DM’s visit to Kings County Distillery

I know you all maybe be tired of reading about the Kings County Distillery, but I too went here. I would constantly pass this mini brick building that looked like a house hut had a gorgeous outdoor space, everyday and always wondered what it was. When Prof. Goodlad had told Victor and I about this distillery and we went to search the address, I was shocked to see I knew where it was!

We walked into the “house” which is where the bar is. As soon as we entered we were asked if we were there for a drink or just a tour, we replied with tour and waited for the guide to appear. Once he did, we stepped out of the bar setting and walked past the guards and into the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This is where the distillery is. We were brought upstairs to speak about how long the distillery had been around and what the building used to be (a bank.) Then we went downstairs to where the entire process happens from the malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation. We smelled the corn and grain they use which they get from local farms and he also suggested us to smell a blue liquid that has what they don’t want in the whisky but from a distance because if you smelled too closely you wouldn’t have scent for a few minutes afterwards. We were on the tour with many fans of distilled beverages, those who had gone to Kentucky & Tennessee so they asked many questions which helped me focus more. There were even some people from Iceland who owned their own distillery over there.

After the process, we went upstairs to tasted several whiskys. I wasn’t a fan of any of them except for the chocolate and the spiced one because I pictured it in some pumpkin cupcakes or a chocolate pie. The tour guide even mentioned that his grandma adds some in her chocolate cake. He also taught us a special way to get the flavor of the whisky so it doesn’t taste so much like rubbing alcohol. He suggested taking a small sip and leaving it at the tip of your tongue then swallowing. He said if you swallowed quickly, the back taste buds are what makes you get that taste you don’t like. Victor and I then took some photos and took post cards. In the shop they have candles, whisky lip balm, t-shirts and gift sets. Overall it was a great experience and it definitely made me more interested to learn more, but not taste! Attached are my images on an online album.

Coffee Roaster visit


    The Brooklyn Roasting Company sources and serves superb and sustainable coffees from the world’s most renowned growing regions, such as Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Indonesia and many more. The 123 Navy Yard Building, Brooklyn’s Roasting Company, was founded more than 2 centuries ago has one of the most well-programmed and well-equipped systems that can control all the parameters of an individual roast on micro level. It operates two Loring roasters, the 1/2-bag Kestrel and the full-bag Peregrine. Both are fully programmable; we use Cropster software to enable us to track and control the progress of every roast and ensure consistency. The Loring roasters are also environmentally friendly: it’s 80% more efficient than any other roaster of comparable scale.

According to Sarah, who was assisting me throughout the tour, the art of roasting is in determining how much time and resulting color best suit the bean. There is a point; however, when the bean’s original flavor is overtaken by the flavor the roasting gives it. Hence, darker roasts, a quality preferred by some drinkers actually taste less like their original bean. Light and medium roasts find a balance to capture the bean’s qualities and flavor notes as determined by a bean’s geographical origin or variety. Roasting brings out the aroma and flavor that is locked inside the green coffee beans. Beans are stored green, a state in which they can be kept without loss of quality or taste.  A green bean has none of the characteristics of a roasted bean; it’s soft and spongy to the bite and smells grassy.

Raw coffee beans are dropped into loaders and then into a rotating drum. The drum is pre-heated to a temperature of around 400 F degrees. Roasting causes chemical changes to take place as the beans are rapidly brought to very high temperatures. After 12-15 minutes depending on the type of roast, the roasted beans will exit the drum at around 360 F degrees and are then taken out into a cooling tray at the front of the roaster. When they reach the peak of perfection, they are quickly cooled to stop the process They are then passed through a machine that removes any stones or debris before being checked by hand for any defects, and once cooled completely, finally packaged in reusable cans of tin-steel. Roasted beans smell like coffee, and weigh less because the moisture has been roasted out. They are crunchy to the bite, ready to be ground and brewed.

Quality control begins with the selection of only the finest coffees from trusted suppliers with whom Brooklyn Roasting Company has cultivated lasting relationships. The company visits growers when possible and seeks detailed knowledge of every grower’s farming practices, working conditions, and commitment to quality and sustainability. When green beans arrive at the facility, they are checked for moisture content using a Sinar MCal Moisture Analyser. It is looked for a moisture content of 11-13%; beans that fall below that threshold may be too old and are rejected. Moreover, overall quality is highly certified by Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, USDA and OU Kosher trademarks.

