Located in front of the Westin North Shore Hotel in Wheeling, Spear’s Bourbon, Burgers and Beer is a unique, locally-owned establishment that offers high quality in all it does – including giving back to the community.
With 300 bourbons and whiskeys, plus grass-fed, non-GMO chicken, beef and wild game and a huge selection of craft beers, this is definitely not your average chain restaurant! Spears is passionate about Bourbon.
Bourbons, originally from Bourbon County, Kentucky, can now be found all over the country. But what makes actual Kentucky Bourbon unique is the limestone water – how water is filtered through limestone to give it a unique flavor. Bourbon is a U.S. product only!
Many consider Jacob Spears as the first known distiller of Bourbon. Spears Bourbon, Burgers, & Beer uses this name in recognition of Jacob Spears.
A true Bourbon has a minimum of 51% corn mash, stored for a 4 years’ minimum in new oak charred barrels. Often these barrels are then sold to breweries to make Bourbon Barrel Aged beer, which you’ll also find at Spears.
You can tour many famous Bourbon distilleries by traveling the Kentucky Bourbon Trail (kybourbontrail.com) where you can visit companies including Four Roses, Jim Beam, Makers Mark, and Woodford Reserve. You’ll find all of these brands served at Spears.
The Bourbon Experience at Spears
A favorite bourbon of Spears is J. Henry, from a Wisconsin distillery which uses its own locally grown and harvested grains. It has exceptional quality with hints of vanilla and caramel in its taste.
Spears can “smoke” J. Henry WI Bourbon at your table or at the bar. The Smoker is a form of pipe that lights hickory, cherry, or apple wood chips, then forces the smoke into a glass box with the Bourbon glass to give the Bourbon an even smokier taste. This is unique in the Chicago area; we at WCG don’t know of anyone else who currently does this. It’s like a magic show, and always attracts a crowd.
The House-brand Bourbon at Spears is Woodford Reserve, used for their Old Fashioneds, which are served with a sphere of ice to keep the drink cold without melting too quickly. Spears also offers Bourbon flights so you can sample different Bourbons. This is popular as Bourbon and other “brown” liquors are becoming more popular with Millennials, including women. As with many aspects of modern life, the experience of sampling Bourbons is important to many people and Spears embraces this.
Beer, Food and Good Causes
When it comes to burgers, Spears is unique. GMO-free, grass-fed beef, wild game and range-free chicken are all offered at Spears. Bored with just a burger? Then consider a Bison burger, which is juicy and low in fat. Or try Elk, which is the leanest meat, and Wild Boar, with a blackberry compote. These unique wild game burgers pair well with Bourbon and craft beers.
On top of everything else, Spears is kid-friendly. They’ll love the IBC Root Beer, cotton candy and carnival funnel cake.
Beer pairs well with burgers. When visiting Spears, you’ll see 24 beers on tap, always rotating, including 6-8 local beers. It’s common to find Chicago beers from Half Acre, Pipeworks, Revolution, and Lagunitas (a brand from CA but also brewed in Chicago), along with 3 Floyds from Indiana. As with its Bourbons, Spears offers beer flights for people to experience a variety of beers without drinking too much.
Finally, Spears gives back to many organizations including this winter’s 2/10 fundraiser for the 100 Club of Chicago supporting First Responders in Chicago. Special entertainment will include Naperville’s Windy City Dueling Pianos. Spears also supports the Wounded Warrior Project every July. These are always giant parties for great causes.
Whether you’re hungry, thirsty of a little of each, Spears has something for you. It’s a favorite of our editor, so come in today and try it! You’ll find Spears at 723 N. Milwaukee Avenue in front of the Westin Wheeling in Wheeling. 847-353-8933.