Mike Miller

To Mike Miller, Delilah's is more than a great beer and whiskey bar; it's a community where patrons might enjoy rock music, paintings from local artists, a movie—and maybe learn something. "We're not just about having a great selection of booze to drink," Miller said. "You can get an education—maybe by someone who is sitting next to you." That someone might be the maker of the rare aged Scotch in your glass, and he will be happy to explain how it's made. Miller has helped transform the beverage scene in Chicago by championing craft-brewed beers (the microbrew-heavy list numbers 250) and specialty whiskeys (about 380)—earning a spot among Whiskey magazine's top five whiskey bars in the world for the past five years. The Lincoln Park bar draws from the neighborhood, sure, but also from around the world. Whiskeymakers routinely stop in, especially during WhiskyFest, the annual blowout for aficionados. Miller started hosting a tasting during that weekend and it has grown to a huge event where fans and whiskeymakers mingle. In the same philosophy that "the educated consumer is my best customer," Miller throws major beer tastings each year: Oktoberfest, Christmas beers, aged beers and lambics. The last vintage beer event included 10-year verticals on many brands, prompting patrons to stop to thank him for the opportunity they couldn't find anywhere else in Chicago—just another example of Miller sharing what he finds cool. Delilah's, 2771 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-472-2771
Bonnie Trafelet, Chicago Tribune
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