Star Union Spirits is a new distillery and tasting room in Peru, IL – not too far away from Starved Rock State Park.  The distillery is still in its soft opening phase, but I was able to take a tour of the place yesterday (and try some samples as well).

The distillery is in the former Westclox building, home of the clock manufacturer that also was one of the largest employers in the area.

How did the Distillery get its name?  This dates back to an original brewery in Peru, started by Fred Kaiser and incorporated as Union Beer Company in 1868.  It was acquired in 1880 and renamed to the Star Union Beer Company.

During prohibition, the company began to produce root beer and sell ice.  After the repeal of prohibition, Star Union became one of the largest breweries in Illinois, with over 100 employees by 1935.  The plant closed in 1966.

Star Union Spirits does keep history in mind.  As you go through the location, you may see former Westclox tables, an antique sewing machine and typewriter, and a little mini-museum about Star Union.

For more information, check out Star Union Spirits online at or

Photos from first gallery from Star Union Spirits.  Photos from second and third gallery from author’s personal collection.

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