FEW Spirits

Location: Evaston, Illinois
Founded: 2011
Master Distiller: Paul Hletko
Grains: Corn/Rye Non-GMO sourced within 100 miles of Distillery. Malted Barley from Briess Malt and Ingredients Company, Wisconsin.
Mash bills: Undisclosed although, High Rye with Spicy Yeast.

History

A grain-to-glass distillery since 2011, FEW Spirits produces award–winning cra whiskey and gin in a tucked away alley located in the growing Chicago suburb of Evanston, IL.. A historical town where Prohibition lasted until 1972, Founder & Master Distiller Paul Hletko changed the future of Evanston when he opened FEW Spirits Distillery, the first (legal) alcohol-production facility of any kind to ever open there.

Paul Hletko always knew he wanted to make craft spirits —produced in the local Chicago area— that offered something different, delicious and fun. Living in Evanston, a town that was prime for change after being dry for four decades post the repeal of prohibition, Paul felt it was the perfect
home and backdrop for FEW and the brand. Deeply integrated into the brand story, both Evanston and Chicago are crucial elements of the FEW DNA and its inspiration. From its liquid, created from locally grown or sourced ingredients, to the look & feel of the design, which pays homage to the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago— FEW is the true definition of a local Illinois craft spirit.

FEW Spirits features a refreshing and innovative portfolio including a stable of core spirits and
several small batch limited edition specialty expressions. Each flagship spirit is a new take on the
timeless liquors of the past; distilled from the very best grains, aged to perfection, and bottled under
the FEW roof. The small batch limited editions hold true to the premium quality FEW drinkers have
to come to love and expect from the brand, but offer something novel to the ordinary taste and
style we’ve all grown accustomed to.
In a world over saturated with mass-produced spirits, only few remain truly handcrafted, locally
sourced and small-batched. FEW has never strayed from this —even as it grows, Paul and his team
continue to provide consistently impeccable spirits that are true to their cra roots and reminiscent
of their home base.

A maverick for the ages, Paul Hletko wore many hats before launching FEW Spirits, but one thing has always remained consistent throughout —he loves to make new things. Whether that was making blueprints as an engineer, deals as a lawyer or music for his rock-n-roll band, at his core Paul is a creative and always wants to bring something to the table that hasn’t been done before.
“All my life, I’ve tried to be a creative person and beat to the sound of my own drum,” says Paul. “At the end of the day, I like to have created something that didn’t exist that morning and offers
something completely different.”

A maverick for the ages, Paul Hletko wore many hats before launching FEW Spirits, but one thing
has always remained consistent throughout —he loves to make new things. Whether that was
making blueprints as an engineer, deals as a lawyer or music for his rock-n-roll band, at his core Paul
is a creative and always wants to bring something to the table that hasn’t been done before.
“All my life, I’ve tried to be a creative person and beat to the sound of my own drum,” says Paul. “At
the end of the day, I like to have created something that didn’t exist that morning and offers
something completely different.”

FEW Spirits was and is exactly that. And while that notion, and Evanston’s history itself led to the
creation of FEW, the biggest inspiration for Paul was his own family history. Prior to World War II,
Paul’s grandfather owned a large brewery in what is now the Czech Republic and after losing the
brewery to the Nazi invasion he fought the remainder of his life to get the brewery back. When his
grandfather passed away and Paul was at the end of his time with the music industry, he decided to
start a distillery of his own.
He says, “I wanted to create something that would honor my family history but didn’t want to try
and replicate it. With FEW, I am able to celebrate my roots while being able to create something
new.”


In 2011 Paul opened the FEW Distillery and since then has produced award wining spirits that are
original, distinctive and playful. His love for the nuances & flavor of whiskey and his flexibility to
innovate with gin have made them FEW’s backbone products, but he continues to play around and
innovate daily with limited expressions and new collaborations. In the future, Paul aspires to take
FEW to an even bigger production facility where he and his team can continue to produce their
liquid for enthusiasts around the world, while still remaining true to their craft roots. Recently, Paul
was name the 2018 World Distiller of the Year in Gin Magazine’s annual ”Icons of Gin” feature