Drink Local – Brooklyn Familiarization Tour

In an initiative aimed to promote the craft alcohol industry statewide, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Empire State Development and Taste NY teamed-up, reached out and introduced the tourism industry to Brooklyn’s craft beverage scene.

A total of 21 tourism experts hailing from upstate Buffalo to the Tri-State Area took part in our Familiarization Tour, visiting three different craft beverage makers in Brooklyn. The tour was conducted with Urban Oyster/Adventures. Its ultimate goal was to introduce experts to the craft beverage scene, try products and meet makers as part of our Drink Local Campaign.


11:30 AM – Meet in Brooklyn Chamber Lobby to board the bus

12 PM – Lunch at 61 Local

2 PM – Tour and Tasting at Rooftop Reds

3:30 PM – Tour and Tasting at Van Brunt Still House

5 PM – Tour and Tasting at Threes Brewing


Photo by Carlos Llamas

Our delegation is ready and anxious to get the day started.

61 Local

Lunch at 61 Local – Locally-sourced bar/restaurant that features premium products from local bakers, farmers, and culinary innovators.


Photo by Carlos Llamas

On the Menu:

• Pretzel Reuben (pastrami, sauerkraut, “61 thousand island” dressing on a pretzel roll)
• Veggie Burger (vegan beet burger with pickled red onions, miso ‘mayo’, baby greens, ketchup, on ciabatta)

Drinks:  A wide selection of craft beers and wines, including: KelSo Nut Brown, Stoudt’s Bright Lager, Red Hook Merlot, Brooklyn Oenology East End Blend, Lakewood Riesling, Palmer Viognier, and Macari Rose among others.



Photos by Carlos Llamas

Rooftop Reds

Tour and Tasting at Rooftop Reds – Devin Shomaker came from an entrepreneurial background before establishing Rooftop Reds. After obtaining a marketing degree at George Mason University, Devin focused on business development, sales management and event coordination. In 2010, Devin moved to Shenzhen, China for three months and built a successful swim school with his eldest brother, David Shomaker.

After returning from China, Devin assisted several startups in Washington, D.C., leading their sales production and business relations efforts. Two years later, he decided to take his career in a very different direction and enrolled in Finger Lakes Community College’s Viticulture and Wine Technology program in Western New York. This higher education foray into the wine industry inspired Devin to create Rooftop Reds.

In the spring of 2015, Rooftop Reds introduced the first commercially viable urban rooftop vineyard in New York City, hosted in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It officially opened to the public in April 2016.  Rooftop Reds also boasts a wine tasting room that overlooks the vines.


Photo by Carlos Llamas

Our delegation enjoys a tasting of some of the finest New York State wines produced in the Finger Lakes.

On the Menu:

• POBV Dry Riesling
• POBV Semi-Dry Riesling
• POBV Non Oaked Chardonnay
• POBV Cabernet Franc Rose
• RTR Cabernet Franc Rose
• POBV Bi-Coastal Red (Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve)



Photos by Carlos Llamas


Van Brunt Stillhouse

Tour and Tasting at Van Brunt Stillhouse – The Van Brunt Stillhouse brand is built on the principles of integrity, creativity and pure hard work.  In the prioneering spirit of Cornelius Van Brunt, who was a farmer in the Dutch colony of Breukelen, husband and wife team Daric Schlesselman and Sarah Ludington founded Van Brunt Stillhouse, driven by a love of craft. The Stillhouse has been producing farmhouse style whiskeys in the heart of modern day Brooklyn since 2012. As master distiller, Daric brings a creativity to his recipes while working within the traditions of distilling fine spirits. He has developed a line of spirits that establishes his unique voice within traditional spirit categories, as well as their American Whiskey, which is unlike any other on the market. These whiskeys are celebrations of small batch spirits that showcase the flavorful essence of the grains.


Photo by Carlos Llamas

Daric Schlesselman came to distilling through a passion for making things. He used to make beer and cider at home and was and continues to be an avid gardener. One New Year’s Eve Daric decided he wanted to take the fruits of his labor to another level and sent his credit card info to a website in Portugal.  A number of weeks later his first Alembic still came in the mail and he started making Brandy and Eau de Vie.  At some point, Daric decided he wanted to leave his career as a television editor to try his hand at opening one of the first distilleries in Brooklyn. (When he made this decision, there was not a single distillery in the city.)

A malt whiskey gets its start as a simple malted barley beer (minus the hops).


Photo by Carlos Llamas

Van Brunt Stillhouse Bourbon Whiskey is a wheated bourbon made from 65 percent organic New York corn. This American classic is carefully made with the best ingredients.



Photos by Carlos Llamas

On the Menu:

• Van Brunt Stillhouse American Whiskey (Bronze Medal ADI, Bronze Medal New York Independent Spirit)
• Rye Whiskey (50 Best Rye Whiskies)
• Bourbon Whiskey (Silver Medal American Craft Spirits, 50 Best Bourbons)
• Single Malt Whiskey (Bronze Medal American Craft Spirits)
• Due North Rum (Silver Medal ADI, Silver Medal New York Independent Spirit)
• Van Brunt Stillhouse Moonshine Whiskey

Enjoy tastings every weekend from 1 to 6 PM. Weekend tours are available by online reservation.


Photo by Carlos Llamas

Threes Brewing

Tour and Tasting at Threes Brewing – Opened in December 2014, Threes Brewing is a brewery, bar, and event space. Since launching, Threes has made over 60 styles of beer, and its roster is still evolving. While the quality of the beer defines Threes, food, music and creative events binds it to its neighbors and community.

The bar menu at Threes Brewing was conceived to broaden the scope of what a brewpub can be. Its beer list reflects the collaborative nature of its best intentions, and its wines and cocktails reflect the breadth of its many interests. The centerpiece of Threes Brewing’s main bar is a state of the art twenty-four-line draught system, where beers pour fresh alongside a constantly changing selection from other breweries. Third party pours range from those made by local friends to hard-to-find and harder-to-get brews from out of state and overseas.

A good bar is not just about how good the drinks are. It’s about the friends you drink them with. With this in mind, Threes made the decision to partner with talented friends at The Meat Hook and Ninth Street Espresso.

As Gowanus continues to evolve, Threes hopes to become a pillar of the neighborhood for generations to come – a place where newcomers become neighbors.


Photo Courtesy of Threes Brewing

Threes Brewing creates craft beer that balances complexity and simplicity. It focuses on classic German lagers, traditional Belgian farmhouse ales and hop-forward American ales.


Photo by Carlos Llamas

On the Menu:

• Table Beer, Saison, 4.2%
• Vliet, Pilsner, 5.2%
• Bad Wallpaper, IPA, 6.5%



Photos by Carlos Llamas

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Empire State Development Corporation and Taste NY understand that demand for local craft beverages is created through promoting awareness and demonstrating the quality of craft beverages made in New York State. Through this tour, we familiarized members of the tourism industry with the Brooklyn craft beverage scene in the hope that they will promote it in their own circles.