TechCrunch Makers: An Evening At The Van Brunt Stillhouse

What do you do when you already have the coolest job in the world? You start a business where you can have another amazing job on evenings and weekends.

Daric Schlesselman is an editor for the Daily Show in Manhattan who lives in deepest Red Hook, a small, cool community on the edge of Brooklyn. There he rents a former paint factory where he’s set up the Van Brunt Stillhouse and storage facility where he makes some of the nicest grappa, whiskey, and rum this side of the Gowanus.

Schlesselman started out as a homebrewer but has taken investment to build a small, artisinal distillery in Red Hook. He makes booze to match the season – rum in the summer, whiskey in the fall, and grappa anytime – and he’s the perfect example of someone who followed his dream to sweet fruition.

The stillhouse is compact and well-appointed with plenty of barrels of delicious whiskey aging in white oak. He may not be making 3D printers or electronic eyes, but the Van Brunt Stillhouse shows us that even a mild-mannered TV editor can, with a little time, energy, and perseverance, build a real business making some amazing stuff.

TechCrunch Makers is a video series featuring people who make cool stuff. If you’d like to be featured, email us!.