About the Brewery, Winery, and Distillery Tour
New York in the 19th century was a thriving home to breweries, wineries, and distilleries that served not only the city's own thirsty populace, but the nation's. Prohibition put an end to this golden era of alcohol production, but in the last 10 years the trade has undergone a nothing short of amazing renaissance, with breweries, wineries, and distilleries popping up all over the country. Hop over to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for Urban Oyster's Brewery, Winery, and Distillery Tour, a first-hand look at the new breed of artisanal businesses stoking the boom in craft fermentation.
In one afternoon you'll receive private tours of the nationally-renowned Brooklyn Brewery (one of the first breweries to open in Brooklyn after the trade's near total decline by the 1970s), Brooklyn Winery, maker of small batch artisanal wines, and the New York Distilling Company, which sources the most sustainably produced ingredients it can fine to develop and distill quality gins and American Rye Whiskies. At each stop you'll learn (while you taste and sample the wares, of course) about the history of beer, wine, and liquor in New York City, learn how each is made, and get a chance to speak with the purveyors of these unique local businesses. Tasting amounts are generous, but never fear – lunch is served en route to keep you on your feet so you won't miss out on even one fact in the course of your urban explorations.
Urban Oyster was founded in 2008 and provides local, sustainable, tours of some of New York City's most singular neighborhoods and food movements. With the goal of supporting local businesses and preserving neighborhood histories, Urban Oyster offers group walking tours and themed harbor sails, as well as private events and tours.
According to co-founder David Naczycz, Urban Oyster's name is "an analogy for our mission," which is to connect people to the local businesses that are unique to New York and help to make the city what it is. Like the once plentiful oysters in New York Harbor which were decimated by over-harvesting and pollution, small businesses in New York close every day, unable to compete with the influx of chain stores and national franchises. The folks at Urban Oyster see New York's small businesses as today's "oysters"; happily, the company's tours support local business while offering tourgoers an utterly incomparable journey through some of New York's most authentic locales.
Three and a half hours
The Brewery, Winery, and Distillery Tour is offered every Sunday from 12pm to 3:30pm, and includes three private tours led by employees of the Brooklyn Brewery, the Brooklyn Winery, and the New York Distillery. Lunch is served on the tour. This tour will take place rain or shine, and involves between one and two miles of walking, so wear comfortable footwear and bring appropriate gear for the weather. Cameras are welcome and encouraged, as is shopping at local businesses along the tour route. No dogs are allowed.
Did you know?
It is rumored that over 50,000 illegal stills operated in New York City alone during Prohibition (with one gallon costing about $6 at local hardware stores) to provide hooch for thirsty city-dwellers.
The Brooklyn Brewery is one of only three breweries currently operating in Brooklyn: the other two are the Greenpoint Beerworks and Sixpoint Brewery.
This tour is perfect for alcohol enthusiasts of all stripes, either those who are visiting New York City or locals who want to learn more about the current craft fermenting movement going on in their own backyard.
Good for kids?
You must be 21 years or older to participate in this tour, which includes visits to bars and pubs. Older children are welcome on Urban Oyster's food tours.
Brooklyn Brewery Location Information:
79 N 11th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Begins: Brooklyn Brewery
79 N. 11th St. (between Wythe Ave. & Berry St.)
Nearest Subway: L to Bedford Ave.
Ends: New York Distilling Company
79 Richardson St. (between Lorimer St. & Leonard St.)
Nearest Subway: L; G trains to Metropolitan/Lorimer