The Heart Behind the Craft:
Kennay Farms Distillery
Spirits Crafted by Family From the Ground Up
For some of us farming runs thick within the blood. So does family, and the Kennay’s would surely attest to that. Their Illinois family farming roots began back in the 1880’s when a family from Germany and another from Virginia both set their sites on Illinois in search of farm and railway work opportunities.
The Virginia family’s son met the Germany family’s daughter and they set their sights on each other. Together they became Illinois family farmers. Three generations of Illinois farmers later, Richard Kennay finds Doris Krug. They marry, have three children, and in 1995 purchase the “Home Farm”.
After 35 years in seed sales Richard “Rick” Kennay flirted with the idea of more for his crops. Daughter Aubrey Quinn returned home with a University of Illinois degree in Agricultural Economics. Son Kaleb Kennay returned to the home farm with an Illinois State University degree in Industry Management. With their two children and a nephew on the “Home Farm,” Rick and Doris began to think just outside the farm with growth and sustainability in mind.
The historic Hub Theatre in Rochelle, IL opened as an Art Deco style theatre in 1931 as part of the Algers Theatre Chain. In the 1980’s the theatre split into three screens and operated as a first run movie house until 2011.
Rick fell in love with the brick, ceiling height, and historical presence of the building. After two and a half years of hard work by the family and historical experts, Kennay Farms Distilling unveiled their masterpiece with a grand opening celebration and tour in 2019.
Today, Punch! Bar & Lounge located in Champaign, IL offers both Kennay Farms Distillery Gin and Kennay Farms Distillery Rye whiskey. Kennay Farms Distillery Rye whiskey is featured in their Punch! Manhattan. The Vieux Carré on Punch! Bar & Lounge’s “Classics” cocktail menu also showcases this Illinois family and farm crafted from the ground up Rye Whiskey.
Check out the Kennay family’s story here. Photos featured were borrowed from google images and a Rockford Country radio station’s article about the beginning of Kennay Farms Distillery’s renovations. Click Here to read this article and check out some more photos.
Click here to download Sircles and recommend your favorite place to enjoy Kennay Farms Spirits