Tom Potter

Tom Potter

Tom is co-founder and President of the New York Distilling Company.  Its award-winning products include Dorothy Parker Gin, Ragtime Rye Whiskey; and Mr. Katz’s Rock & Rye.  All rye used is proudly New York grown. 

Tom has been active in the craft distilling community since starting NYDC in 2011.  Along with many others he helped found the American Craft Spirits Association, organized its first two general elections, and currently serves on its Board. He was also a co-founder of the New York State Distillers Guild and currently serves on its board.  

Tom’s previous business experience includes co-founding The Brooklyn Brewery in 1987.  He served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, guiding the company to $20 million in annual sales, until selling his voting shares in 2004.  Tom has been profiled in Fortune, Forbes, Inc., The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications.  The Brooklyn Brewery remains the largest craft brewery in the New York region and is among the most honored craft breweries in the world.  In addition to its well-known brewing operations, under Tom The Brooklyn Brewery also created one of the first and largest specialty beer distributors in the United States. 

Tom received his BA from Yale and MBA from Columbia.  Before starting The Brooklyn Brewery, he was a loan officer at Chemical Bank of New York, where he financed the acquisition of assets valued in excess of $1.5 billion. He also served as Executive Director of the American Institute of Wine & Food, a national membership culinary organization founded by Robert Mondavi and Julia Child.  He is currently Chairman of the AIWF Foundation and is co-author of the book “Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery” (foreword by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg; John Wiley & Sons). 

Tom is active in Brooklyn community affairs, especially in waterfront activities.  He is co-founder of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse; Chair of The Kayak Foundation; and is a certified whitewater and coastal kayaking instructor.