Arcane Distillery whiskey is “made by beer people.” At this Bushwick facility, smooth whiskeys are distilled from craft beer. Both the beer and whiskey are made onsite in Brooklyn. The beer at the root of Arcane’s whiskey isn’t the only thing that sets this distillery apart from others. Another big difference is the company’s unique vacuum distillation process which was designed with sustainability in mind. Altogether, these ingredients make for a whiskey that is flavorful and better for the environment.

One hand passes an empty glass to another hand in front of a digital control panel
Photo by Francisco Bravo

Before distillation, all whiskey essentially starts as beer, a mix of yeast, water, and grain. In a traditional distillation workflow, after this “distiller’s beer” or mash is made, it would be boiled and vaporized in order to collect the alcohol. At Arcane, they do things a little differently. After their in-house IPAs and Imperial stouts are brewed, the distillers use a custom vacuum distillation process instead of the traditional boiling method. This vacuum distillation allows the whiskey to be distilled at room temperature.

Large wood and metal barrels at Arcane Distillery
Photo by Francisco Bravo

Taking the intense heat usually needed for distillation out of the process, Arcane Distillery has found a way to create one of the most energy-efficient and low-carbon impact distilleries in the world. “Our team has always sought to approach distilling differently and to see solutions to problems that other people simply don’t or can’t see. Traditional distillation is, by its very nature, energy-intensive and wasteful. We set out to change that. By applying a common chemistry process – vacuum distillation –to whiskey, we knew we could reduce the energy requirements, the water requirements, the time requirements, and the raw materials requirements while preserving flavor and creating a delicious new style of whiskey,” says Brian Thompson, CEO of Arcane Distillery.

Metal barrels and tubes at Arcane Distillery
Photo by Francisco Bravo

Arcane Distillery claims to have the only whiskey “that truly retains the essence of the craft beer from which it was distilled.” The flavor of their whiskey can be described as ripe, with tropical flavors, notes of hops, and nutty malty aromas.

Next, check out 10 Microbreweries in NYC and Inside the Abandoned Beer Vaults of a Former Bushwick Brewery