There’s no doubt that Brooklyn Brewery was the start of a trend when they ignored naysayers and bombed out cars to make Williamsburg the brewery home in 1996.
When Steve, the co-founder, moved here people said to him, ‘Why would you start anything in Brooklyn?’” But Steve knew it was the right place to make a brewery. The community was not lost; it just had forgotten how to make stuff, but was ready to learn again.
The large and open Brooklyn Brewery’s headquarters still has a warm and intimate presence that only a family owned and operated company can have. When we sat down with staff members ranging from marketers to brewers, there was an easy calm to the conversation; we knew this was a family, not of blood, but of Brooklyn.
“Craft is community, and craft beer is the lubricant to the story of our lives together in this community.”
For them, craft is not competition, it’s collaboration. “The brewery was founded on the principles of creating flavorful beers and enriching the community around it,” he added. As they’ve grown, this has translated into supporting hundreds of local charities. And by the way, it works as a business model. They’re now distributed across the US and internationally without a dollar spent on bikini models, TV ads, radio jingles, or pro-sports sponsorships. They give love to the community and the community gives that love right back, tenfold.
Many people and businesses forget the value of community, but Brooklyn Brewery didn’t forget. They shook of the rust on the arrested gears of their community to create a brilliant and vibrant place and thriving craft business. Leaving the brewery that day, we didn’t feel we’d left a corporation, bar, or even a brewery. Instead it was like leaving a gathering of friends that you’d missed seeing for a long time and can’t wait to get back to.