When we started The Brooklyn Brewery, in the late 80s, we had a couple of simple goals to guide our way. We wanted to brew the best beer possible no matter the cost, and we strove to bring brewing back to Brooklyn, once one of the great brewing capitals of the world. Twenty-eight years later we’re proud to have accomplished these goals and many more that we could never have imagined when we started.
One of those unforeseen goals was tapping into the international demand for great American beer. As it turned out, from the earliest days of The Brooklyn Brewery we were exporting beer around the world. In the 1980s, it was a fun sideline of our main business, which was establishing Brooklyn Lager in NYC. But exports have grown to be half our annual brewing of 300,000 barrels of beer. We now have Brooklyn people supporting our beer in Europe, South American, Asia, and Australia. The global demand for Brooklyn Brewery never fails to amaze us, and we’re grateful for that support. But it also means we need to pay extra attention to our growing global carbon footprint, and we need to make sure that our customers receive the freshest beer no matter where they are.
The growth of exports has also strained our brewing capacity at breweries in Utica, New York, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We now are brewing Brooklyn Lager and Brooklyn Summer Ale in our Brooklyn facility, a brewery that was built mainly to produce specialty beers like Brooklyn Sorachi Ace and our spectacular Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment barrel-aged series– the latest being “Tripel Burner.”
Last year, we started brewing Brooklyn Lager draft at the venerable Coopers Brewery in Adelaide, Australia. The family-owned brewery also distributes our beers in Australia. This enables us to provide a fresher beer and to reduce our carbon footprint. Adelaide is 10,625 miles away from New York City—as the crow flies. But we do not ship by crow. So sailing from New York through the Panama Canal to Australia is a lot further than 10,625 miles.
Our friends at Kiuchi Brewery, brewer of the Hitachino “Nest” beers, have been brewing Brooklyn Lager draft beer for us in Japan for several years. (New York to Tokyo is 6,755 miles by crow.)
Our biggest export markets are in Scandinavia. Starting next month, we will be brewing Brooklyn Lager draft at the Carlsberg Brewery in Falkenberg, Sweden. We will also continue to export Brooklyn Lager bottles to Sweden. But brewing in Falkenberg will enable us to keep up with the fantastic growth we are seeing in northern Europe. This will ensure that Scandinavia gets the freshest possible Brooklyn Lager. (New York to Stockholm is 3,937 miles by crow.)
Another problem with shipping beer great distances concerns hop-forward beers like Brooklyn Defender IPA and Brooklyn Sorachi Ace. Hop aroma can be eroded by time and changes in temperature. We are going to begin experimenting with producing these beers for the Scandinavian markets at one of our sister breweries, the E.C. Dahl’s Brewery in Trondheim, Norway.
Both of our sister breweries, E. C. Dahl’s and the Nya Carnegiebryggeriet in Stockholm, are owned and operated under a joint venture between Carlsberg and Brooklyn Brewery.
All of these new initiatives are being overseen by our Brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, our Technical Director, Mary Wiles, and the Brooklyn brewing team. While we will stay put in our current home in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, we are also working on our new Brooklyn headquarters and brewery at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. That new facility will include a 40,000-barrel brewery, an enlarged office and a 600-seat rooftop beer garden with wondrous views of the Manhattan skyline from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way up the East River. We also are working on building a new production brewery in the New York metropolitan area.
We are committed to brewing and selling the freshest, brightest and most flavorful beer for all our US and international customers. We believe these new plans will ensure that quality commitment and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time. They will also free up brewing capacity in Upstate New York (Utica) and Brooklyn, allowing us to bring you more exciting and tasty new beers in the future.
– Steve Hindy, Chairman & Co-founderBack to all blog posts