Brewpubs, but at distilleries and serving their own spirits, may be coming to Illinois:
Legislation approved Thursday by the Illinois House would license craft distillers similar to the way craft brewers are regulated, with the aim of giving a boost to the burgeoning community of artisan spirits makers in the state.
The bill, which still faces a vote in the Senate, would create a license that allows small distillers to self-distribute some product, removing a major hurdle for unknown brands trying get on store shelves, and another license that allows distillers to open up to three satellite locations where they can serve their house-made spirits as well as other alcohol in a pub environment.
The changes would allow craft distillers to build brand awareness and new revenue streams, helping them grow and encouraging new distillers to set up shop in the state, said Noelle DiPrizio, who co-owns Chicago Distilling in Logan Square.
FEW Spirits already has something like this in the form of a tasting room. But this would be a much more all-encompassing experience. I'm looking forward to it.
We have actual spring weather today, so instead of reading things while eating lunch I was watching things, like this corgi:
I do have a few things to read while coordinating a rehearsal later tonight. To wit:
- New York City declared a public health emergency because of measles. Measles. A childhood disease we almost eradicated before people started believing falsehoods about vaccination.
- White House senior troll Stephen Miller has the president's ear, with predictable consequences.
- Where did all of Chicago's taverns go? We used to have two to a block.
- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin admitted that the White House and the IRS have discussed releasing the president's tax forms, contrary to the statute meant to keep the White House from influencing the IRS.
- Why is Canadian PM Justin Trudeau imploding so fast?
- The UK Government has started preparing for EU elections next month, a sign that they expect to get an extension on the Brexit timeline from the EU. If not, then they will crash out of the union at 5pm Chicago time Thursday, scoring one of the worst own-goals in the history of world politics. (It's worth noting that losing the American colonies was another one.) I can't wait for PMQs tomorrow.
Today's weather, of course, is just a teaser. We even have snow flurries in the forecast for Friday. Welcome to Chicago.
The Apollo Chorus of Chicago's annual fundraiser has consumed my weekend and will continue to munch away at my week.
Tickets are still available. Come out and hear us! It's wicked fun.
And somehow, I'll write the next six A-to-Z posts on time...
Last night, Chicago elected its first African-American female mayor:
After waging a campaign focused on upending the vaunted Chicago political machine, Lightfoot dismantled one of its major cogs by dispatching Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, whose candidacy had been hobbled in part by an anti-incumbent mood among voters and an ongoing federal corruption investigation at City Hall.
Lightfoot’s campaign, which started last May as a long-shot bid to replace the city’s clouted politics with inclusive change, took the former federal prosecutor and first-time candidate from toiling in relative political obscurity to toppling the head of the Cook County Democratic Party.
With roughly 97 percent of the city’s precincts reporting, Lightfoot had swept all 50 of Chicago’s wards, winning 74 percent of the unofficial vote to 26 percent for Preckwinkle, a 28-year officeholder who prior to her eight years as the county’s chief executive served 19 years as a Hyde Park alderman.
Lightfoot will be sworn in as Chicago’s 56th mayor on May 20 while Preckwinkle will return to her third term running the county after a humiliating defeat that included losing her own 4th Ward by 20 points.
In my own ward, the incumbent alderman wound up ahead by just 23 votes out of about 12,000 cast, but there are still some provisional and absentee ballots to count. I suspect this will go to a recount.
I'm traveling this weekend, starting with a night about a block from my office. Tonight is WhiskyFest Chicago, starting in about 90 minutes (though they let us start gorging on cheese and crackers at 5pm). For easily-understood reasons, I'm staying at the same hotel tonight, then heading to my college radio station's 60th anniversary party tomorrow morning. Not my first choice of timing, but I had no control over either event.
Sunday I head into Manhattan, and coincidentally the Yankees are in town...
The view from my room today fails to suck:
My team have moved to a new space we've leased on a different floor of Chicago's Aon Center. This morning, this was my view:
And now, one floor lower and facing the opposite direction, this is my view:
I actually prefer the south view, but only marginally. In fact, I'll probably keep taking photos of the south view. But neither view sucks.
Yet another Chicago-based medical marijuana company has merged with an out-of-state company ahead of an expected legalization of recreational pot this summer:
Chicago’s Cresco Labs on Monday unveiled a $120 million merger that allows it to expand into Florida, where analysts predict demand for medical marijuana will significantly grow in the coming years. By 2022, the market for medical pot could reach a whopping $1.7 billion, according to analysts’ projections.
Under the agreement, Cresco will acquire Florida marijuana grower and retailer VidaCann, a move that will allow Cresco to operate 30 medical dispensaries in the nation’s third most populous state. The company aims to significantly expand its operations by the end of the year, in part by doubling the size of its medical marijuana cultivation center. It also plans to have 20 dispensaries open by year’s end.
Last week, a Phoenix company announced one of the largest pot deals in U.S. corporate history by taking over Chicago-based Verano Holdings for $850 million.
If Cresco’s ownership of VidaCann is approved, Cresco could surpass another major marijuana player based in Chicago — Green Thumb Industries, which currently has 11 cultivation centers.
A vote on legalizing recreational cannabis could come as early as July, and is expected to pass.
I moved into my current place back in October. For the first time since then, just now, I opened one of the windows in my office. (I'll have to close it again pretty soon because of the squall line coming this way.)
That's because, for the first time since October 31st—when I wasn't home during the day to open it—it's 16°C at O'Hare.
It's about time.
Just a few things I'm reading that you also might want to read:
And finally, it's getting close to April and the Blogging A-to-Z Challenge. Stay tuned.