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Author Archives: Ben

RIP: Sharon Jones


We were saddened by the news that Brooklyn legend Sharon Jones had passed away over the weekend. To have seen Sharon Jones live in concert meant that you were a fan. Rarely does a performer inspire such universal joy and respect as Sharon Jones did during her much too brief life. She came up singing gospel in Augusta, GA and her family moved to Brooklyn in 1960 when she was 14. Brooklyn label Daptone Records put her together with the Dap Kings in the late 90s and our lives have had more soul ever since.

I had the luck of attending the once-in-a-lifetime Dark Was The Night benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall in 2009. It featured some of my favorite artists, many of them Brooklyn acts. David Byrne, Dirty Projectors, Yeasayer, Feist, Bon Iver and St Vincent were all on stage at one time or another. They turned out great versions of the great songs they had contributed to the album of the same name. The National, who organized the album and concert, were no dummies though — they saved the best for last. In the middle of a straightforward cover of This Land Is Your Land by the evening’s indie stars, Ms Jones, snuck up on stage and funked the whole thing up, interrupting with her Dap Kings version. Radio City exploded and everyone left uplifted.

And so, we raise a glass (filled with her favorite: a martini) to Sharon Jones, wherever you are. Thank you!

Brooklyn Brewery Expands Its Reach

Wall blog copy


The genesis of our family’s involvement in Brooklyn Brewery dates back to the early ‘80s in the Middle East, where co-founder Steve Hindy and our father were fellow journalists covering wars and raising families in Cairo, Egypt. When Steve started his crazy adventure of establishing a brewery in Brooklyn, our father contributed $10,000, more in support of Steve than as a serious investment. Little did our father know where that relatively small investment would take him and in particular, his kids. Over the past 20+ years working here, Eric and I eventually became majority owners and CEO and President of the Brewery. I’m proud to say I’m only the second President of the Brooklyn Brewery, after Steve, who is now Chairman. A lot has changed in craft beer and in Brooklyn since we joined Steve’s adventure. Both have become global phenomena and we’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute to those waves. Now we’re riding them into an exciting future. And while there have been many important milestones in our company’s evolution, today is one of the biggest in our history.

Earlier today in Japan, we announced that Kirin Brewery will be making a minority equity investment in Brooklyn Brewery. This investment allows Steve, Garrett Oliver, Eric and me to achieve our #1 goal- to remain an independent owned and operated brewery (as defined by the Brewers Association).

So, how did we hook up with Kirin? We’ve been selling beer in Japan almost since we started in 1988. It was our first export market. I began visiting Japan regularly in 2012, and while it was clear that craft beer was happening there, it needed a catalyst to make it bigger. I noticed that of the big domestic brewers, Kirin seemed to understand craft best. Kirin was founded in Yokohama in 1869 by a Norwegian-American who apprenticed under a German brewmaster, later moved to the US, and then to Japan. Kirin has become a leading global brewer because of their focus on quality, world-class R&D capabilities, and an ability to partner effectively. In 2014, they took a minority stake in Yo-Ho Brewing, Japan’s leading craft brewery. I was impressed with their focus on beer and food education at Spring Valley, a craft brewery they successfully established in 2015. It was clear to me that Kirin understood and respected craft beer and the way it could elevate all beer. They became a natural partner for us.

What will we do with our new resources? In short, we’ll continue to reinvest in Brooklyn Brewery. We intend to continue our global expansion and affirm our position as a leading global craft brewer. While keeping our current brewery in Williamsburg, we are building our new global headquarters in the Brooklyn Navy Yard with a 600-person capacity rooftop beer garden. We intend to build another bigger brewery that will enable us to brew 100% of the beer we sell domestically in-house. We intend to build on a strategy that takes Brooklyn Brewery to a fully national brand with a top-class sales and marketing team supporting our distributors. We are busy developing our vision for a Brooklyn bar, initially aimed to be located overseas. And we will continue to promote craft beer globally through our joint-venture brewery partnerships in Sweden and Norway, and soon-to-be Korea. It’s an exciting time to be a craft brewer, and I’m proud to say that our beers are better than they’ve ever been and we remain at the cutting edge of craft brewing in everything we do.