Kings County Distillery

I’ve never really been into distilled beverages, but I really wanted to push myself out of my box. Having the experience to go to a distillery showed me a whole new way of consuming alcohol which I had no idea about. Dipsy and I chose to do Kings County Distillery. We were on a tour and learned about the process to make it and how it is sold. It was interesting to see how such a small place could create so many different kinds of alcohol.

Introduction Room

Distilling machine

The first liquor he spoke about was straight bourbon which they made with mostly corn and a portion of English malted barley. They distill it twice in big copper pots and then let it age in the old barrels that are charred. They are usually aged for about two years.

Big copper pots

Then we learned about peated bourbon. Peated bourbon is basically bourbon whiskey that conforms to the requirements for bourbon, but instead it ́s made with malted barley that has been exposed to peat smoke. Kings County Distillery uses peat that was grown in Scotland to honor the practice which is very popular in there. They age it in new barrels and add a light smoky finish of single malt. It’s basically a mix between scotch and bourbon.

Out of the main liquors that we were going to do, there was a highlight placed on moonshine because of its history. It is the American precursor to white whiskey. Moonshine is what you get when you’re making whiskey before it is aged in the barrel. It is made with 80% corn and 20% barley. It is also distilled twice and it is brought to an 80 proof. Because of its history as a cheaper bootleg alcohol, moonshine can also mean illegally made spirit.

To finish it off, we were introduced to two very special kinds of whiskey. The first one was the chocolate whiskey which is made from moonshine and cacao bean husks that are grounded. It had a very strong taste. It was bitter and felt like drinking a liquid dark chocolate with alcohol. The other whiskey was winter spice. It is made using cinnamon, cardamom, black peppercorns, anise, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. It had a very unique taste that I was not ever exposed to. It brought me very warm memories of desserts that would be made during Christmas time. I really like that and would love to bake with it.

The different spirits we tried

Overall, I enjoyed the experience. I realize that distilled beverages aren’t my thing, but I would love to dabble with it a little bit more. I like how they placed a focused on getting organic and locally sourced ingredients from New York which I appreciate it a lot. I also noted how they don’t disturb beverages three times because that’s more of a Scottish thing and they wanted to keep a separate identity and style of whiskey that was unique to here. I think the tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about the topic but a lot of times I would zone out because it would get so technical. I can see how people who are really into whiskey would love to be that geeky about it but for somebody who’s just there at introductory level, it was a little bit of a hassle to follow.

The moment I see a cat, I already want to buy it. There was a book about how cats play an important role in distilleries.

Me trying the Winter Whiskey

Dipsy and I posing





Graham, C. (2018, September 22). Key Points in the History of Bourbon in America. Retrieved    from


Grabianowski, E. (2019, March 12). How Moonshine Works. Retrieved from


About. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Dipsy M’s visit to Astor Wines and Spirits

For my retail wine shop I decided to go to Astor Wines and Spirits. After finding the most perfect parking right across the street, my friend and I saw how grand the wine and spirits shop looked and were super excited to go in. At the window they had several wine bottles on a table that had been covered in Christmas decor. The shop was kind of crowded and there were workers all around who were either restocking, behind the counter on the phone or handing out tastings which were from 6-8pm. As soon as I entered a sign caught my attention speaking about dessert wines and when they do tasting for them as well as classes on how to pair so I took a calendar. Right next to that was a red wine from Spain which was required so I took a picture of both that and their shelf talkers. Each of their wines had a shelf talker underneath which explained what region and country it’s from as well as flavors and if it’s dry or not. It had been hard for me to find a wine that’s from a region I didn’t know that produced but I chose a white wine from Austria. I chose this wine because of the cute floral label. The wine shop overall was large and had a wide variety from Spain, Italy, France and then specified sections for example Bordeaux and Rhone Valley. What really interested my friend and I were the stands for gins, liqueurs, bourbon, whiskey and sake. There was also a cool room where they kept wines that needed to be chilled and they made sure to make a note that said “come in!” in cause people weren’t sure if they could or not. My friend who joined me loves wine but after visiting the shop she had many questions and I was happy I could help her understand the process and different kinds of grape varieties.

