Eat and Drink Brooklyn distilleries: Where to get craft spirits made in the borough By HAL BIENSTOCK Special to amNewYork June 24, 2014 1:52 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Since the founding of Brooklyn Brewery in the 1980s, the borough has gradually become known as a hotbed for craft beer. Over the last few years, though, it has also made a name for itself as a home for distillers of craft spirits, including gin, rum, vodka and whiskey. Here's a look at some of the distilleries leading the trend. KINGS COUNTY DISTILLERY Photo Credit: Getty Images Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building 121, Kingscountydistillery.com Founded: 2010 Distills: Whiskey The craft: Kings County was co-founded by Kentucky native and master distiller Colin Spoelman, who wanted to go legit after making illegal moonshine in his apartment. Today, Kings County makes a remarkably drinkable moonshine, a smooth bourbon with hints of toffee and a chocolate whiskey that uses Mast Brothers Chocolate to split the difference between moonshine and dessert wine. Fun fact: Kings County was the first distillery to open in Brooklyn since Prohibition. Where to find it: The tri-state area, plus select stores in California, Sweden and Japan NEW YORK DISTILLING COMPANY Photo Credit: Getty Images 79 Richardson St., Williamsburg, 718-412-0874, Nydistilling.com Distills: Gin, whiskey Founded: 2011 The craft: Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Tom Potter opened this distillery on Dec. 5, 2011 — the 78th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. Its products include Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin, named after 19th century Brooklyn Navy Yard Commandant Matthew Calbraith Perry; Dorothy Parker American Gin; and Chief Gowanus New-Netherland Gin. It’s also working on a rye whiskey, which will be available later this year. Fun fact: A full-service bar, The Shanty, is attached to the distillery. It's currently the only place to sample their rye. Where to find it: Brooklyn, Manhattan and a few stores in the suburbs WIDOW JANE Photo Credit: Widow Jane 218 Conover St., Red Hook, 347-225-0130, Widowjane.com Distills: Whiskey, rum, rum liqueur, coffee liqueur Founded: 2012 The craft: Widow Jane is the rare distillery that adults and kids can enjoy touring, since it’s connected to chocolate factory Cacao Prieto. Its products include the smooth and sweet 7 Year Straight Bourbon Whiskey; “farm-to-bottle” heirloom varietals including the excellent Bloody Butcher, which has hints of smoke and honey; and several rums, including two made with cacao. Fun fact: Owner Daniel Preston had multiple careers before distilling and chocolate making, including founding and selling a glass company he started in college, then later inventing new satellite technology and parachutes for the U.S. military. Where to find it: The East Coast from Massachusetts to D.C., plus Kentucky, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota and California VAN BRUNT STILLHOUSE Photo Credit: Van Brunt Stillhouse 6 Bay St., Red Hook, 718-852-6405, Vanbruntstillhouse.com Distills: Whiskey, rum, grappa Founded: 2012 The craft: Van Brunt offers Due North Rum, as well as several whiskeys, including a four-grain American Whiskey and a dry Malt Whiskey with notes of caramel. It also is working on a Grappa made from grape skins from Brooklyn Winery and Red Hook Winery. Fun fact: Founder Daric Schlesselman previously worked as an editor at “The Daily Show.” Where to find it: Brooklyn, Manhattan and select stores in the suburbs INDUSTRY CITY DISTILLERY Photo Credit: Industry City Distillery 33 35th St., 6th Fl., Sunset Park, 917-727-5309, Drinkicd.com Distills: Vodka Founded: 2011 The craft: Industry City’s Industry Standard vodka is made from sugar beets, giving it a slightly fruity flavor that makes it unusually drinkable on its own (no cranberry juice or OJ needed here). Its distillery contains equipment more often found in a science lab, and every piece of it was developed and built on site, including a system of fermenting tubes called bioreactors and a steam-powered still. No wonder they say the vodka is “made by nerds.” Fun fact: The distillery started as an offshoot of a project to make high-quality carbon dioxide for use in underwater greenhouses. Where to find it: New York, New Jersey and select retailers in California By HAL BIENSTOCK Special to amNewYork Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.