Even though we’ve been around for almost 30 years, this is a new beginning for the Brooklyn Brewery, or certainly a new chapter. In many ways we’ve always been open to the rest of the world. We love our home, but we are travelers, and we’ve always reached out to fellow brewers everywhere. This investment is part of a broader strategy to form partnerships and collaborate around the world to build our brand and help grow craft beer wherever we go. We have been working successfully with another global brewer, Carlsberg, for more than a decade. They import and distribute us in many countries throughout Europe and parts of Asia. We have established craft breweries together in Sweden and Norway, with more coming. We are excited to now add Kirin to our team.

But let me be entirely clear – Eric and I will continue to control and operate the Brooklyn Brewery for many years to come. Kirin’s investment allows us to do that and a lot more. So on behalf of our 150+ employees, soon to be growing, we welcome Kirin to the Brooklyn Brewery family and look forward to our journey together.

– Robin Ottaway, President, Brooklyn Brewery

Tap That Glass: Jan 23


Below is the roster of beers you can expect to find here at The Brooklyn Brewery the weekend of January 23rd – 25th (list is subject to change). Beer tokens can be purchased for $5/each or 5 for $20.

DRAFT // 1 token each (unless otherwise indicated)

Quadraceratops (9.9% abv) – 2 tokens
Blast! (8.4% abv) – 2 tokens
1/2 Ale (3.4% abv)
Sorachi Ace (7.2% abv)
EIPA (6.9% abv)
Winter Ale (6.1% abv)  
Brown Ale (5.6% abv)
Lager (5.2% abv)
Sai Kanifing (6.7% abv)
Greenmarket Wheat (5.0% abv)

CASK OFFERING // 1 token

L’il Orange Pils (5.1% abv) - Brooklyn Pilsner infused with bitter orange peel and Cascade hops. 

BOTTLE POURS // 3 tokens each, includes complimentary Souvenir Logo Glass

Silver Anniversary Lager (8.6% abv)
Local 1 (9.0% abv)
Local 2 (9.0% abv)
Greenmarket Wheat (5.0% abv)
Ama Bionda (6.0% abv) – 2 tokens
Ama Bruna (7.5% abv) – 2 tokens
Sorachi Ace (7.6% abv)
Black Chocolate Stout (10.0% abv)
Monster Ale (10.1% abv)
Pilsner (5.1% abv)


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More Brooklyn


[photo credit Overall Murals]

The Brooklyn Brewery appreciates the NYS Regional Economic Development Council designating our proposal for a new brewery in New York City as a priority project.  We understand that a final decision on funding will not be made until later this year.

The Brooklyn Brewery started 26 years ago when the term craft beer was barely uttered. We opened our brewery in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in 1996.  At the time, Williamsburg was mainly an industrial enclave of abandoned manufacturing facilities and artists’ lofts. Since then, spurred on by these artists, craftsmen such as ourselves, and a relentless cultural renaissance, Brooklyn is now a worldwide phenomenon.

Today, Brooklyn is teeming with hotels, restaurants, and new housing developments.  We expanded the Williamsburg facility four years ago but our growth has outpaced our capacity and we are looking at a necessary expansion much quicker than we had anticipated.  Our beer is enjoyed in 26 states and more than 20 countries around the world.  The name Brooklyn has turned out to be a great calling card.  We are growing at a double digit rate in the United States and our exports are growing at more than 60%.  This year, exports will be over 30% of our total production.

This rapid growth has challenged capacity at our breweries in Brooklyn and Utica, New York.  The popularity of and lack of real estate inventory in Kings County is prohibitive to the type of facility our business needs to grow. We are therefore planning to build a new brewery that is closer to the New York and New Jersey ports, and to our home market in the New York City metropolitan area.

While we are steadfastly committed to Brooklyn and will always maintain a significant brewery presence and headquarters in our home borough, we are enthusiastic about expanding elsewhere in New York.  We thank the city and state agencies that are working hard to ensure that successful manufacturers like ourselves can continue to have a place to grow their businesses.

Garrett Won A James Beard Award!

Garrett should be holding a glass of Local 1

[Garrett should be holding a glass of Local 1]

Congratulations on the big win, Garrett! You’ve just become the first brewer to win the award in the Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional category. How does that make you feel?

from Brooklyn Magazine
“It’s an awesome thing, especially as the culinary world has been oddly slow to recognize craft beer’s spectacular versatility with food, and the brewer is the chef’s nearest peer–we’re creating new flavors from our own ideas, ingredients and techniques.  Modern brewing is a creative pursuit.

