Category: Uncategorized

Most of us enjoy raising a glass (or two) of wine, beer, or a fine spirit with friends – particularly in this season of good cheer.  While some know something about where those drinks come from, or how they are made, only a fortunate few get to see vintners, brewers and distillers at work, painstakingly shepherding raw ingredients from sacks and crates, through mills and presses to tanks, barrels and stills, always tinkering and mashing, checking and testing, heating and cooling until they’ve been transformed into the glittering gold or ruby red elixirs that dreams, and parties, are made of.

In an effort to give us a glimpse behind the scenes with some of Brooklyn’s finest beverage alchemists, Photographer Valery Rizzo visited The Red Hook WinerySixpoint Craft Ales in Red Hook, Breuckelen Distilling in Sunset Park and King’s County Distillery in Bushwick.

Red Hook Winery

On-site winemaker Christopher Nicolson; at right, three of The Red Hook Winery's forty-five different wines, made in Brooklyn using grapes from the North Fork region of Long Island and one vineyard from the Finger Lakes.

Handful of soon-to-be-pressed red grapes that were fermented on their stems (what winemakers call "whole cluster" fermentation).

Christopher punching down an active fermentation of red grapes.

The winery's many stainless-steel fermenting and blending tanks sit beneath a skylight.

Smelling and tasting. Cellarman and champion harvest worker Benjamin Nicholas and Christopher Nicolson draining, via pump, the "free run" wine from a completed fermentation.

Smelling the "free run" or wine that has been drawn off of skins/stems/seeds and that has never been pressed.

Benjamin Nicholas, draining "free run" wine from a completed fermentation. The barrel room, where wines age for up to three years.

Sixpoint Craft Ales

The somewhat famous door to the Sixpoint Craft Ale brewery, or, as they like to call it, The Laboratory.

One of the brewery's many fermentation tanks. Head brewer Ian McConnell kicking the grain through the mill above into the mash tun below, where it is mixed together with hot water.

Brewer Sean Redmond uses a hardwood maple mash paddle to evenly infuse the grain together with the hot water in the tun. After the mashing process, the hopper is removed from the mash tun into a large bin.

The brewers, Sean Redmond, Ian McConnell and Pete Dickson holding handmade old style wooden mash and whirlpool paddles they use in the brewing process.

Jars of dried hops waiting to be added to the wort boiling in the kettle. Two carboys of Pete's homebrews in fermentation, the right one contains cherries.

Logistician Chris Kavanaugh brewing a special beer for a charity event "Beer for Beasts" showcasing creative beers, food and entertainment, all in the name of compassion toward animals.

View inside the mash tun, where after the mash is stirred to a proper consistency, the active part of the mashing process is complete and thermometers gauge the enzymatic conversion of the beer.

Brewer Pete Dickson maintaining all the brewery's conditioning tanks and fermentors.

Keg-filling device hanging from the ceiling and CO2 regulator in between two tanks, created by the brewers themselves as is much of the other equipment used in the brewery.

Craft brewers have developed an all-natural clarifying process to extract clear wort from the mash, called recirculation. Here, the first runnings are recirculated back through the grain until they have brilliantly clear wort.

Grains remain in the mash tun after wort. The sweet liquid is drained through the slotted grates at the bottom of the tun. Sean and Ian work hard to clear the tun of the remaining grain or hopper.

The mashing process is complete. Some of the converted starch (sugar) has now dissolved into the hot water and has become a solution. This malt-sugar solution is known to brewers as wort.

Once the sweet wort is collected and transferred to the kettle, it's time to apply the heat and fire, add the hops, and turn the sugar solution into beer before starting the first and secondary fermentation processes.

Breuckelen Distilling

Brad Estabrooke, founder of Breuckelen Distilling, an artisanal distillery located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

In the left corner of the distillery Brad uses a grain mill, creates the mash, adds yeast and transfers it to large fermentation tanks. His Boston Terrier, Charlie, often appears on bottles, packaging, and the distillery's mail box.

Currently they make two gins: their flagship gin and a darker, barrel-aged version as well as two whiskeys. One is made from wheat and the other from rye and corn. Gin derives its dominant flavor from dried juniper berries.

To make their gin from scratch, they start with 100% organic whole wheat grown in upstate New York. The wheat is added to a grain mill and finely milled into flour moments before it's needed.

The wheat spirit is re-distilled with raw botanicals of juniper, grapefruit and lemon peel, ginger and rosemary. The distillery uses a copper pot still which separates the wheat alcohol from the water.

Stainless-steel intermediates or spirit collecting tanks occupy one corner of the room.

The distillery is housed in a high-ceiling industrial space with a skylight, which used to be an old boiler room, supplying heat to the surrounding buildings. Here, Brad is adjusting the temperature in the pot still.

The spirit dripping off the still into jars, ready to be sampled. Brad smells and tastes the spirit.

Hydrometers and thermometers are used to determine the proof or alcohol content of the spirits. The right part of the still is the cooling tower, where the vapor is chilled causing it to condense as a liquid.

The entire bottling process is also done by hand, filling, corking and sealing each bottle with hot melted wax. Partner Gino Di Stefano hand dips every bottle in wax and sets them aside to dry before boxing and delivery.

The bottles themselves are also sustainably produced and together in one day Brad and Gino can finish 32 cases or 384 bottles, ready for delivery and drinking.

Kings County Distillery

Kings County Distillery in Bushwick, Brooklyn, specializes in hand-crafted bourbon and moonshine made from local organic corn from upstate New York.

Native Kentuckian Colin Spoelman is co-founder of the Distillery, which is housed in a small 325-foot room of a warehouse and produces all of its whiskey in five 8-gallon stills.

Bottle labels for Kings County Distillery, the first operating whiskey distillery in New York City since Prohibition.

