[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.