Manufacturing Legacy, Episode 3: Koval Distillery

When Straying from the Beaten Path Is Its Own Reward

Recommended Viewing: Fullscreen with HD Enabled

For Robert and Sonat Birnecker, straying from the norm is an all too common concept. After years spent in other industries, the couple decided to pursue a different path. Opening a distillery had always been in the backs of their minds, but to make it a reality was a different, riskier story. Their choice produced one of the best quality distilleries in all of Chicago, and the world.

Sonat and Robert say the exhilarating risk associated with this simple choice is what keeps them resilient and motivated. From the start, they have poured their hearts into their business. Robert was born and raised in the distillery industry, while Sonat followed her husband into the business. Together, they’re exploring what it means to drop the plan, take a risk and enjoy the ride.

KOVAL is a world leader in the practice, boasting awards both nationally and internationally and earning “Top 100 Distilleries in the World to Visit” in a Whisky Magazine feature. The delectable organic spirits have attracted whiskey lovers from all over the world.

In Episode 3 of Manufacturing Legacy, we explored KOVAL Distillery and witnessed the enchanting process that goes into crafting some of the finest spirits in the world.


Manufacturing Legacy is an Ivor Andrew video series that celebrates the art of making something by hand. Do you know a business that would be perfect for the next episode? Let us know!

Catch up on past episodes here:

  1. Sakai Knives (Sakai, Japan)
  2. Right Way Signs (Chicago, IL)