CHEERS: Kings County Distillery Entry by: Cameron Robertson

As we continue on with our theme CHEERS, we take you, not to the rolling hills of Kentucky to drink mint juleps, but right across the East River to the Kings County Distillery for a good ol’ glass of whiskey.

Founded in 2010, the whiskey distillery is New York City’s oldest operating distillery. When the company first started out, the whiskey was being produced in a 325 square-foot room in East Williamsburg. Small, right? However, in 2012, the Kings County Distillery moved to its current home at the Paymaster Building, Building 121 in the now nationally recognized Brooklyn Navy Yard Historic District. The building, constructed in 1899, originally served as the Yard’s bank for military and civilian workers on the premises. Finished in a composite style (Renaissance Revival, Greek Revival, and Romanesque Revival), the structure sits prominently on the corner, and has a series of dwarf columns, pilasters, column capitals, and a Syrian arch brought together to create a masterful piece of work. Its red brick,in drastic contrast to the white industrial building across the street, is reminiscent of many of the older industrial buildings seen throughout the Brooklyn Navy Yard complex.

The Paymaster Building, since its construction, has been the home to a number of companies, the most recent one being a burial shroud manufacturer. The inside, once a mixture of office space and dark rooms, is now open and airy with exposed brick walls and old hardwood floors, making it an inviting place for visitors and workers alike. So if you find yourself wandering around Brooklyn, stop by the Kings County Distillery, admire the architectural beauty of the Paymaster Building and raise a glass to a wonderful day! Cheers!

Location: 299 Sands Street, Bldg 121

Architect: Unknown

Date: 1899



Kensinger, Nathan. “Brooklyn Navy Yard Begins to Open Up.” Curbed NY. May 12, 2016. Accessed May 13, 2016.

“Kings County Distillery.” Kings County Distillery. Accessed May 12, 2016.

Mead, Maggie Roush. “Kings County Distillery.” Cool Hunting. August 30, 2012. Accessed May 12, 2016.

“Nathan Kensinger Photography.” Brooklyn Navy Yard: The Paymaster Building. July 23, 2010. Accessed May 12, 2016.

Photo, Instagram – Panpaniscus7