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Binny’s Mailbag(s): Better than Duty-Free Prices, Manneken Pis


Once again, we’re offering you the chance to peek inside our mail. Let’s open up the Binny’s Mailbag:
Binny's Mailbag


Dear Binny’s Mailbag –
I just returned from Aruba where I purchased duty-free Scotch. Just to let you know, Binny’s prices for many scotches are below duty free prices, some quite a bit.

– T


Hi T!


We try to always keep the most competitive prices. We’re glad to hear it shows. And we’re not just a low price – we’d love to see them pack this kind of selection into a little shop in an airport!


Hope you had a great time in Aruba. Is it possible to not have a great time?


Well that was short. Maybe we have space for another mailbag question.


Dear Binny’s Mailbag –

I was once served a Belgium blonde beer that had a peeing cupid on the label. There was a very interesting story involving the town and the Germans during WWII. Can you tell me the name of the beer and if you carry it?




First, that peeing cupid is Manneken Pis, a famous statue in Brussels. It’s been there since the 17th century. And though he is no cupid, the statue depicts a urinating child complete with fountain stream.

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Oskar Blues Tasting Info

Back in the beginning of July we broke the news that Oskar Blues Brewery would be debuting at our stores in late August. Well we are proud to announce that the highly anticipated and delicious beers of Oskar Blues have finally arrived at many Binny’s locations!  All Binny’s locations will have Oskar Blues in stock by the end of the week. We are celebrating their arrival with a series of tastings, which are listed below. Be sure to stop by your local Binny’s if you want to experience the brewery that helped start the craft beer can craze!


Wednesday, August 22nd
Binny’s Grand Ave 5:00 – 7:00pm
Binny’s Naperville  4:00 – 6:00pm


Thursday, August 23rd
Binny’s South Loop 5:00 – 7:00pm
Binny’s Skokie 5:00 – 7:00pm
Binny’s Highland Park 4:00 – 5:30pm


Friday, August 24th
Binny’s Lakeview 5:00 – 7:00pm
Binny’s Lincoln Park 5:00 – 7:00pm
Binny’s Downers Grove 3:00 – 5:00pm
Binny’s Orland Park 5:00 – 7:00pm
Binny’s St. Charles 5:00 – 7:00pm


Saturday, August 25th
Binny’s Plainfield 2:00 – 4:00pm
Binny’s Bolingbrook 4:00 – 6:00pm
Binny’s Willowbrook 4:00 – 6:00pm



Quick Flight, Small Pours


Two from Gizmodo:
Powdered beer. Because this was an April Fool’s joke a couple years ago.
Booze Science Facts! Because why not?


Illinois has a disproportionately high number of breweries
…and an even more disproportionately high number of breweries in planning.


Bears break in, imbibe beer.
Couldn’t find the porridge.


Schnapps explosion.
And not in a good way, like in popularity.  Like an actual explosion.



Hennessy V.S. Futura 2000


Hennessy Futura 2000 Art


Art fans and Cognac enthusiasts, listen up.  Arriving at Binny’s today is an exciting new collector’s Hennessy V.S. bottle featuring a design by legendary street artist Futura 2000. Each bottle in this limited run is individually numbered and features the artist’s trademark atomic swirl on the label, cap and seal. On Binny’s shelves for $29.99.


Futura says of the partnership: “It is an honor to design for a brand like Hennessy, because of their strong connection to and support of art.” It’s cool that Hennessy is giving innovative street artists this kind of exposure. Along with the bottle release, they are holding events with influential artists, bloggers and media personalities in Chicago and across the country.


By the way, Hennessy launched a similar bottle with art by KAWS last year, which disappeared from shelves too soon and quickly became a collectors’ item. Totally grab this one before the it’s gone.


Notes from the Humidor


We just received our first shipment of the new Marca Binny’s 1949 Reserva. The line comes in 3 sizes, 5.625×46 (Seleccion No.1), 5.25×52 (Seleccion No.2), 6.5×54 (Seleccion No.4), and features 5 year old tobaccos from Nicaragua’s Esteli and Jalapa growing regions. The blend was brought to our attention by Arsenio Ramos himself while on a trip to Miami earlier this year. We loved it so much that we decided to make an entire line out of it. Not only are these some really good tasting cigars but they’re priced to enjoy, ranging from under six to under seven bucks a stick.