I reached the 500 MB of space so attached are my images in an online photo album. Images may not be in order.

  1. Dessert wine info barrels
  2. Pricey whisky!!
  3. Red from Spain with shelf talker
  4. Pricey Whisky!
  5. Sparkling from Italy
  6. White from Austria
  7. Cold room and tasting table
  8. Alexa and I

Wines & Liquors Junction Blvd.

For my wine retail assignment, I wanted to go a place that was a little bit more out of the box. I felt like everyone was going to do an expensive wine retail shop in Manhattan and I didn’t want that. I opted to go to a wine store that was in a lower income neighborhood. I wanted to see how wine is marketed to people like me or my family. I chose to interview the store owner at Wines & Liquors in 47 Junction Blvd. Flushing, Queens. Even before I could ask him anything, he went on a rant about wines. He got really excited to be interviewed and he started talking about New World versus Old World wines and how Cabernet Sauvignon was created. It was extremely interesting to see. As for the interview, I asked him the following:

  • ¨Which is your highest selling wine? ¨

¨Although we have wines from all over the world, our most famous tend to be wines from California. We have a whole wall dedicated to the most selling right next to the doors so that our customers can easily find what they’re looking for. Our most famous brands are Yellowtail, Ménage à Trois and Barefoot. Most people who buy wine here want to buy wine for dinner and are not necessarily knowledgeable about the topic. There’s been an increase in people who buy wines from South America. We recently had a tasting of Argentinian Malbec which boosted its sales a lot. ¨

  • ¨What is your background in and how did you end up working with wines? ¨

¨All I knew was that I wanted to do was make money. I do not have a background in wine. My background is in business. I knew I wanted to open up a business and I ended up choosing this one because it appealed to me. I knew nothing about wine or alcohol in general before opening the store. I decided to teach myself through the Internet and reading the labels of the wine before I would drink it. Since I would read the label before drinking, I would know what I’m looking for in that wine rather than just guessing. Everything that I know came from doing that or just taking online courses about wine. ¨

  • How do you source your wines?”

“I have a wine database distributor that I order online and he brings them to me. Sometimes people want certain wines that we don’t have but we can order them from the distributor.”


Overall, I think they’re doing pretty good. The owner knows exactly what audience he’s going for hence why he has so much Buchanan’s and Hennessy. With that being said, if they want to reach a more higher end clientele, I think revamping their look and offering a bigger wine selection would benefit them a lot. Considering the audience that they’re serving, their selection is extremely diverse, but for a Manhattan upper-class clientele, it wouldn’t be enough.

Weird and suspicious sangria offered at this store

Prosecco: A sparkling wine that is not from France

Cava: Another sparkling that is not from France

Their sparkling and exotic wall

My cousin and I laughing in Spanish

Some of the best sellers

First place that I find Greek wine in

Retail wine shop

For this report I visited the Ocean Wine & Liquor shop located in the heart of Chinatown. The wine shop was fairly new and they were first open in 2015 and their main goal is trying to promote different of wine to the chinese community. The is very convenient  right off the D and B train and also surrounded by a lot of great restaurants. Upon my arrival to the wine shop I first notice the different section of wine and spirits. Each section was label and place by their regions, for example there was a section for korean liquor and wine. What you’ll find there is the soju liquor and makgeolli ( korean rice wine). Which was very convenient if you knew exactly what you are looking for. In the wine shop I was able to ask a couple of questions to the owner of the place because he was actually stocking up his shelf. My first question was what was his most sold item in the store? He mentions a lot of spirits was where the people mainly headed but  in terms of wine a lot people like sweeter wine like rose and moscato. After that my second question was when purchasing cases of wine which region were mainly pick and why. He mentioned he would also have these two regions of wine and it was France and California. He explained many people seek for french wine because they think are the classic wine and a familiar taste. But for California it was more on the business side where purchasing from region outside of the USA may sometimes be a hassle. But now realizing the market has changed and people are demanding more different types of wine and he startled seeking different type of wine or alcoholic drink that consumers are liking at the moment. He also mentioned there is a struggle of  have a wine shop in the middle of chinatown trying to introduce a new type of wine and or evening just different regions of wines in the current location because the consumer that are surrounding them or their target market are not just consuming wine but a lot of different alcoholic beverages. So their main focus are really trying to provide the needs of the new consumer trends and keeping up with the trends as much as possible.            

