When I am not traveling I love to spend my weekends exploring new places around me in NYC. Recently the city had Open House New York (OHNY), and annual event where institutions and businesses open up their doors for exclusive for discounted tours that highlights design and planning around the boroughs (so cool right!?). My partner and I decided to cross over to Brooklyn to tour Kings County Distillery.
Kings County Distillery is the oldest distillery operating in the the 5 boroughs, but that isn’t saying much because it opened in 2010! It was the first post-prohibition era distillery to open up and has become a whiskey lover's favorite. I personally am not a whiskey kind of girl (I much prefer a spicy gin or full bodied glass of wine) but I had gifted my partner a small bottle of the bourbon a year or so ago based on the beautiful look of the bottle. He was immediately smitten.
The distillery is located in Brooklyn’s historic navy yard in the relatively small former paymaster’s building. Because of their artisan small batch roots this is not a problem for the whiskey and moonshine makers. What they lack in volume is more than made up for in quality. Over the course of the tour we learned that the founder, originally from Kentucky, began making moonshine with a roommate after college, and later decided to move their small illegal operation to the navy yard once demand exploded and the FBI caught wind.
We toured the basements where the mash is fermented in open air vats and then made a spirit by the stills. And then went upstairs to where the bourbon is barrel aged in a delicious smelling room. We ended our tour with a tasting of the classic moonshine, seasonal spiced moonshine, classic bourbon, and chocolate whiskey.
In all it was a lovely to see how a product I respect so much is made, and meet some of the people part of that process. It really sparked my desire to learn more about other local products!