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From grain to bottle: a family distillers among farms in Midwest
Region Midwest (Stati Uniti)
Foundation Year 2008
Address 5121 North Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640 (USA)

The U.S.-based Koval distillery operates on a strictly family level in Chicago, Illinois, with a desire to produce spirits with a modern, fine style. The project was born in 2008 from the passion and determination of Robert Birnecker and Sonat Birnecker Hart, a husband and wife who opened their own distillery in Chicago, the first in the city since the mid-19th century. Robert, a talented Austrian-born distiller and Koval's Master Distiller, represents the family's third distillery generation, as well as one of the foremost experts and consultants throughout the United States. Invec Sonat, president of the distillery, can boast more than 10 years of experience as a teacher in the United States and Germany and is actively involved in social initiatives. Before embarking on this adventure, Robert and Sonat had the opportunity to establish themselves in government and academia, respectively, he as Austrian ambassador to Washington DC and she as a professor, but then gave it all up to follow their dream. The goal that guided the couple from the beginning was to be able to combine Robert's centuries-old family tradition with the use of modern technologies, so as to bring a touch of creativity to the world of spirits. In many Eastern European languages, the term "koval" means "blacksmith," while in the Yiddish language it has the meaning of "going forth." This name pays tribute to both Sonat's great-grandfather, nicknamed precisely Koval, and to Robert's grandfather, whose surname is Schmid, the German equivalent of Koval.

Each stage of the production process behind Koval's spirits is carefully monitored by the Birnecker couple, following the from grain to bottle philosophy. As for the flagship whiskeys, everything begins with the selection and harvesting of organically grown cereals from trusted farmers. This is followed by milling and mashing operations, through which a mass ready for alcoholic fermentation is obtained. The fermented product is then distilled through a peculiar copper still made by the Kothe company, handcrafted in Germany.

Koval Distillery's production includes internationally award-winning gins, whiskies and other spirits, endowed with a perfumed and accessible character of surprising pleasantness and richness of expression.

The Spirits by Koval Distillery

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