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Where You Can Tour Breweries and Distilleries Around the City

By Nicholas Rizzi | August 11, 2014 7:44am
 Every borough in the city has spots to tour and sample local made brews and drinks to enjoy this summer.
Brewery, Distillery and Wine Tours in New York City
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NEW YORK CITY — You don't need to leave the city to find how your favorite tipple is made.

New York City has plenty of breweries, distilleries and wineries that offer free or low-priced tours that let you watch how they craft their drink and offer samples at the end so you can taste the finished product.

While Brooklyn is packed with breweries and distilleries, most other boroughs have at least one spot to visit and, at the very least, a tasting room where sample of their hooch can be drank at the source.

We've rounded up the best spots to visit local distilleries, breweries or wineries around the city.

Kings County Distillery, Navy Yard, Brooklyn, entrance at Sand and Navy streets

This distillery in the Navy Yard pumps out gin, moonshine and whiskey and opens up its doors every Saturday to show you how its done.

The spot opens 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and gives $8 "informal" tours of the space every 20 to 30 minutes. Tours run around 45 minutes and include a tasting of spirits and an entrance to a "Boozeum" inside.

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Brooklyn Brewery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 79 N 11th St.

One of the most popular craft breweries in the country, Brooklyn Brewery beers can be found in bars and shops all across the U.S., but you can visit their Williamsburg home at weekends.

On Saturdays and Sundays the brewery offers free tours to learn more about the company and its beer.  Tours start every half-hour from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with no reservation required, and include a free sample of brews.

Afterwards, you can hang out at the tasting room, which stays open until 6 p.m., for $5 beers.

SingleCut Beersmiths, Astoria, Queens, 19-33 37th St.

This Queens brewery opened up in 2012 and is known for using hard-to-source hops in its beers, which range from IPAs to sour lagers.

On Saturdays and Sundays, free tours start at 4 p.m. in the Astoria brewery, which has a tap room that opens from Thursday until Sunday.

Brooklyn Winery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 213 N 8th St.

Even though many wine-makers have big vineyards where they grow their own grapes for their vintages, the Brooklyn Winery churns out small batch wines in its Williamsburg space. Every Monday or Tuesday, it opens up its doors to show you how wine's made in a smaller, urban place.

The $35 tour includes a 30 minute tour followed by a 30 minute tasting and can be reserved on the winery's website

The Chelsea Brewing Company, Manhattan, Chelsea Pier 59

Chelsea Brewing Company, one of the few breweries in Manhattan, makes up to 25 seasonal beers, from a crisp straw colored Blond Ale to a “fruited wheat” beer. Sunset Red Ale, Hop Angel IPA and Black Hole XXX Stout are just a few available all year at the company’s brewpub.

Tours are available upon request. Call the brewery to set up a day and a time. Tours are capped at 30 people and beer-lovers who want some intimacy can also set up private visits. Don’t forget your ID if you want to taste a free sample.

Gun Hill Brewing Company, Williamsbridge, Bronx, 3227 Laconia Ave.

The first beer brewed directly in the Bronx in nearly five decades, the Gun Hill Brewing Company opened its doors earlier this year and offers five beers, from a Red Rye to a Strong Ale. The brewery doesn't have set times for tours, but offers them during the week and weekend. Co-owner Dave Lopez said he asks people to call the brewery in advance on weekends to make sure there's enough staff. 

There's also a tasting room open every day at the Williamsbridge brewery.

Tirado Distillery, Port Morris, Bronx, W. 163rd St.

This Puerto Rican-inspired distillery owned by a teetotal doctor makes a corn whiskey and a spiced rum out of this Port Morris spot and was the first legal distillery in the Bronx since Prohibition. People can visit the spot on Wednesday and Friday for tastings of the spirits. It opens 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, and people who want to visit can call 917-974-0380 for reservations.

Flagship Brewing Company, Tompkinsville, Staten Island, 40 Minthorn St.

This new brewery, the first for Staten Island in almost 50 years, churns out its first batch of beers this summer and opens up its tasting room from Thursday to Sunday every weekend. People can buy $5 pints of its four beers, and even take home a growler of their favorite.

And while you can see into their brewing space from the room, co-owner Jay Sykes said he plans to open it up for tours later on this year.