Kings County Distillery

Kings County distillery is New York City’s oldest operating distillery, first since the prohibition. In 2012, the distillery has moved to the Paymaster building in Brooklyn Navy Yard.

They use locally-sources grains, water and barrels for their production. They support local agriculture practices and they even have a small corn field outside of the distillery.

The distillery believes in a locally-sourced agricultural system and some of their corns come from a small corn field outside of the distillery.

After preparing the ingredients such as water, yeast and grains, fermentation starts in wood barrels. The goal of the fermentation is to release as many congeners as possible.

The yeast feeds on sugar sources to create alcohol, carbon dioxide and heat. Fermentation process can take days and even weeks depending on the goal.

After fermentation, distillation process occurs. Distillation of whisky, scotch and bourbon is done mainly on the copper pot stillsContinuous still systems are used for making neutral spirits such as gin and vodka which use both systems.

Still is a container in which the alcohol is separated from the water by heating the liquid to 176 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. 176 degrees Fahrenheit is the boiling point of alcohol and 212 degrees Fahrenheit is the boiling point of water. After reaching the boiling point of alcohol, it goes into gas form and then condensed back into its liquid form and put in a wooden barrel to start the aging process.

Pot still systems are often very large in size. This allows for greater congener retention compared to continuous stills. The size and shape of the pot influences the overall quality of the end product.


After the distillation process, stills are stored in oak barrels in a designated room. The room has a heavy whisky/bourbon smell with a hint of wood.

Some of the finished products that are on display.

Overall, it was a great learning experience. Most of the information provided by the staff was just a repeat of what we have learned in our class. The information I didn’t know prior to my visit was mostly about the history of this particular distillery.

It’s a great starting point for people who are looking to get educated about how their operation works gain new perspectives.