I wrote a book on beer and food pairing more than 10 years ago (“The Brewmaster’s Table”) and Brooklyn Brewery just opened up a new brewery and restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden. Aside from that, we’re now going to open a brewery at the Culinary Institute of America. So, I do feel that Brooklyn Brewery has been a real pioneer in the culinary world, and this award is a recognition of that. Brewing is hard work, and this award is a great thing for everyone in craft brewing. I’m grateful for the opportunity to fly the flag for our tribe!”

Read the whole article here and/or go here for Eater coverage.

Nya Carnegiebryggeriet Opens!


It’s not often that one is consciously responsible for something historic. But that’s what happened to us last week in Stockholm, Sweden. Brooklyn Brewery, in partnership with our Swedish importer Carlsberg, christened our new brewery in the Hammarby neighborhood of Stockholm. This occasion marks the very first European craft brewery to be operated by an American outfit and we couldn’t be more thrilled. As reported earlier, the name comes from the oldest living brand in Sweden, D. Carnegie, brewers of the famous Baltic porter. Nya Carnegie embodies the tradition and pride of Carnegie with the innovation and creativity of Brooklyn.

Over the last two years, we’ve worked with our Swedish friends to develop a new line of beers under the banner of Nya Carnegiebryggeriet (aka, New Carnegie Brewery). Those beers are the lusciously hoppy Nya Carnegie Kellerbier, the eminently versatile Nya Carnegie Amber, the endlessly satisfying J.A.C.K. session IPA as well as deeper cuts like the dark saison, Lumens In Tenebris and winter warmer Primus Lux. To pull this off we hired a crack team of brewers in Sweden. They trained in Williamsburg, Brooklyn under Brewmaster Garrett Oliver. Since then, our Brooklyn brewers have been back and forth to Europe, working with our Swedish team,under GM Fredrik Vogel and Head Brewer Anders Wendler to get them up and running. The result is a delicious lineup of 5 beers, poured in a stunning facility for a community of beer drinkers ready for homespun flavor.

To us, NCB represents a beacon for good beer in Stockholm. The brewery will be ground zero for an exchange of ideas, techniques and styles between our Brooklyn brewers and our Stockholm team. Speaking of the team, here’s their names: Head Brewer Anders Wendler, general manager Fredrik Vogel, and brewers Josefine Karlsson, Christoffer Thurgesson, and Karl Fornarve. In the coming months check back for profiles on our new Swedish family.

But the introductions don’t end there. As if plunging into international brewing waters wasn’t enough, we’re also opening a restaurant on the premises of Nya Carnegiebryggeriet. Helmed by head chef Billy White, the kitchen will be turning out elegant food designed to pair with the beers coming out of the fermenters just a few meters away. As Billy said during the opening ceremony, the relationship between the kitchen and the brewhouse is pretty special. Cooks are tasting beer during its evolution from wort to ale. The brewers are stopping by the kitchen to provide feedback on dishes as the develop. Visit the brewery and you should find a menu of food and beer in perfect harmony.

That’s it for now. Check back for more news on this groundbreaking project.


The Newest Brooklyn Brewery Is New Carnegie


For more up-to-date information on the New Carnegie Brewery check out their website here.

Earlier in the year you were made privy of our plans to build a new Swedish brewery. Now we bring you an update chock-full of current developments on what’s surely a groundbreaking project. It’s worth noting that what we’re talking about here has never happened before. This isn’t just your run of the mill brewery expansion. Along with our Swedish partners, Brooklyn Brewery is building and operating the very first European brewery to employ an American craft beer perspective and heritage. At the same time, this brewery is a decidedly Swedish project, built by and for Swedes and anyone else lucky enough to be in Stockholm. We couldn’t be more excited.


[Eric Ottaway, Fredrik Vogel & Garrett Oliver w/our new gear]

As previously reported, Brooklyn Brewery, in partnership with our importer, Carlsberg and a group of Swedes who have long dreamt of helping restore Stockholm’s brewing tradition*, is creating a new line of beers — a new brand — called Nya Carnegie. The brewery is currently under construction in an old light bulb factory in the Hammarby Sjöstad neighborhood of Stockholm’s sea port.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about our endeavor so what follows is a quick rundown of what’s been happening lately in Stockholm.

