Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

Take What Moves You, Mix Well With A Fresh Business Idea, Serve Stylishly

That's what whiskey-lover Colin Spoelman did with his Kings County Distillery. How'd it work out? Pull up a stool.

Colin Spoelman really likes booze. He likes it so much, in fact, he opened a distillery.

But Kings County isn't just any old distillery; it's the first one to open in New York City since the end of Prohibition. As a passionate urban whiskey-making pioneer, Spoelman didn't really start with a business plan. He started with a love for the product and a hobbyist's still. The demand and respect that he gained from the local community quickly propelled his company toward becoming a legitimate operation. Kings County now resides in a 7,250-square-foot space in Brooklyn's Navy Yard.

Colin Spoelman

This all-encompassing love of the product is felt at every stage of production. The distillery houses a Boozeum (that's a booze museum) dedicated to the history of alcohol production in New York City, a reflection of Spoelman's ability to bolster the operation with his own pet passions, a savvy move that communicates to the clientele his impressive level of commitment.

"I got started making whiskey because I like whiskey," says Spoelman. "So all of these different affinities have played into what have become productive business decisions."

Bottom Line: Start with a full cup of your passion, add two jiggers of business planning, shake well, and serve with a smile.

How Kings County Distillery Made Its Moonshine A Hit With Substance Over Style
Why Maintaining A DIY Ethos Can Endear Customers To Your Brand

[Video produced by Shalini Sharma // Camera and edit by Tony Ditata]

Add New Comment