Hurricane Sandy will definitely affect Brooklyn Brewery’s distribution in New York City, New Jersey and the rest of the metro area. But the big storm did not physically damage the brewery or our Brooklyn warehouse. The East River rose about 14 feet above normal, but that left it about a block from the brewery and warehouse.
Our distributor, Phoenix/Beehive, was not so lucky. Their operations are on the piers in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a low lying area south of the brewery.
First reports indicated there was five feet of water in the Phoenix/Beehive warehouse, but owner Rod Brayman said Monday the water was only a foot and a half deep. The main damage was caused by the wind, he said.
They will be repacking a lot of cases that were destroyed by the storm waters.
Many of our customers were not so lucky either. Power was out in much of lower Manhattan. Many areas near the Hudson and East rivers were under water. That means the cellars of many restaurants and bars were flooded.
All the East River train, car, truck and bus tunnels flooded. Subway service across the city was canceled. Many subway tunnels filled with salt water, an enemy of the electrical equipment that powers the trains. This means the commuter traffic on Wednesday was horrendous. Mayor Bloomberg later declared that only cars carrying three passengers could use the East River bridges.
Some of our employees were not so lucky either. Chris Rom was without electricity in North Jersey; John Boegel lost two trees in his backyard in Jersey. Karl Knoop’s bungalow on Breezy Point on the seashore in south Brooklyn escaped the inferno that destroyed 80 homes during the story. But Karl was not sure how the storm surge affected his property.
I rode my bicycle to work today. It looks like that may be my main mode of transportation for a few more days.
– Steve Hindy, President & Co-founder