Whiskey distillery plans to barrel into Lake Zurich
Jose Hernandez and Fred Robinson plan to open the Copper Fiddle Distillery at 532 W. Route 22 in Lake Zurich. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 19, 2013 10:44AM
LAKE ZURICH — A whiskey distillery could be headed to Lake Zurich.
If approved by the Village Board and its Plan Commission, the Copper Fiddle Distillery would become the eighth craft distillery licensed to operate in the state, the second in Lake County and the first distillery in the county to produce whiskey as its primary product.
Targeting a location on Route 22, the distillery could open as early as October, officials said.
Trustees first impressions were favorable Feb. 4 while reviewing the proposal, presented by Hawthorn Woods residents Jose Hernandez and Fred Robinson.
“Our jingle is: “Gimme a liddle of that fiddle,’” Hernandez said.
Pending the necessary approvals, the two proprietors would open the business at 532 W. Route 22, located between Rand and Ela roads.
The distillery’s business model was presented as a destination and tourist attraction. Its staff would offer tours of the on-site distilling operation in conjunction with regular whiskey and gin tasting events. Bottles would be available for sale on-site as well.
“We are going to be heavy up front with tours, educating the public on whiskeys, gins and some other specialty products we have in development right now,” he said.
Hernandez told trustees that the local distillery could also open up the door for micro breweries to come to the area. He explained that both businesses feed off each other for certain processes.
Hernandez also called Copper Fiddle a “green” business because its spent grains can be reused as animal feed or dog biscuits.
Before the proposal can move forward, the Village Board must first grant the applicants a change to the space’s zoning, which currently does not allow for “liquor stores” to operate within the area. They would require a new category of liquor license and a special use permit.
After the presentation, Trustees appeared to be open to the craft distillery proposal.
“These are the unique things that will help set us apart from other communities who don’t have this sort of thing, and are looking for them,” said Trustee Tom Poynton.