Red Hook Winery


As a student stepping into the world of wine sometime is very confusing and many time lost in the topic itself. From the beginning where the grapes are grown to the finishing process of selling and tasting the wine there so many to learn and the best way to get exposed to these knowledge is actually going to the vineyards and wine shops that produce their own wine from the beginning to the end. For this project I went to the Red Hook Winery located in brooklyn, when reaching the location I realize it pretty close to the river and I wonder if the temperature would affect the wine that are aging? When I got there the staff was very friendly and they were gladly to take me for a mini tour around the facilities. The person who walk me around was Matt, during the mini tour I ask a couple of questions regarding the process of making the wine and other questions. Matt first answered the grapes are grown in New York ann was shipped in to the facilities. Then the grapes get crushed and place into the huge stainless machines that begins the process.  After 10 mins of discussing the process we then move on to the aging cell of there are rows of wine in wooden barrels you will notice the barrels has been used for a long time due to the outer part has a strong aroma of wine stepping out. He explain most of the wine from winery has been age the range goes from 6 months to 3 yrs but average then tend to age the wine for 2 yrs. He also mention the middle ground degree for aging is 55 degrees but to the location it tend to drop a lot that make the wine too cold. So have the obstacle they tend to check the cellar temperature to make sure it never too hot or too cold. In average Red Hook winery tend to sell 1500 cases of wine every year and their main white is sauvignon blanc and main red is merlot, but in the winery they mainly do all the big six grapes and they also do mix wine. Matt also mention in mixing wine they have two types: the first type is mixing 2 different wines that are completely fermented and already to bottle, In which case the flavor profile is more predictable. The second way is mixing the grapes even before the process of crushing the grapes that causes an unpredictable flavor towards the wine. After the mini toward Matt was very kind and offer me to taste a couple of wines.  I tasted 3 style of Chardonnay and 1 wine called small things which was a riesling blend each done by different wine maker but using the same grape and with the wine he also serve some pita chips . For the first time, I didn’t think wine was as bad as the time I was trying in class. He explained it most likely the taste of the wine to me has to pair with something to mellow out the flavors but enhance the notes in the wine, but he also mention truly when you taste wine it you and your tastebuds no one can tell you your answer is wrong unless it completely wild out of the characteristics of the wine . While trying the different type of wine and the difference between the winemaker does taste different even though it was from the same batch of grapes. The three wines I tasted was made by Abe Schoener, Robert Foley (Bob), and Christopher Nicolson. Each Chardonnay was definitely different from each other due to the different process and method making the wine. For example Abe schoener’s Chardonnay was a lot more in depth with the color of the wine but flavor was quite mellow compared to Christoper Nicolson which was lighter in color but pact flavor and very refreshing, But Robert foley was by far the more surprising one due to the aroma of the wine, when we first try the wine it was on butter side and when it hit the palate there was a lot of caramel and butter flavor to it. All three wine was from the same batch of grape but different method and process create different styles of wine and each unique to itself. 

This trip gave me a much deeper understanding of what the process of getting the wine from the grape vine to the wine bottle itself. It was an eye opening experience for me and I hope to be more open minded to different of wine.  


The Brooklyn Brewery Visit – Louie Panganiban

As I got older and time began passing, the more I approached the age of legal; drinking beer tended to interest me a tad bit more than wine, spirits, and whiskey. I always thought that beer was the staple entrance, so that drove my curiosity a lot more with the help of social media, entertainment, and movies always portraying it as the drink people use for get together gatherings.

Going into this tour I had really high hopes of learning the little itty-gritty details and questions that always hovers whenever I looked at beer, which was “How do you make it?.” The Brooklyn Brewery is taking all the right steps in introducing themselves as a serious company who take serving and crafting beer as a passionate task. 

