New Jersey has a distilling history dating to the colonial era when large landowners converted surplus fruit into brandy, sugar into rum, and grain into whiskey. The Jersey Shore was well known for small-time alcohol operations after Prohibition began with speedboats ferrying illegal alcohol from ships floating miles off the coast to the thirsty masses in NJ and beyond. You watched Boardwalk Empire, right? After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, alcohol flowed from the Caribbean. Distilled spirit production in NJ hasn’t been a large industry; strict alcoholic beverage control laws in place during and after Prohibition prevented the industry from growing for almost a century. But in 2013, NJ passed a law creating a craft distillery license, and the NJ Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control issued its first distillery license in 94 years to Jersey Artisan Distilling. Krista Haley, an attorney, partnered with Brent Braue and together they operate Jersey Artisan Distilling. As an electrician-turned-engineer, Braue loves the art of distilling, but he’s hooked by the science. “Our drinkers are people who enjoy drinking, who want something that tastes good, who aren’t drinking just for the sake of getting drunk,” Haley said. Signature products include Busted Barrel Silver Rum which is in stores, bars, and restaurants all over NJ. The Busted Barrel Dark Rum has matured in American white oak barrels and offer hints of vanilla and caramel, while carrying enough oakiness to evoke the finest American whiskeys. Both rums were awarded Silver Medals at the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition. After the interview, check out After Hours at Jersey Coastal Live for more info.
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