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Published on June 3, 2022

How did Brooklyn Brewery return brewing to Brooklyn? 

Brooklyn is a symbol of enterprise, entrepreneurship and creativity now. And it has always been this way.

In the early 80s, Foreign Correspondent, Steve Hindy, was working in the Middle East where good beer was extremely hard to come by due to the ‘no alcoholic beverages’ law. After meeting American Diplomats in Saudi Arabia, who were avid homebrewers, Steve also decided to start making his own. 


Steve was given a homebrewing guide concealed by the confusing name: ‘Perfected Techniques on the Ebullition of Sugar, Water & a suitable catalyst to form an acceptable Aramco Assimilative Imbibable Potion Appropriate for Consumption’. After troubles in the Middle East, including being abducted with an UN patrol in Lebanon and sitting behind President Sudan in Cairo when he was assassinated, Steve’s wife had had enough and they left for Brooklyn, New York. When arriving back in the US, the only beer available was mainstream beer as a result of the prohibition in the 20s.


In 1898, there were 48 breweries in Brooklyn and it was producing 10% of the beer in the United States. One of the great brewing capitals of the world.  However, the prohibition killed most of the European-style breweries in Brooklyn, leaving only the mainstream companies to create beer. When Steve got back to the area, he became an Assistant Foreign Editor at Newsday; however, he had the dream of bring great beer back to Brooklyn, to produce something that Brooklyn could be proud of. 

So, Steve got back to homebrewing with the help of his neighbour, an Assistant Vice-President at the local Chemical plant, Tom Potter. They studied the industry in-depth and saw that the ‘big guys’ were only getting bigger while everyone else was getting overlooked and struggling to survive. They decided to change this. 


They both quit their jobs and took the first steps to starting their own brewery. Approaching top designer Milton Glaser to help with branding, they created the brand ‘Brooklyn Eagle Beer’ after the newspaper ‘The Brooklyn Daily Eagle’ which was originally edited by Walt Whitman. However, Milton told them to ‘Forget the Eagle. Why take a bird when you can have the burrow?’.


They opened their brewery in Williamsburg in 1996. 


Brooklyn was on the verge of a revolution. Brooklyn Brewery understood that artists were the real pioneers and those artists also drank a lot of beer. The original recipe was taken from turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, and has since had modifications from the Brew Master, Garrett Oliver. Their aim was to brew beer that they enjoyed – they were not trying to cater to the masses or ‘figure out the mind of the average beer drinker’ – but make good quality beer.

I don't think musicians go out and ask people what their music should sound like and we don't ask
people what our beer should taste like.

Now, Brooklyn Brewery has a team of diverse people who have shaped the company to what it is today. Their beer is served all around the world, with hundreds of variations throughout the years. Leaning now more toward craft beer. Garrett claims that this is ‘not a trend or a fad, Craft beer represents a return to normality’. They have brought good beer back to Brooklyn. 

Brooklyn Pilsner s a crisp lager inspired by Brooklyn and brewed for all. It layers clean malts with a balanced wave of bright hops, crowned by an instantly refreshing finish. Light toasty flavours and spicy, subtle citrus hop notes make it an instant classic.

Defend Beer with Brooklyn Defender IPA, our heroically hopped golden IPA featuring strong notes of tropical fruit, well-muscled hop bitterness, and an incredibly dry finish.

The aromatic qualities of the beer are enhanced by “dry-hopping”, the centuries-old practice of steeping the beer with fresh hops as it undergoes a long, cold maturation. The result is a wonderfully flavorful beer, smooth, refreshing.

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