Kings County Distillery DistilleryKings County Distillery Distillery

Distillery
Founded in 2010
Situated along the banks of the East River, Kings County Distillery is New York City's oldest operating Whiskey distillery and the first distillery in New York City since Prohibition, founded in 2010Colin Spoelman and David Haskell are the master distillers behind Kings County.

Their Whiskeys have won endless awards from the American Distilling Institute, the American Craft Spirits Association, and the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and have been praised by the New York Times, Wine & Spirits Magazine, GQ, The New Yorker and other sources.

Kings County’s Whiskeys are mashed, fermented, distilled, and aged onsite in Brooklyn and never sourced from other producers.

Originally based out of a 325 square-foot room in East Williamsburg, Kings County got its humble start as the smallest commercial distillery in the country, possessing only five 24-liter stainless steel stills that produced Whiskey seven days a week, 16 hours a day.

In 2012, the facility was moved into the Paymaster Building in the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard. The distillery boasts traditional copper Whiskey stills created in Scotland, wooden fermenters built locally by Isseks Brothers, and even has a corn and barley patch at a small farm onsite.

The impressive distillery is a beacon of sustainable and traditional whiskey production and one of the pioneers of the craft distillery movement in the US, named Distillery of the Year in 2016 from the American Distilling Institute.

They currently offer tours of their award-winning facility, with tastings that are offered Tuesday through Sunday afternoons, and the Gatehouse tasting room in the historical entrance to the Navy Yard is open every day.
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Distillery Details

  • Country
    United States
  • Established
    2010
  • Visitor Center
    Yes
  • Status
    Active
  • Address
    299 Sands Street, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn NY 11205
  • Phone
    347-689-4211
  • Website
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A typewriter the two distillers found on the sidewalk in Williamsburg is used to make the labels that adorn their clear, flask-like bottles, while a hairdryer (made by Revlon) is used to afix each bottle seal. Handwritten scrawls on a chalkboard keep track of different batches, and mesh laundry bags are used as strainers.

Kings County handcrafts all of their product out of the 119-year-old Paymaster Building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard just steps from legendary site of the Brooklyn Whiskey Wars of the 1860s.
Video from Kings County Distillery
Video transcription
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is home to New York City's oldest operating Whiskey distillery, Kings County Distillery. It was only founded in 2010.

In 2009, New York State loosened laws that had restricted local production of alcohol since the time of prohibition. Founders Colin Spoelman and David Haskell immediately saw a business opportunity, and Brooklyn's first micro-distillery was born.

The distillery occupies a 100-year-old building in the Navy Yard where sailors used to go to collect their paychecks. It's just feet from the site of the Whiskey Wars of the 1860s, when Marines deployed from the Navy Yard to crack down on illegal distilleries in Brooklyn.

As a farm distillery, they are required by law to produce primarily using crops from New York State. As a result, their mash mainly consists of cracked organic corn from upstate New York, which is then combined with boiling water, British barley and Yeast.

The mash ferments in wooden vats built by Isseks Brothers, a century-old name in local water tank production, and then distilled twice using traditional Scottish copper stills. In charred new oak barrels, the Bourbon ages for at least 2 years and up to 12 years.

The humble operation continues to grow rapidly, attracting major awards and now distributes internationally. Despite its expanding reach, its spirit remains local.

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Bourbon from Kings County Distillery

Average rating: 7.4/10 (216 votes)