Brooklyn Brewery founder now wants a distillery

Brooklyn, the historic and storied New York City borough, may be home to more than beermaking if Tom Potter (right) is successful.

Potter, who helped start the Brooklyn Brewery more than two decades ago, now wants to create Brooklyn's first distillery since Prohibition. He's trying to raise $600,000 in capital to rent space in the Williamsburg, Gowanus or Red Hook neighborhoods by this summer.

The Daily News reports that the business will be called the New York Distillery Company, and that the renowned designer and artist Milton Glaser has been retained to create the visual image of the as-yet-unnamed product line.

"There's this long-term trend towards locally made beverage products. I saw it in the beer industry 20 years ago and that same movement is starting ... for distilled spirits," Potter told the Daily News.

He said he got the idea to make his own gin and whiskey after touring distilleries on the West Coast.

"I'm optimistic. These are very challenging times to try to raise money, but traditional alcohol is recession-resistant: In good times people drink, and in bad times people drink," Potter said. " ... I hope to get 10,000 cases out there within the next few years. They'll probably retail between $25 and $45 a bottle."

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