Organic Liquors and Beers, Made in NYC
As someone who strives to live sustainably in New York City, I’m always open to recommendations regarding locally sourced and organic food and drinks. Aside from sharing news about real estate in New York, one of the main purposes of my blog is to bring light to organizations and businesses that are making a positive impact on our city and world from an environmental standpoint. Organic agriculture, in addition to producing safer, healthier food, benefits the environment by reducing pollution, conserving water, and protecting soil quality. Breweries and distilleries committed to using organic ingredients are popping up all over New York City, offering locally-sourced and -made options for beer and spirit enthusiasts. While organic food is often praised for its freshness and full flavor, organic liquor and beer is not always seen in the same light; consumers fear that the flavor will suffer as a result of the focus on organic production. This post intends to dispel that fear by sharing some high quality NYC-produced organic beers and liquors. I hope to hear from you if you have other recommendations for organically made and local beer/liquor I should try:
Empire Brewing Company
Empire was established in 1994 and modified its business in 2007 to focus on sustainability. They use locally-sourced organic ingredients, convert their spent fry oil into biodiesel, and send their spent grains from the brewing process to a local livestock company for livestock feed. Greenpoint Beer Works is producing four styles of Empire’s beer in kegs for distribution in New York State, and the Empire Farmstead Brewery is slated to open later this year for educational and beer brewing purposes. You can find their beer on tap and in stores using their online beer finder.
Beyond Brewing Company
Beyond, founded in 2010 and based in Astoria, is the first brewery in Queens since the Prohibition era. They use organic, fair-trade ingredients to brew kombucha and ales in a solar-powered brewery. Their trucks run on biodiesel and they distribute in sustainable packaging. The Mava Roka, a sorghum based ale naturally sweetened with maple syrup, is often on tap at The Queens Kickshaw in Astoria. Beyond’s bottles will likely be on the shelves of local groceries in the near future, as they’re in the process of entering a distribution contract.
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Breuckelen Distilling began crafting gin and whiskey in 2010. Their spirits are made entirely from organic New York State grains, most of which are grown by the same farmer. They don’t use any coloring, additives, or extracts to alter their spirits, and every step of the process from milling whole grains to bottling is done onsite by the Breuckelen team. You can find the ingredients for their whiskeys and gins on their website, and you can purchase their spirits at liquor stores across the New York City area.
This distillery, established by two brothers in 2012, uses vacuum distillation, a process that allows them to distill at lower temperatures and improve flavor. Their flagship gin is made from organic New York State wheat and contains notes of elderberry, coriander, chamomile, and elderflower. You can find out where to buy their gin on the Greenhook Ginsmiths website.
Woodstock, The Bronx
Tirado Distillery is run by Renee Hernandez, a Bronx-born internal-medicine doctor with a degree in chemistry from Fordham. The business, inspired by a family trip to the Bacardi distillery in San Juan, is inspired by Hernandez’ Puerto Rican heritage. Tirado’s corn whiskey is made from organic New York corn, and can be enjoyed in restaurants in the Bronx and purchased at select liquor stores around the city.
Soon to come is a post about organic wine made locally and don’t forget to read about Rooftop Reds, NYC’s first rooftop vineyard.