Van Brunt Stillhouse – Brooklyn, New York - Atlas Obscura

Van Brunt Stillhouse

Micro-distillery in Brooklyn produces New York’s first homemade rum since Prohibition. 


The Van Brunt Stillhouse reflects a changing era of spirits. 

Young, budding distilleries around the country are challenging liquor’s brand names with fresh, high quality drinks. The brainchild of Daric Schlesselman, an editor for the Daily Show, Van Brunt combines an experimental approach towards distillation with distinct historical evocation. 

19th century Brooklyn was a hub for distillers of rum, gin, and whiskey. Prohibition put the kibosh on Brooklyn’s booze enterprise. Van Brunt is reclaiming Brooklyn as a center of innovated spirits. Historical awareness pervades the distillery’s character. Cornelius Van Brunt was a founding father of “Breukelen” (as the neighborhood was originally christened by its Dutch residents) and farmed on the banks of the Gowanus. 

The distillery carries the name of this 17th century colonist. Its first drink, “Due North Rum” pays tribute to a drink with a long history in American consciousness. Early colonists capitalized on the waste products of Caribbean sugar plantations and produced rum as a major export. The importance of rum as an economic asset paved the way for revolution when the British Molasses and Sugar Acts raised the price of sugar and inspired the mantra “taxation without representation.” The distillery’s  moonshine harkens back to an age when 19th century New York City distilled more moonshine than the entire southern United States.

The Van Brunt Stillhouse presents a unique amalgamation of hand-crafted, high quality liquor, distilled with a love of history…and drinking.


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