Marca Binny's Reserve in 3 Sizes


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Shots in the Dark: Wheated Bourbon Shootout


The Binny’s Handpicked committee got together last week to taste through some new Buffalo Trace Single Barrel Select samples. That means new Binny’s exclusive Elmer T Lee and Blanton’s are on the way. While we were all together anyway, Joe came up with the idea that we should do a blind tasting.


His pitch was this: we have an advance sample of the upcoming Larceny Bourbon from Heaven Hill. Larceny is a wheated bourbon with a $24.99 MSRP (exact Binny’s retail pending). Expectations are high for this new entrant. How will it fare when stacked against other favorite wheaters?


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Scandinavian Craft Beer Sale Starts Now

Today marks the beginning of the Big Binny’s Scandinavian Craft Beer Sale. That means savings on every Scandinavian craft beer we sell. While quantities last, availability varies by location. Prices are valid through August 29th. Scandinavia has led the world in innovation with groundbreaking new beer styles over the last few years (second only to the U.S.A., in our understandably biased opinion). Here is your chance to see what the fuss is all about, and to save a few bucks while you’re at it!


Binny’s in Bloomington: Construction Pics + Job Openings



You already know that Binny’s Beverage Depot is coming to Bloomington, Illinois. Here’s a bunch of cool new construction pics. As you can see, we’re busy smashing, cutting, framing, building a new Binny’s from a space made of three previous establishments. You can’t make out much in these images other than a better feel for the overall space. They’re just neat pictures.


Again: 1409 N. Veterans Parkway in Bloomington, Illinois.
Opening in early fall.


As we plan this store, we know that we need the best, friendliest and most knowledgeable staff to live up to the Binny’s experience. We have posted wine consultant job openings on This listing is for wine consultants, but we need a full team to run this great new location: customer service managers, spirits and beer specialists, and pretty much anybody with enthusiasm and a smile. Email if you are interested.


When we opened in Champaign, we received hundreds of applications and had to sort through them all to find the great staff we have today. We’re expecting another huge reaction with the new store in Bloomington.


By the way, we also posted wine consultant positions for the Binny’s in Algonquin and across the city of Chicago.


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Binny’s Mailbag: Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut


We’re back with another question from the Binny’s Mailbag.


Dear Binny’s Mailbag –

White Star is my favorite Champagne. Why don’t you stock it any more? Can you order some for me?

– W.S.


Hello W.S.!


Good question. The short answer is that Moet no longer makes White Star.


The more honest, complicated and rambling answer is that the product that used to be called “White Star” has undergone an evolution in style and branding over the last few years. In the very same spot on Binny’s shelves that once held White Star, you will now find Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut. Moet cites shifting consumer expectations and a better representation of the house style as motivation for this gradual change.


We were a bit stunned a few years ago when Moet announced that they were changing the name of Moet White Star to Moet Imperial. Everything else on the bottle and label stayed the same except for the brand name. The formula shifted a little, too. The new Imperial was a touch more dry than White Star, but shared the same characteristic breadth and weight with the iconic extra dry. And for about a year, customers couldn’t believe us when we told them about the change.


The brand is now making a second shift. The Imperial label now carries the word Brut, meaning an even more dry, streamlined, fresh and elegant Champagne. Watch for that word – Brut – to know which Imperial you are buying. As the transition happens, any Binny’s location may have one, or the other, or even both, until the older blend has sold through.


Now let’s get geeky. What makes this new Imperial Brut fresher and lighter? The biggest factor is lower dosage, meaning less sugar is added into the bottles during aging. Specifically 9 g/liter. Sugar feeds the yeast that make the bubbles, but there’s often a little left over, giving the wine some sweetness and breadth. Less dosage means a leaner Champagne. Also, there is more chardonnay and less pinot noir in the assemblage, giving the wine more structure and less fruit weight. Plus the each bottle of Imperial Brut sees more time in the cellar – an increase from 18 up to 24 months, lending more maturity and a finer bead.

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