The First Whiskey Distillery in Manhattan Since the Prohibition Is Now Open

by Madison Miller

It seems like ages since the U.S. prohibition from 1920 to 1933. For one borough of New York, the first whiskey distillery since the prohibition just opened its doors (proudly and completely non-illegally). They’re bringing that now essential spirit back to Manhattan 100 years later.

Now, New Yorkers over in Manhattan can sip on bourbon whiskey inside a luxurious 28,000-square-foot whiskey distillery called Great Jones Distilling Co. The distillery just opened last month to the public in the NoHo neighborhood. It is created by Juan Domingo Beckmann, he is the chief executive of Jose Cuervo, the iconic tequila brand.

Great Jones Distilling Co. Opens in Manhattan

It’s a massive four-story building that took six years to get up in running. They are putting their roots down in an 82-year-old building with a lot of history, too. Similar to a lot of business out there, the all-new distillery faced the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and an ever-evolving business world.

When you walk in, whiskey lovers have the choice of entering the cocktail bar, restaurant, event space, or even the speakeasy. There’s even a stunning permanent immersive installation located in the building. It’s full of bright lights and a lit-up pathway.

“In order to understand what distilling is in New York City, you have to understand the zoning that it takes to be a distillery. After a year and a half of searching, we finally landed at 686 Broadway,” the project manager of the new distillery, Andrew Merinoff, said to AMNY.

Products and the Process

Although it may have been hard to land on a location, by the looks of it, this was all worth the wait. The air in the room can be sucked out in only 90 seconds. This would make this location one of the safest rooms for the distilling process in the entire world.

The whiskey-making process goes beyond the Manhattan space. The aging process for the company starts in upstate New York at Black Dirt.

The distillery also has a number of really interesting tours and experiences. According to their official website, one is the general tour of the facility, which is $35 for an hour. There is also a six-course whiskey and culinary pairing meal that people can sign up for. It’s $145 for two hours.

The distillery has a number of different whiskeys they offer to the public in their traditional post-prohibition, traditionalist style. The Great Jones Distilling Co. sells a straight bourbon that is full of notes of dry corn, light vanilla, and has a peppery finish. The company also has a four-grain bourbon with “cereals, toasted corn, hints of oak & marzipan.” Lastly, Great Jones has a rye offering as well.

It’s all hand-crafted with love and tradition, something Manhattan has been yearning for close to 100 years now.

“For 11 generations my family has crafted some of the world’s leading spirits, and we are proud to introduce a bourbon that truly embodies the best of New York State ingredients and the ‘lightning in a bottle’ energy of Manhattan,” Beckmann said in a statement, according to Guest of a Guest.