become a little less micro.

Aldermen tonight will be asked to approve an increase in the annual production limit for Few Spirits at 918 Chicago Ave. from 5,000 to 15,000 gallons per year.

Owner Paul Hletko says business at the distillery, which held its grand opening just last fall, is going better than expected, with 120 accounts in the Chicago area and deals as well with distributors in Japan, China, New Zealand and Australia.

Hletko told the liquor control board last month that “the bottles say Evanston all over them, and bring Evanston consumer products to the rest of the world.”

The distillery also plays off Evanston’s history as a center of the prohibition movement — with the “FEW” in its name standing for the initials of temperance advocate Frances E. Willard.

The new, higher cap on production for micro-distilleries was written into state law last year, but Evanston’s liquor ordinance needs to be amended to make the change effective here.

Top: Barrels of liquor at the distillery in an image from the Few Spirits website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. FEW Growth

    In an economic climate where we are seeing businesses close and we stare at empty buildings in Evanston every day, seeing a company with local roots thriving is refreshing. It should be a no brainer for our leadership to approve the request.

  2. Total Agreement

    I agree, nice post.

    This should be a no brainer for our leadership to approve this immediately. 

  3. And Sadly….

    No brains is what our city  government usually shows.  Great news for FEW.  They've got a great product and are a terrific addition to the Evanston scene, reminding me of when we had interesting and unique retailers in town.

  4. Good gravy please do this

    FEW is great, and Paul is an awesome, down to earth guy.  If this doesn't happen, then Evanston is truely absurd.

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