Brooklyn hipsters appreciate their whiskey with fervor similar to what Wisconsinites display for their cheese curds. This niche group has fueled and propelled a resurgent importance and interest in the art of microdistillation. Below, we feature five Brooklyn distilleries that specialize in small-batch liquor you may wish to check out.
For nearly a century following prohibition, the whiskey distillation business in New York City was all but dead. Founded in 2010, Kings County Distillery is the city’s oldest operating whiskey distillery. In less than six years of production, it has already racked up an impressive collection of awards. This spot is worth a visit both for its whiskey and for its location: the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s historic Paymaster Building.
Until recently, Industry City stood out among the distilleries on this list as the only exclusive vodka producer. It now produces a 191.2-proof neutral spirit designed to facilitate the manufacture of bitters, tinctures, infusions, and craft spirits. Industry City’s vodka is distilled from sugar beets, and the entire process takes place in Brooklyn. The Sunset Park distillery’s tasting room, offering scenic views of the New York Bay is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to 10pm. Tours are offered at 3pm on Saturdays.
Easily one of the trendiest insider whiskeys in Brooklyn, Widow Jane bourbon whiskey does not come cheap. A look at its production demonstrates why. Widow Jane’s founder, Daniel Prieto Preston, prides his business on using only the finest ingredients and innovative distillation techniques. From start to finish in the distillation process, quality is prized above all else.
On the frontier of chocolate liqueur distillation, Cacao Prieto produces its own chocolate and chocolate liqueurs from cocoa beans and organic sugars grown in the Dominican Republic. Also founded by Daniel Preston and affiliated with Widow Jane, Cacao Prieto’s vertically integrated production process puts the brand’s liqueurs and rums in a class of their own.
Run out of Brooklyn’s trendy industrial Red Hook neighborhood, Van Brunt distills whiskey (American, bourbon, rye, and single malt), rum, grappa, and moonshine. Van Brunt’s grain and maize are sourced exclusively from upstate New York farmers. The artisan distillery’s new tasting room is open on weekends from 1pm to 6pm. Distillery tours and craft cocktails are available for your education and enjoyment.
Have a visit planned to Brooklyn suit? Get in on the Brooklyn microdistillation action with a visit to one or more of these innovative distilleries. A couple of them are within walking distance of NU Hotel Brooklyn.