  • The Name: Nya Carnegiebryggeriet or New Carnegie Brewery, if, like most people in the world, you’re not a Swedish speaker. The DNA behind the name is pretty cool. Carnegie is one of the oldest registered trademarks in Sweden and belongs to its most beloved beer, Carnegie Porter. It’s a classic Baltic Porter, one that we’ve long admired**. A couple of years ago you might recall that Garrett & Co traveled to Sweden to collaborate on a barrel aged version of Carnegie Porter for their 175th Anniversary. (Meanwhile we’re all excited about our little 25th birthday.) Now owned by Carlsberg, Carnegie is poised to be reborn in the name of craft beer as Nya Carnegiebryggeriet .
  • The Beer: Under Brooklyn Brewmaster Garrett Oliver, our Swedish brewing team will develop a line of year-round, seasonal and special one-off beers bearing the Nya Carnegiebryggeriet mark. One can expect trademarked Brooklyn excellence that gives equal nods to traditional brewing methods, new ideas, Nordic ingredients and a Swedish accent.

approximatation of goodness

[Nya Carnegie beers might look something like this]

  • The Brewing Team: Garrett and GM Fredrik Vogel have hired a crack team of Stockholm brewers for the mission of making the very best beer possible. Our head brewer in Stockholm is Anders Wendler, a graduate of Sweden’s Lunds University.  Anders, who holds a brew master certification, has worked at breweries in the Ukraine, Germany and Sweden since the early 1990s. Despite his professional status, Anders somehow also won Sweden’s “Best Home Brewer Of The Year” award. Sounds good so we’re not asking questions. The Swedish brewing team of four is training in Brooklyn and will work with our Brooklyn brewers on an ongoing basis. The goal is for members of both brewing teams to be able to travel to each other’s breweries, fostering an ongoing exchange of ideas and methods.


[Head Brewer Anders Wendler at Nya Carnegiebryggeriet]

  • The Logo: It’s no secret that we take logos seriously. The development of NCB’s mark was taken doubly serious. A product of the Swedish design firm POND and constant & annoying feedback from ourselves & our Swedish partners, we feel extremely proud to place the ending result next to our own, iconic logo.


  • The Rest: well there is still lots more to reveal (and plan!). We aim to have beer ready for the public on draft and in bottles by January, 2014. Around that time the brewery will open for tours. The NCB Tasting Room has plans for a kitchen that will treat visitors to a tight menu of pairing-friendly, in-season nourishment. Our new brewery will mostly brew NCB beers but every now and then one of our Brooklyn-based brewers will visit to brew one of our favorite specialty recipes from our Brewmaster’s Reserve line. Worry not, Brooklyn Brand beers will continue to be brewed in New York. 

We’re beyond busy putting together the remaining pieces. Check back soon to see how we’re doing.



*Not unlike in Brooklyn, Stockholm once had a proud brewing tradition that was decimated by consolidation, wars and general disrespect for beer. Fortunately, there is now a comeback brewing that we’re proud to join the ranks of.

**Even before the anniversary porter project, Brooklyn Brewery distributed Carnegie Porter when it operated the Craft Brewers Guild during the 90s. It was one of our favorite beers to sell alongside our own.


Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 12.29.41 PM

We’re pleased to announce the triumphant return of BROOKLYN, SWEDEN, our festival of Brooklyn for the Swedish set. Last year we rocked Scandinavia with a killer lineup of Brooklyn bands at Debaser. For our second go around we’ve decided to diversify the diversions and bring Stockholm a mashed up marquis of Brooklyn bands, food, film and art. Here’s the full schedule, and get your tickets here:

Thursday 22 Aug:
Debaser Strand:
Doors 17.00 BBQ Blowout + DJs: Fingers on The Pulse

Doors 19.00
Found Footage Festival 19.30
My Debaser Band: Humfree Bug Art 21.15
My Debaser Band: For BDK 22.15
Live Curfew: 23.00

Friday 23 Aug:
Debaser Slussen: Outside 15.00 – 03.00, Inside 22.00 – 03.00
Outside: DJs Karl + Vlademar 15.00 – 20.00
Outside: Debaser All Stars 20.00 – 03.00
Inside: DJs Pelle Höök + Friends
Inside: Designer Drugs 00.00
Inside + Outside: Nuit Blanche

Debaser Medis:
Doors 21.00 – 03.00
DJs: B-Line, Def
El-P 23.00
Debaser Strand:
Bar Brooklyn: Doors 17.00 Vänner & Bekante 22.00 – 03.00
Venue: Doors 19.00 Azure Blue DJ session (TBC) + DJs Fingers on the Pulse

Saturday 24 Aug:
Debaser Malmö: Doors Outside 17.00, Doors Inside 22.00
Designer Drugs + DJs (inside + outside)

