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Trail Blazing

The best new tasting tour
Tasting Table: Trail Blazing
Vodka from Industry City Distillery

It's clear that craft distilleries are the new craft breweries.

No longer limited to money-sucking passion projects, small-batch spirit companies are proliferating at a rapid clip.

Despite high start-up costs, Brooklyn is a particularly fruitful birthplace for these fledgling products. Here's your guide to the country's most exciting new booze trail.

Van Brunt Stillhouse: Daric Schlesselman is an editor for The Daily Show by day. But on nights and weekends, he heads to Red Hook in Brooklyn, where he works on a rotation of spirits that include rum, whiskey, grappa made in collaboration with nearby Red Hook Winery, and soon, malt whiskey.

Cacao Prieto: This neighboring distillery-cum-chocolate company has recently added whiskey to its sweet portfolio. Widow Jane Whiskey is named for the water that distiller Daniel Prieto Preston sources from the Widow Jane Mine in Upstate New York, which he claims has a better mineral composition than even the famed branch waters of Kentucky.

Industry City: Tours are free at this Brooklyn start-up, which makes vodka from beet sugar. All of the equipment, including the still, is being built and rebuilt on site as the team tinkers to create the best-tasting product. Visit on Sundays to take in some vodka and fine views of the Manhattan skyline.

The Noble Experiment: Bridget Firtle is the one-woman force behind this new distillery in Williamsburg. The self-taught booze lover released her first product, Owney's Rum, last winter. Up next: bourbon and rye.

Industry City Distillery 33 35th St. New York NY 11232 917-727-5309 Van Brunt Stillhouse 6 Bay St. New York NY 11231 718-852-6405 The Noble Experiment 23 Meadow St. New York NY 11206 Cacao Prieto 218 Conover St. New York NY 11231 347-225-0130

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