Before entering the brew house, you will be greeted and asked by two security guards for ID. As intimidating as they looked they greet you with warmth and hospitality, which to me is already a good sign if the security is greeting kindly. Stepping inside you feel that sensation of warmth and invitational vibes received from that of a family members home. There’s cozy armchairs and couches with tables to play board games, a bar that mimics that off a tavern back in medieval times, and a mingle section for people to just relax and enjoy a pint. I knew at this point, that this brewery knew and full grasped the concept of what it means to be hospitable.

My tour guide was this young gentlemen with a hat, who’s energy emitted the second he introduced himself. I was distracted by the ambiance of the place to hear his name, but what he informed about the brewery is something I made sure to listen on. The brewery began when two neighbors came together and decided to open a brewery together. The beginning was tough because they had to deal with the mafia running the area as well as the incoming rule of prohibition.

Before they acquired the brewery we were informed that the space were used to produce steel, then matzo and now beer starting 1995. When Prohibition began a lot of other brew houses closed down. However this one adapted making sodas and ice cream in order to stay above the water. The last bit of information the tour guide wanted everyone to know is that this brewery is actually the number 1 exporter within the states, and that they export more than what they currently have within the states. To top it all off, they mentioned that one of their secret ingredients also shares with that of bagels and breads here in New York; and that is our water.

Overall, my experience at this place simply was amazing! The only complaint is the machines are extremely loud; I’d recommend volume control. 


  1. – Here is a picture of me at the brewery. Behind me is the line for the tours as well as large containers for the beer

  2. – Here is a picture of my tour guide right before we began. He has been working with the Brooklyn Brewery for some time now, and with his speaking skills made for an excellent tour guide
  3. – Our guide explained that the tubes above we sending ready to use malt into a container that would then send them across these tubes to be ready to heat and stop germination.
  4. – Here is a look at their Bottling station. They claimed to be use modern techniques to help brew their beer, but the process of it all is still very traditional. They make sure that the original taste remain the same from bottling to the hands of the consumer.
  5. – Here is something that I found very interesting. They use class bottles that they’ve used in the past as decoration throughout the main pub area.
  6. – The last picture that I wanted to show is the room where the bottling actually happens. It’s a fairly large room and the reason I wanted to include this is to explain how they bottle. When bottling is about to conclude, they will drop a little hot water to make the liquid bubble. In doing so they make sure to cap it, so no oxygen escapes.

    (For some reason I can’t add Media so I also attached links as proof of me visit just in case the pictures do not show.)

Five Boroughs Brewery

Brewery Visit

Five Boroughs

I feel like I got the complete industry hookup when it came to my visit at Five Boroughs Brewery. Looking for a location for my brewery visit was harder than expected. Every place I looked up didn’t respond or didn’t give tours. I really wanted to stray away from all the other locations my classmates were going. No professor wants to read papers on the same place even if experiences did differ. I had to do an interview for my marketing class. I interviewed my restaurants general manager who in the interview was telling my about a distributor who she was having delivery issues with but she loved the team and the quality of the beer. She said she really loved the fact that they were brewed locally but for some reason my job location is hard to fit into the delivery schedule. I then in turned asked if they did tours. She said they have an industry night and sometimes gives tours but she could ask the team if and when the next industry day was. Shortly after me interview I received confirmation that I was able to tour the brewery and receive a free tour and tasting.

Entering the Five Boroughs taproom it felt fresh and new. I introduced myself to Brian who introduced himself as one of teams of sales department. He gave a short history on the company. He said that Blake Tomnitz and Kevin O’Donnell started five boroughs in their college dorm room. They expanded after a few years and in 2017 opened United NYC by Beer. Which quickly turned to the catchier Five Boroughs connecting to the fact that this is a beer from New York by New Yorkers. Not only is the company a New York City based but the grains, hops and yeast all come from various farms across the state of NY. He said that we were going to go through a quick tasting; which lasted two hours as he discussed the process of each beer. There were beers on the menu that collaborate with other breweries and NY based companies like All Wise that has a bee farm (Tremblay Apiary) located in Williamsburg, NY. Five boroughs sales their staple beers that are sold year round are the Tiny Juicy which has hints of citrus fruits, the IPA which had a Smokey flavor, and the Gridlock which is similar to the tiny juicy with more if a prominent bold citrus flavor with a little bit of heat towards the end. Throughout the year they collaborate with several companies like the Tremblay Apiary, or Heatonist Hot sauce to make their winter stout