Debaser Slussen: Outside 15.00 – 03.00, Inside 22.00 – 03.00
Outside: DJs Christoffer “138″ Röstlund & Pink Punk 15.00 – 20.00
Outside: Gustav Sundh & Daniel Bech 20.00 – 03.00
Inside: DJs Roller Derby
Inside: Lydia Lunch 23.00
Inside + Outside: Nuit Blanche

Debaser Medis: Doors 15.00 – 03.00
Bio BFF Movies 15.00 – 22.15
Venue: Afterparty Doors 21.00 DJs 22.00 HNNY + SVMK + Yours Truly + Frank & Ilker + DJ WWW

Debaser Strand:
Bar Brooklyn: Doors 17.00 DJs Viktor Johnsson & Friends 21 – 03.00 + Marky Ramone 23.30
Venue: Doors 22.00
Night Train Soul Clap Dance-Off med DJ Mr Jonathan Toubin 22.00 – 03.00

Sunday 25 August
Bio Rio: Slideluck

Debaser Strand:
Bar Brooklyn: Doors 17.00
Brooklyn Sweden Closing Party: DJs Ami & Friends 19 – 23

MUSIC - Oddball hip-hopper El-P, the legendary punk of Lydia Lunch, EDM dudes Designer Drugs and Soul Clap & Dance-off from Mr DJ Jonathan Toubin.
COMEDY - The accidental thriftstore genius of Found Footage Fest.
ART- Local film & photography paired with food & beer from our pals at Slideluck.
FILM - Bike madness from Bicycle Film Festival.
FOOD – House Chef Andrew Gerson has prepared beer pairings and menu’s for all of our events:

Brooklyn Sweden Debaser Menu courses to be offered Thursday – Sunday:

Brooklyn Companion Ale
Picadillo Stuffed Calamari, Herbed Yogurt
filling: ground lamb/beef, raisins, onions, peppers, jalapeno, green olives,cumin

Brooklyn Local 1
Duck Breast, Corn Puree, Shaved Zucchini Salad or roasted vegetables

Brooklyn BLAST!
Fried Jasmine Rice, House Kimchee, sunny up egg

Brooklyn Local 2
Roasted Lamb chop, potato pistachio and cinnamon foam

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace
Scallop, melon, ceviche with achiote emulsion

Brooklyn Silver Anniversary Lager
Debaser Chiliburger

Brooklyn Monster Ale
Debaser Veggieburger

Brooklyn Brown Ale
Steak Sandwich

Black Ops
Gorgonzola Cheese Cake,  Hazelnuts

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Rhubarb and roasted jalapeno crumble, vanilla

The Calexico Brunch Menu:

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Brioche French Toast Strawberry Compote, Minted Whipped Cream

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace
“The Lower East Side” Family style plate of Gravlox, onions, tomato, capers, cream cheese, rye or pumpernickel, toast

Brooklyn Brewmaster’s Reserve Scorcher #366
Calexico Huevos Rancheros

And finally, the BBQ Blowout Menu:
Pulled Pork, Carolina vinegar sauce  OR BBQed vegetables
Kale and cucumber slaw (vinegar based no mayo)
or roasted potatoes
Corn on the cob with herbed butter

The Vote Begins Now: Send A Songwriter To Sweden


For the past month, New York’s finest amateur songwriters have slaved away at crafting a tune and adjoining music video that captures their idea of Brooklyn’s beloved and often beleaguered Coney Island. Why, in this last year alone America’s First Tourist Trap was slapped around by Sandy and almost had its idiosyncratic Mermaid Parade yanked. Thankfully, both of those sad chapters are over now and ahead of us we have the Top Ten BROOKLYN, SWEDEN Song Contest submissions. It wasn’t easy for us to settle on just ten what with all the catchy songs and footage of Coney just begging us to power down and hit the beach. Once again we were bowled over by the time, talent and sheer will power that went into these diddies. A special thanks to everyone who sent us an original song and video even if you didn’t make the top 10 we truly appreciate your effort*.

Now it’s your job, internets, to select the winner.  The contestant with the most votes receives airfare, hotel and passes to the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN music, food & arts festival in Stockholm. The stakes are as high as the Swedish import tax. Don’t underestimate the importance of your participation.

Go here, do your duty and vote with your heart.

stockholm vacation


After voting ends and a winner is announced we’ll post all the videos that didn’t make the top ten. Thanks again, guys!