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9 Craft Distilleries to Visit in New York City

May 10, 2024
"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...

“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.’

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.”

Barrow’s Intense (Sunset Park, Brooklyn)

“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 (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.”

Fort Hamilton Distillery (Industry City, Brooklyn)

“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.”

Standard Wormwood Distillery (Industry City, Brooklyn)

“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.”

To read the full article, visit: https://www.wineenthusiast.com/culture/travel/nyc-distilleries/

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