Distillate or alcohol emerging from the stainless-steel stills into large glass jugs.

Organic cracked corn from the Finger Lakes and Scottish malted barley are the main ingredients for both the moonshine and bourbon and are mixed together into large pots of boiling hot water; other grains such as rye are used for upcoming projects.

Yeast is then added to the mash and left to ferment in large plastic tubs, breaking down the sugars. Distiller Chris Elford mixing the grains by hand together in pots of hot water.

The Distillery's tasting room is open for tours and tastings on selected days each month. Their moonshine recently won “Best in Category” for corn whiskey at the American Distilling Institute’s Craft Spirits Conference.

Five stainless-steel stills sit on top of burners, while the moonshine trickles through rubber hoses into several glass jugs sitting on the floor. To the right, water comes to a boil before organic corn is added to start the mash.

Chris and Colin pour huge jugs of the finished moonshine into barrels for aging. The thing that sets them apart is the sincere care that goes into hand-crafting each bottle of bourbon and moonshine.

All photos © Valery Rizzo. All rights reserved.

Valery is a Park Slope-based professional photographer with a love of good food and all things Brooklyn. You can find more of her work on her website, and you can follow her food adventures on her photo blog, Eating Brooklyn.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Shots: A Photo Tour – Behind the Scenes at The Red Hook Winery, Sixpoint Craft Ales, Breuckelen Distilling, and Kings County Distillery

  1. Housely says:

    You gave us lots of information, along with examples that are very helpful for me. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Pingback: porn fast fuck

  3. Tanisha says:

    Fellas, I gotta boast. I found a hottie online who undressed for me.
    Just check my link.

  4. I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This article posted
    at this site is actually fastidious.

  5. Because the admin of this site is working, no question very
    shortly it will be renowned, due to its feature contents.

  6. What’s up it’s me, I am also visiting this site daily, this site is really nice and the visitors
    are truly sharing fastidious thoughts.

  7. click here says:

    If some one desires to be updated with newest technologies then he must be pay a
    quick visit this site and be up to date all the time.

  8. I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this website is really fastidious.

  9. Anne says:

    I’m not certain where you are getting your information,
    but good topic. I must spend a while studying more or understanding more.

    Thanks for fantastic info I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

  10. It’s going to be ending of mine day, however before finish I am reading this great article
    to increase my experience.

  11. My brother recommended I may like this web site. He was once
    entirely right. This publish truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how so much time I
    had spent for this info! Thanks!

  12. James says:

    New York City’s oldest whiskey distillery. Located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. – Online Store Powered by Storenvy

  13. First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if
    you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
    I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.
    I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted
    just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?

  14. Link exchange is nothing else except it is only
    placing the other person’s blog link on your page at proper
    place and other person will also do same in favor of you.

  15. Tha says:

    Buy White Whiskey, Moonshine at Total Wine

  16. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any points for rookie blog writers? I’d
    certainly appreciate it.

  17. Thanks for every other wonderful post. Where else may just anybody get that kind of information in such an ideal approach of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such information.

  18. It’s in reality a nice and useful piece of information. I’m happy that you shared this helpful info
    with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for

  19. Hi do you know that you can increase your conversion ratio couple of times and earn extra bucks every day.
    There is awesome landing pages tool. It’s very easy even for noobs, if you are interested simply search in gooogle:
    pandatsor’s tools

  20. If you desire to get much from this piece of writing then you
    have to apply these methods to your won website.

  21. Cole says:

    Can I just say what a comfort to discover somebody who actually knows what they are talking about on the
    internet. You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More people should check this out and understand
    this side of the story. I was surprised you are not more
    popular because you definitely have the gift.

  22. homepage says:

    In fact when someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to other visitors that they will assist,
    so here it occurs.

  23. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and
    wanted to mention that I’ve truly loved surfing around your weblog
    posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing on your feed and I
    hope you write again soon!

  24. This is very fascinating, You’re an overly skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and stay up for in the hunt for more of your excellent post.
    Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks

  25. Hi there I am so delighted I found your web site, I really found you by accident, while I was browsing on Google for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the excellent job.

  26. Link exchange is nothing else but it is just
    placing the other person’s weblog link on your page at suitable place and
    other person will also do similar in favor of you.

  27. Hi, for all time i used to check website posts here in the early hours in the dawn, since i
    love to find out more and more.

  28. It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people in this particular subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

  29. sektflaschen says:

    Vielmehr könne zudem ein Verzehr von 3 g Zimt am Tag auch
    noch im Einfassen normaler Ernährungsgewohnheiten liegen.
    Auch noch immer mehr gilt an diesem ort der Erfahrungssatz
    des BGH, wonach jenes verständiger Durchschnittsverbraucher im Allgemeinen nicht annehmen wird auch,
    Hugo Sekt dass ein als Nahrungsergänzungsmittel (Hugo Sekt ) angebotenes Produkt
    wirklich ein Hugo Sekt ist, wenn es auch in der empfohlenen Dosierung keine pharmakologische Wirkung habe.
    Urzinger Textilmanagement setzt die HACCP-Richtlinien zudem fuer welche Mietberufskleidung
    in dem Hugo Hugo Cocktail Sekt verkauf um.

  30. Pingback: After the Flood: Images of Ruin and Resilience In Red Hook and The Rockaways | Nona Brooklyn | What's Good Today?

  31. Jim Lero says:

    In the picture of the 30 quart stills on the cinder blocks. Are those heating elements they are sitting on? What kind are they?


    Jim Lero

  32. Pingback: Brooklyn made alcohol « Breuckelen Distilling

  33. Pingback: Closing Bell: Where Brooklyn Booze Is Made - The Broker Buddy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>