It was when I was looking for a bottle of moonshine at Astor Wines that I heard about Kings County Distillery. The simple but effective packaging of those little flask-like bottles grabbed my attention, and the product is actually quite good. Curious about this place, I decided to take the tour.
Located in Dumbo about a 10-minute walk from the F train York Street Station, Kings County Distillery is New York City’s oldest operating whiskey distillery, the first since prohibition. They set up operations in the 117-year-old Paymaster Building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. But don’t let the location fool you, this distillery was founded in… 2010!
The casual and very enjoyable tour started with the history of the distillery, followed by an interesting recap of the history of alcohol in America in their “Boozeum.”
That’s where I learned about a lot of cool stuff like the Brooklyn Whiskey Wars.
An illustration from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper that depicts soldiers raiding an illegal distillery in Brooklyn in 1869. (© Bettmann/CORBIS).
The tour continued to the distilling room, where their traditional distilling equipment operates using the alchemy of transforming New York grain into their delicious products…
…and the storage room where the magic of aging happens.
And last but not least, time to taste their award-winning spirits! Amongst my favorites: Moonshine, Peated Bourbon and Chocolate-Flavored Whiskey (infused with real cacao nibs).
Kings County Distillery is definitely worth a visit, and if you have a little extra time, stop by the Gatehouses to have one of their cocktails. Cheers!
For more details and tours, read more on the Kings County Distillery website here.