Visiting Kings County Distillery, New York City’s First Since Prohibition

What began with 5 stainless steel stills and a 325 square foot box of a room in East Williamsburg has become New York City’s oldest and largest whiskey distillery. The city’s first to legally operate since Prohibition, Kings County Distillery outgrew that first spot almost immediately. In 2012, they moved into the 123 year old Paymaster Building and continue to occupy an ever growing footprint within the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard. Over a decade since the move, Kings County continues makes their own handmade bourbon, rye, and other whiskeys.


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Combining distilling methods and processes from a diverse collection of traditions the world over, Kings County uses local grains to create their award-winning craft whiskeys. For anyone who’d like a closer look, and taste, multiple experiences are offered. Guests can choose from Whiskey Tasting Classes and two tiers of Distillery Tours. The tasting classes last a full hour and are currently just $35 per person. Along with your own personal flight, you’ll learn about blending, aging, and enjoying your whiskey the way a distiller would.


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Just $20, the 45 minute Distillery Tour covers everything from the 1st step in the process to the last and includes a visit to the barrel room for a tasting of the their core offerings. Only $10 more, the Top Shelf Distillery Tour lasts 75 minutes, includes a visit to the barrel room, and concludes with a tasting of their rare, sought-after, and more difficult to procure selections. Like the lucky visitor below, you may even meet Harold, the distillery cat that patrols its grounds.


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Located at the the Navy Yard’s iconic entrance, the Gatehouses, the distillery’s tasting room is also open to the public 7 days a week. Offering something for every palate, the menu lists flights, pours, cocktails, local craft wine and beer, and even non-alcoholic options. Like what you see? Bottles can also be purchased here to take home with you when you ready to leave.


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Always pushing at the walls to see where they give way, Kings County officially debuts it’s new Coffee Whiskey tonight. Tomorrow morning, it goes nationwide. Each 750ml bottle of Coffee Whiskey contains 14mg of caffeine per serving. Listed at 40% alcohol by volume, each bottle will launch at around $40 depending on where you find it. .”While cocktail-making has evolved rapidly over the last two decades, we haven’t necessarily seen that same creativity translate to the backbar,” said Kings County founder and distiller Colin Spoelman. “Coffee, in the context of spirits and cocktails, still often means one of two things: either syrupy coffee liqueurs, or the use of coffee itself as a component ingredient. Our blending team imagined Coffee Whiskey as a newer, better expression of those concepts. And, after a year of R&D, it became clear that we’d found a perfect match in the best-in-class Cold Brew developed by our friends at Parlor Coffee.”

“We developed Parlor Cold Brew with the belief that a better tasting beverage will always start with better ingredients,” said Parlor Coffee Co-Founder AJ Walzer. “Our friends and neighbors at Kings County share this belief—their dedication to their craft parallels our own. When Kings County reached out to us with their concept to create a better coffee whiskey, we had no doubt they would achieve it, and we are honored that they found our Cold Brew as worthy of celebration as we do.”

Make your way over to the Kings County Distillery website to learn more, book your tour or private event, and see the latest tasting menu.