Beverage Production Experiential Learning Analysis – Kings County Distillery (Brooklyn, NY)

Backyard Area



I have decided to visit the Kings County Distillery located in Brooklyn Navy Yards (299 Sands Street). Kings County Distillery is New York City’s oldest operating whiskey distillery which was founded in 2010. They have been making handmade moonshine, bourbon, and other whiskeys since after prohibition (

They offer tours and tastings Tuesday through Sunday afternoons from 3pm – 5pm that can last 45 minutes through an hour. However, their tasting room is open every day which offers all the whiskey and moonshine they make and a few bar snacks. The tours costs $15 and you can conveniently book them online, the tour already gives you admission to their “Boozeum” which is a small mini museum they put in a room that gives information about whiskey prohibition, its’s history and culture. I was lucky enough to meet Colin Spoelman, one of the co-founders of Kings County distillery which started the business in his home as a hobby being a micro distiller. He walked me into a guide with a tour group and it was a pretty amazing experience. I can see the passion this person puts into his craft.







Main Distillery Room – Cooker


The main distillery floor is where all the whiskey is made. The main ingredient would be a grain and their main product is bourbon. To be called bourbon, it has to be 51% by law and Kings County’s bourbon is made from 70% corn. They get their organic corn from a farm in upstate New York. Their corn is milled with a roller mill instead of the traditional hammer mill which would mean that they have to cook their corn a little longer but imparts better flavor. They also use malted barley, which their recipe calls for a high malt percentage and they only use corn and malted barley. They have made a rye whiskey in the past and also single malt.

Open fermenters



The whiskey making process starts with the cooker which holds 250 gallons of water, 300 pounds of corn and 55 pounds of malt. The water and corn mixture is brought to a boil, steeped for an hour, brought down to a lower temperature and then added with the malt. It is pumped through a separator which separates the liquid and the spent grain. The liquid gets pumped into a fermenter which will then get sprinkled with yeast. They are using open fermenters so that they can do large volumes without cooling it down and exposes the fermentation into wild yeast which can help expedite fermentation.

copper stills

The process then proceeds to the distillation process where two copper stills do double distillation which imparts a rich textural flavor. One still cooks the fermented liquid, turns it to steam then travel into a condenser and then comes out whiskey. It is then filled into a barrel which could be a charred new oak barrel if they are making bourbon (written in the law). However, varying sizes of barrel can mean how long they can age the whiskey which means the larger the barrel, the longer they can age the whiskey. It takes years for whiskey to age so they are trying to fill a lot of barrels to be put into inventory for the future

Barrels waiting to be filled


The tour ended with some tasting of the whiskeys they carry. This also gave us a bit of a background how the pricing for the product is made and some pairing recommendations. I was able to try this chocolate whisky which was also suggested to be used in baking purposes. Overall, I have enjoyed my visit and even purchased a bottled moonshine for $20 as a souvenir.



Ocejo, R. E. (2017). Masters of craft: old jobs in the new urban economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

The Whiskey Guy. Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn. Youtube. retrieved from:

Kings County Distillery. Products. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2017, from


September Wines & Spirits

The wine store I chose was September Wines & Spirits. It is located by Ludlow St and Stanton. The Place was quite small with an array of wines arranged by region.

Upon entering the place after the snow we had over a couple of days, they are still putting their new wine shipments into appropriate places. I was greeted by a gentleman named Ian. I introduced myself as a student studying hospitality management and doing an assignment for my wine class. Ian helped me throughout my questions as I was quite confused how their wine categories are almost all over the place. Nevertheless this created a unique selection.

I am not that new to wine because of my background working in restaurants and nightclubs so I have basic knowledge of wines and what I do like and don’t like.

In front of the store there is a section that they change every month. For Women’s month, they have decided to have a collection of wine offerings that are made by women. Although this is quite confusing if the owner is a woman, or the founder is but I was told that it is women that are actually making the wine.

I then came across with one of the wine they carry from Airlie vineyards. The AVA is from Willamette Valley in Oregon and the wine owner, Mary Olson is a woman, the marketing(labeling designer) Kim Swecker is a woman, the wine maker by the name Elizabeth Clark is also a woman.

I actually purchased the wine and tasted it myself. The wine is called 7, which is a blend of, you guessed it! 7 different grape varietals. I also found signs of carbonation when I poured it which bubbled more than usual. Below are my tasting notes.

Wine name: Seven
Grape Varietal:  Müller Thurgau, Pinot gris, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot blanc, Muscat Ottonel.
Vintage : 2014
Appearance:  Clear, Light body
Nose:  Lemongrass, melon and hints of pear
Palate: Pineapple, Juicy and there are signs of carbonation


This was quite interesting for me and they also have a section for Organic Wine and Bio dynamic Wines. The prices of the wines are on the pricier end. The cheapest one I found was at the range of $13 and have seen up to a $46 a bottle for a Brunello di Montalcino.

Overall, the lay-out of the store was confusing in the beginning but the employees was quite knowledgeable in directing you to how they arrange the wines. They are also pretty helpful in recommending wines and I think the Monthly “Special” was very interesting in changing things up to bring new exciting things that will attract patrons.









Kert Lasdoce