The Tri-State area has seen a distillery boom of sorts over the last several years. Where once you would be hard-pressed to find a distillery anywhere near Essex County, there are now dozens of them in and around the area. Distilleries, for those who aren’t familiar, are where various spirits such as whiskey, bourbon, gin – you name it – are made by breaking down various grains into sugar, which is then converted over to alcohol according to the distillery’s recipe, creating a unique bottle for each distillery. Plus, taking a tour of a distillery and visiting its tasting room can be an informative and indulgent experience and much more satisfying than just picking up a bottle at the store. These are but some of the best distilleries near Essex County.
Disclaimer: You must be 21+ to visit the distilleries. This article is for information only, we are not responsible for changes or closings. Please call ahead and confirm with the business before visiting.
All Points West | 73 Tichenor Street, Newark
(Photo credit: @allpointswestdistillery)
For those looking for a fantastic distillery experience in nearby Newark, All Points West in the Ironbound district is an excellent choice. Offering a variety of gins, vodkas, and whiskeys, All Points West delivers rich tasting spirits such as Pink Pepper Gin, Black Pepper Vodka, and its award-winning Malt and Grain Pot Still Whiskey. All Points West offers tasting tours and cocktails on weekends.
Asbury Park Distilling Co. | 527 Lake Avenue, Asbury Park
Proudly claiming to be Asbury Park’s finest distillery since the days of prohibition, the Asbury Park Distilling Company makes some of the finest spirits in New Jersey. Sticking to time-tested traditions, the distillery offers fine bourbon, gin, and vodka, all of which have won medals at the SF World Spirits Competition. Asbury Park Distilling Company boasts a robust cocktail program and encourages people to come and try a cocktail made completely from scratch on the premises.
Beach Bee Meadery | 89 Long Branch Avenue, Long Branch
(Photo credit: @beachbeemeadery)
A family-owned business that opened in 2019, Beach Bee Meadery in Long Branch is carrying on a 12,000-year history of mead-making. Beach Bee’s unique brand of the delicious honey wine treat is a go-to for many mead-heads, and the ciders are the perfect fall beverage. Besides the traditional maple mead, Beach Bee also offers bananas flambé mead, Pirate Daze pineapple-coconut mead, and black currant mead. Beach Bee offers tours, outdoor seating, and events.
Claremont Distillery | 25 Commerce Road, Fairfield
(Photo credit: @claremontdistillery)
Yet another of Jersey’s own fine spirit distillers, Claremont Distilled Spirits Inc. in Fairfield boasts a wide selection of vodka, moonshine, and bourbon. Its award-winning 93-point Claremont Vodka is one of the many fine spirits on offer at Claremont. The distillery also offers blueberry and peach-infused vodka as well as apple pie and cinnamon moonshine. Whether you’re looking for a traditional tasting spirit or one off the beaten path, Claremont has something to offer you.
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Corgi Spirits | 1 Distillery Drive, Jersey City
(Photo credit: @corgispirits)
Right in Jersey City sits a wonderful and unique distillery making some of the best local spirits money can buy. Corgi offers a wide variety of spirits in the classic British distilling tradition including its Cardigan Whiskey, Saddlecoat Vodka, and the incomparable Earl Grey Gin. The unique tasting spirits are perfect in cocktails, but formidable and rich when sipped. Corgi is open for tours, tastings and has a cocktail menu.
Jersey Artisan Distilling | 32C Pier Lane West, Fairfield
(Photo credit: @jerseyrum)
Bringing even more fine spirits to Fairfield, Jersey Artisan Distilling is a no-nonsense distillery making classic-style rum and whiskey since 2015. The distillery prides itself on distilling traditional spirits that are delicious either on its own or in a cocktail. Jersey Artisan Distilling is open for tours and tastings on the second Saturday of the month by reservation.
Jersey Spirits Distilling Co. | 1275 Bloomfield Avenue, Fairfield
(Photo credit: @jerseyspirits)
Located in Fairfield, Jersey Spirits Distilling Company offers a truly unique selection of spirits. While it certainly brews up traditional batches of vodka, whiskey, gin, and rum, it’s with the distillery’s more novel spirits that Jersey Spirits really shines. Between the white maple whiskey, Jersey Hooch Holiday Nip, Jersey Pumpkin Hooch, Jersey Apple Hooch, and the Barnegat White Whiskey, Jersey Spirits can satiate all palates and tastes. The distillery offers tours, tastings, and a new outdoor seating area.
