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Save the Date for Binny’s Taste at the Track


   Binny’s is excited to announce the date for our big spring event! Following the success of Taste at the Track last September, we’re planning two more big tastings at Arlington this year. The first:


Taste at the Track
Arlington Park
Binny’s Beverage Depot
June 2nd, 2012


   This tasting will feature more than 300 of the newest releases from all around the wine world, plus food from local restaurants, mini-seminars, entertainment and the excitement of live horse racing. If you have any doubts at all, check out these photos from last year’s event. Good times.

   We’ll open up ticket sales in April. Expect admission to be $25. Watch the Binny’s Blog for more info as we have it. See you at the Track!

Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro

Next week, Left Hand will release their extremely popular Milk Stout in nitro bottles. The brewery chose Chicago as one of the first markets to unveil this beer due to the success of their non-nitro Milk Stout in the Windy City.

So how does Milk Stout Nitro differ from the regular Milk Stout? After an aggressive pour, the beer will have a thick head, lots of rising bubbles, and will be eerily similar looking to a Guinness poured by bars using those special Guinness taps. Check out this video on how to pour Left Hand Nitro.



Guinness was the first brewer to offer a nitro beer in cans or bottles, however they use a gas producing widget. Left Hand figured out how to inject Nitrogen and Co2 into the beer, eliminating the need for the widget, and in turn becoming the first U.S. Craft brewer to bottle a nitro beer.

Binny’s will sample Left Hand’s innovative offering at many of our stores next week:

Store sampling times & locations after the jump…

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Binny’s in Champaign: Under Construction


Just a quick progress report on the new Binny’s we’re building in Champaign, IL. Construction is running right on schedule, and everything is looking great for our target opening in February. You’ll to find the new Champaign Binny’s Beverage Depot at 802 W. Town Center Blvd in the former Borders Bookstore building.

The Champaign Binny’s is free-standing, covering 25,000 square feet of retail space. The store will offer something like 10,000 different wines, spirits and beers. The location will feature a big wine cellar, walk-in humidor, and a HUGE, 28-door beer cooler. This Binny’s will also have a special tasting and events space for wine classes and tasting events.

These photos were taken a couple weeks ago. Things still look a bit dusty and industrial, but we’re excited to see things take shape. Stay tuned to the Binny’s Blog for more progress reports on the first Binny’s Beverage Depot outside of the Chicago area soon!



More pics after the jump…

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The Wording of Whisky

Scotch is scotch, right?


   Yes and no. How Scotch whisky is labeled and how we refer to said whisky on the label has been a contentious debate for as long as we have had whisky. Scotch whisky? Scotch malt whisky? Scotch grain whisky? Blended Scotch whisky? Single-malt whisky? Single-grain whisky? Pure malt whisky? Vatted malt whisky?


   And then when we add definers such as Fine Old, Rare Old, Choice Old, Extra Special, Special Reserve, Aged, Finest, Oldest Matured; none of which actually define the age or quality of the whisky! It’s enough to make your head spin.


There are several laws currently defining how we label the water of life. Scotch whisky is whisky if:



A. The whisky has been produced at a distillery in Scotland from water and malted barley (to which only the whole grains of other cereals have been added) all of which have been:
1) processed at that distillery into a mash
2) converted to a fermentable substrate only by natural enzyme systems
3) fermented only by the addition of yeast

B. It has been distilled no higher than 94.8 proof so that it retains aromas and tastes of the production and ingredients used.

C. It has been matured for no less than 3 years in barrels no larger than 700 liters.

D. No substance other than water or caramel coloring has been added.



So how do those of us who just want to enjoy a dram sort it all out?

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January Wine Sale

   The Binny’s January Wine Sale starts today. This means savings on hundreds of wines across the store, from Jacob’s Creek to ’06 Margaux. Click here to see the whole list.

Along with the wines listed online, we’re also offering special prices on hundreds of other wines in too low of quantites and too low of prices to advertise. Hence the sweet treasure chest graphic there on the left. You’ll have to swing by your favorite Binny’s location to see what great deals you can discover!

Don’t Call Me a “Wine Snob”

The following Binny’s Blog post was submitted by a Binny’s Wine Consultant. – GV


I’m not a wine snob. People who prefer attending major league baseball games aren’t sports snobs. Those who settle in with Tom Clancy or a classic Mark Twain aren’t considered book snobs. Seeing a show on Broadway does not make a person a theatre snob. An individual who is more inclined to gaze in amazement at a Monet rather than a child’s fingerpainting is not an art snob. These are all hobbies that require a similar appreciation for their respective crafts, as well as an understanding that the better quality items inevitably have bigger price tags. A wine enthusiast, then, hardly deserves the judgmental label we have been subjected to.

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Binny’s Commercial: Tony O


Here’s another instant classic Binny’s commercial. This one features Chicago Blackhawks great Tony Esposito. Watch as he tears through our South Loop Binny’s location and – ahem – makes a big save with his Binny’s Card.



Thanks Tony O! If you’re looking for more Binny’s commercials and other videos from your favorite Beverage Depot, check the Binny’s YouTube channel.

Hopslam Release Party at Binny’s


   Great news! We just got confirmation that we will have a keg of Hopslam at the South Loop Tasting Room. That means we can throw a super awesome Hopslam release party! I don’t think I really have to explain how fantastic this is going to be.


South Loop Tasting Room
Bell’s Hopslam
Release Party
Thursday, January 12th, 5:30-8pm

$8 for your first pour of Hopslam
RSVP (312) 768-4400


   Hopslam sixers will also go on sale when we tap the keg. This is your best chance in Chicago to get your hands on this annual favorite, and it’s going to be a lot of fun, too. Seriously, RSVP soon.

Epic Beer Tasting, Lessons Learned

I received an invite to a pretty epic beer tasting event earlier this week. The focus was on brewery-only stout releases, and the night included 20+ unobtainable stouts. I think they invited me because they needed more bodies to soak up beer. We drank some Dark Lord, some Darkness, some Dark… well, I’ll abstain from publishing the whole list. I’m sure the other guys there will be bragging it up soon enough. Trust me, it was geeky.


Anyway,the fact that I was slightly out of my element combined with the fact that I wasn’t furiously scribbling down notes (as I usually do at tastings) allowed me to notice a few things. Not really new lessons,more of self-evident truths that bear repeating:


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