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Koval Distillery is a craft distillery located in Chicago, Illinois (established in 2008).[1] It is the first distillery within Chicago's city limits since Prohibition.[2][3] Koval's founders, Robert and Sonat Birnecker, left academic careers to found the distillery, aiming to bring the distilling traditions and techniques of Robert’s Austrian grandfather to America. Certified both organic and kosher, Koval creates award-winning whiskeys, brandies, and liqueurs in their distillery in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago's Northside. The distillery is kosher.[4] Koval (Yiddish for blacksmith) was founded by Robert and Sonat Birnecker.[4]

IndustryManufacturing of Distilled Spirits
FounderRobert and Sonat Birnecker
ProductsDistilled spirits
OwnerRobert and Sonat Birnecker
Number of employees



  • 2017 Illinois Small Business Persons of the Year[5]
  • Illinois Exporter of the Year 2016[6]


  1. ^ Reaves, Jessica (November 28, 2009). "In a Big Beer City, Makers of Spirits on Parallel Paths". New York, NY: The New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  2. ^ Koval Distillery (official site).
  3. ^ Interview: Koval Distillery, The A.V. Club, 29 Apr. 2009.
  4. ^ a b Kronemer, Gamliel (March 28, 2019). "The Spirit(s) Of The Midwest - Koval, Chicago's grain-to-bottle kosher craft distiller". The New York Jewish Week.
  5. ^ "SBA announces 2017 Illinois small business winners". U.S. Small Business Administration. March 22, 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Export: Governor's Export Awards". Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2017.

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