Melovino Meadery | 2933 Vauxhall Road, Vauxhall
(Photo credit: @melovino)
While mead may not be as well-known as the more conventional spirits, its growing popularity over the last few years is undeniable. Melovino Meadery offers an eclectic variety of meads, a generally sweet honey wine. A renaissance fair favorite, mead is a delightful drink that goes especially well with fall weather. Melovino Meadery is open for tours and has a speakeasy mead bar as well for tasting.
Milk Street Distillery | 1 Milk Street, Branchville
(Photo credit: Milk Street Distillery)
Proudly located in Branchville, Milk Street Distillery is Sussex County’s first distillery in roughly 70 years. Specializing in whiskey, vodka, and rum, Milk Street offers a selection of award-winning spirits, especially the Gold Medal-winning Dam Break Aged Rye Whiskey. Also worth noting are Milk Street’s similarly celebrated Black Vulture Vodka and Wooden Leg Rum. Milk Street is well-known for its fine spirits and offers weekly tours.
Skunktown Distillery | 12 Minneakoning Road, Flemington
(Photo credit: @skunktowndistillerynj)
Skunktown Distillery has been producing fine spirits for a number of years. With even its water locally sourced, Skunktown offers a dazzling variety of spirits from classic vodka, rye whiskey, and rum, to more unique and indulgent botanical blends, spicy vodka, and apple pie moonshine, Skunktown prides itself on making quality spirits available in New Jersey. Skunktown offers tours, tastings, and cocktail programs on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as private event hosting.
Silk City Distillers | 321 River Road, Clifton
(Photo credit: @silkcitydistillers)
With even its water locally sourced, Silk City offers a dazzling variety of spirits from classic vodka, rye whiskey, and rum to more unique and indulgent botanical blends like spicy vodka, and apple pie moonshine. Silk City prides itself on making quality spirits available in New Jersey And offers tours, tastings, and cocktail programs on Fridays and Saturdays as well as private event hosting.
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Sourland Mountain Spirits | 130 Hopewell Rocky Hill Road, Hopewell
(Photo credit: @sourlandspirits)
Sourland Mountain Spirits in Hopewell proudly boasts that the difference between its craft spirits and commercial spirits is the same as the difference between homemade and fast food. The distillery has managed to bottle up that sentiment into a delightful bunch of spirits well worth the trek to Hopewell. Sourland has traditional vodka, gin, rum, and bourbon as well as more unique spirits like blueberry honey vodka, special Pride vodka, and delicious coffee liqueur. Sourland Mountain Spirits offer tours, a cocktail bar, as well as distillery pick-up orders.
Striped Lion Distillery | 740 North Broad Street, Woodbury
(Photo credit: @stripedlionrum)
Striped Lion Distilling is a small-batch, rum-centric craft distillery in Woodbury. The in-house rums are made from original ingredients, not chemical flavors. This distillery offers an awesome experience by sharing knowledge of rum varieties with visitors, whether through an educational tour or through a cocktail experience.
Tree City | 835 Fairfield Avenue, Kenilworth
(Photo credit: @treecityvodkanj)
Tree City in Kenilworth specializes in high-quality artisan vodka. The vodka comes from what the distillery calls a “good place,” and the taste can back up that claim. It’s world-class, affordable, and is great in cocktails or sipped on its own. Tree city offers a tasting room on Thursdays and Saturdays, with Fridays and Sundays open by appointment only.
Widow Jane | 218 Conover Street, Brooklyn
(Photo credit: @widow_jane)
Widow Jane has become somewhat of a serious name in the whiskey industry. The flagship whiskey, 10-Year Bourbon, is aged for a decade in oak barrels and provides one of the most delicious bourbons on the market today. Offering many whiskeys at a variety of price ranges, Widow Jane in Brooklyn is one of the premier distilleries in the area.