Sign In


Latest News
9 New York City Distilleries to Visit

9 New York City Distilleries to Visit

When Alex Clark started Fort Hamilton Distillery in 2016, he was among just a handful of craft producers making spirits in New York City for the first time since Prohibition.

Today, the number of Big Apple distilleries has increased—and the quality of what they’re making has improved, too. The spirit you’re most likely to see? Whiskey.

“New York’s distilling scene was one of the first to flourish, because the government paved the way for it in the 2000s,” Clark explains. In 2007, New York State’s Farm Distillery Act made it much easier to establish a distillery and sell directly to consumers at on-site tasting rooms. As a result, some distilleries have been around for more than a decade, giving distillers time to hone their craft and aged spirits, like whiskey, ample time to mature. Kings County Distillery, for example, opened in 2010; New York Distilling Company in 2011; and Van Brunt Stillhouse in 2012.

“I guarantee, you can find whiskey in New York as good as any place in America—and that includes Kentucky,” Clark says. “That wasn’t true 10 years ago.”

You May Also Like: Hospitality Pros Pivot to Production Amid a New York Distilling Renaissance

The distilleries listed below offer bar spaces, where visitors can relax and enjoy a straight pour or a cocktail, and bottle shops, some with distillery exclusives. Further, most focus on products made with ingredients grown in New York State, a requirement for those with farm distillery licenses, which includes many New York City craft distilleries.

A note: This is not a comprehensive list of distilleries in the five boroughs. Many are not open to the public, and others are in the process of opening. Sadly, too, some spots we might have included in previous years—including Moto Spirits and Arcane Distilling in Brooklyn and Pitorro Distillery in the Bronx—have closed. Altogether, however, this compilation is a great place to begin exploring New York City’s robust distilling scene. Save us a sip, won’t you?

Image Courtesy of Borrow’s Intense

Red velvet and gold accents define the Barrow’s Intense tasting room in warehouse complex Industry City, echoing the label of the ginger liqueur made on-site, which packs a delightfully spicy bite. The sprawling, often raucous bar features a full food and drink menu and opens to the plaza outside during warmer weather, so you can enjoy a frozen Penicillin al fresco. Events are a mainstay, from karaoke nights to “ginger spice” burlesque to comedy shows.

Bitter Monk Tasting Room
Image Courtesy of Bitter Monk

Bitter Monk (Industry City, Brooklyn)

From the team behind Harlem’s Sugar Monk, this petite drinking den with a beautiful stained-glass back bar and tasting room opened in March 2024; an adjacent micro-distillery recently commenced operations. The Industry City space will become the new home base for the Atheras Spirits; the line of amari, herbal liqueurs and bitters was developed by co-owner Ektoras Binikos and many offerings are made with wild plants foraged by Tama Matsuoka Wong. (Of note, spirits will be infused here, but not actually distilled.) Sip elaborate drinks, like an Old Fashioned flavored with smoked pine cones, and nibble on small dishes like truffled popcorn or steamed dumplings.

You May Also Like: An NYC-Inspired Cocktail for Every Borough

Fort Hamilton Distillery
Image Courtesy of Fort Hamilton Distillery

Whiskey is the main draw at this warehouse-like space run by Alex Clark, a veteran bar professional seeking to revive Monongahela-style rye—the first American whiskey style to gain widespread popularity stateside and abroad—for the sake of classic cocktail accuracy. However, the operation also makes bourbon, including an excellent new single-barrel offering, and a watermelon-infused gin. Visitors can order top-notch cocktails (like a lavender gins sour) at the bar and play a round of pool, or tour the space and try their hand at bottling whiskey. This spring, keep an eye out for history-minded walking tours in conjunction with Greenwood Cemetery, which will end at the distillery with a tasting. There’s no kitchen on site, but Mama Louisa’s Hero Shop will deliver to your bar stool.

Great Jones Distilling
Image Courtesy of Great Jones Distilling

Billed as Manhattan’s first whiskey distillery since Prohibition, this is a high-end, Great Gatsby-esque experience featuring a spirits program overseen by head distiller Celina Perez, one of our Hispanic drink pros to know. Gleaming copper sculptures echo the working stills and multiple bars on-site offer whiskey flights and cocktails, like an applewood-smoked Old Fashioned. Visitors can also reserve a table at the restaurant, which hosts a jazz brunch every Sunday, or book tickets for a magic show in the glitzy Art Deco lounge (the $100 price tag includes two drinks). The whiskey is souvenir-worthy, made with grain sourced from Warwick Valley, New York.

Halftone Spirits
Image Courtesy of Halftone Spirits

With a focus on botanical spirits—aquavit, amaro and a line of creative gins—this operation welcomes guests to a spacious, multi-level tasting room and cocktail space, which is located within Finback Brewery. Take a tour with loquacious founder and distiller Andrew Said Thomas, or settle in for a beer on draft or cocktail, like the pink-hued Magenta Spritz, a breezy libation of gin, dried raspberries, cochineal and grapefruit soda. The colorful murals are by graffiti artist Big Bear.

You May Also Like: The 10 Best Wine Bars in New York City

King County Distillery
Image Courtesy of King County Distillery

Founded in 2010, Kings County is New York City’s oldest craft distillery. It specializes in a wide array of whiskeys made with New York State grains, including flavored renditions (like coffee) and a peated bourbon that’s reminiscent of Scotch. The rustic tasting room, housed within The Gatehouses, the historic entrance to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is especially worth a visit. It’s a fine place to enjoy a tasting flight while waiting for a distillery tour or cocktail class.

New York Distilling Company
Image Courtesy of New York Distilling Company

In February, the distillery relocated to a larger space in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood with a super-sleek bar. The flagship product is now Jaywalk Rye, which is made with Horton rye, an heirloom grain that dates back to the 17th century. Tours and tastings are expected to open to the public in mid-May.

Standard Wormwood Distillery
Image Courtesy of Standard Wormwood Distillery

For those unfamiliar, wormwood is the plant that gives herbal bitterness to absinthe, vermouth and other spirits. Standard grows theirs at a farm in Orange County, New York, and uses it to add nuanced flavor to amaro, vermouth, gin and even an agave spirit. Tours aren’t offered, but you can view the distillation equipment through a wall of windows while enjoying cocktails in the wood-paneled bar area, or take a drink out to the courtyard. Look for live music on the weekend.

Widow Jane Distillery
Image Courtesy of Widow Jane Distillery

To be clear, much of the whiskey that goes into Widow Jane’s bottles is made elsewhere (Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee), and blended and/or finished at the Brooklyn facility. Don’t let that stop you from hitting the cobblestone streets to visit the beautiful red-brick facility, where you can book tours, tastings and cocktail classes. They know how to put on a show, and the bourbon—some made with heirloom corn varieties—is well worth a pour.

In the Shop

Wine Enthusiast Adjustable Logo Baseball Hat

In Stock | $25

Source link

Related Posts