Our tour started a peek inside of the inspection room where all the beer is inspected my qualified taste testers or new beer flavors are created then we went inside the beer walk-in where all the kegs and cans are located waiting to be delivered. We walked through the process that it takes to make beer from starting in the brew house, where the barley and others grains are milled together until grains are fine so the sugars are released. this is called he grist. Then milled grains are transferred into a mash tun, where it is mixed with heated water in a process called mash conversion. This process turns the starch into sugar. The wort liquid as it is called is then transferred to the Boiler/kettle where it is brought to a controlled boil before the hops are added. The hops are added as preservative. The spent grains are then transferred to rolling carts where they transferred by other company who turns it into animal feed or compose.  After the wort is finished boiling, the wort is transferred by hoses to the CO2 tanks to be distilled. Depending on the type of beer being made depends on how long the beer stays in fermentation. If it is a larger it is 28 days to ferment in low 45f-65f temperature, or an Ale which only takes 14 days to ferment on a higher temperature of 75f-95f.  throughout the fermentation the CO2 is released is buckets. Brian said that if we pull the hose out and air gets into the tank it could ruin the whole batch of beer. After the tour of the brewery we took a few short steps to the canning section where all the cans of finished brewed beer gets put into the cans and then labeled.  nest to the canning station there wine barrels. Brian said they use the wine barells to make all the sour beers. Then those cans and kegs get transferred to the walk-in waiting to get picked up for delivery. Overall the experience was informative and I would visit the five boroughs tap house again for a night out. I would definitely go to another industry day to taste and give opinions on the new collaborations and flavors.

Tap Room Menu

beer tasted

Barley before milling


Mash Tun and  Boiler

CO2 tanks

original brew station

adjunct beer (honey wise)

inspection room

spent grains


Barrels for sour

Retail Analysis – Astor Wine & Spirits

Tucked away snugly in a brick building on Lafayette and 4th is the one and only Astor Wine & Spirits. When you walk in, looking down from the top of the stairs, you get this grand yet humble welcome from the store. A sea of wooden shelves featuring over 3,000 wines and 2,000 spirits from all over the world spreads though the whole floor, with signs above labeling the country of origin or style of making. Whatever you are going in to purchase; they probably have it.

The layout of the store is organized by sections. The most popular wines, red and white, from French, Italian, Spain, or Old World wines, are mostly in the front. Following towards the back are the rarer ones, such as Hungarian and Armenian wines. The shelves behind that are from Australia, New Zealand, California, New World. Against the back wall is all the spirits, rum, brandy and darker liquors. To the left side there is a temperature humidity-controlled room. Contrary to popular belief, the controlled room isn’t only for expensive wines; regular table wines can be found there too!

Almost every bottle there is small notecard underneath it with a description. Signs with green leaves indicate that it’s a organic or biodynamic wine. It’s become a more common sight of these orange wines, where they take fruit peels and incorporate them into the winemaking process. These have been on the soar lately. What’s trending now is being healthy, sustainable food/drinks, and nonconventional ways to do things- and these orange and “natural” wines are the new hype.

Bambi, one of the sales managers, was kind enough to give me a walk around the premises and insight on the business and winemaking in general. She has been in the wine industry for quite some time now; she enjoys educating people on it and helping them find the right bottle to take home. One of the first things you see when you walk in is the register to the left; and towards the middle of the whole floor is a tasting area. Every week they hold tastings to feature staff picks or a new style. It’s important that wine sellers don’t just sell wine; but also, to introduce and expand the palates of those who purchase and drink. They hold classes upstairs from time to time, hiring industry professionals to come in and share their knowledge, or just studying a specific area or wine style. In this way, they are more interactive with their customers, potential clients, and overall in the industry itself.