FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND BROOKLYN BREWERY CUT RIBBON ON NEW BREWHOUSE IN WILLIAMSBURG
Expansion Increases Production Capacity from 12,000 Barrels Per Year to 120,000 Barrels Per Year As Brewery Prepares to Shift Bulk of Production to New York City and Adds Jobs
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Brooklyn Brewery President Steve Hindy today cut the ribbon on Brooklyn Brewery's new brewhouse next door to its existing facility in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The $8 million expansion increases Brooklyn Brewery's production capacity from 12,000 barrels per year to 120,000 barrels per year. (One barrel of beer holds the equivalent of 14 cases or 336 bottles). With the expansion, the brewery has added ten jobs and now employs 49 full-time and 20 part-time employees. It expects to hire another 15 people in the next two years. Mayor Bloomberg and Steve Hindy were joined at the announcement at the new brewhouse on North 11th Street in Williamsburg by Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Congress Member Nydia M.Velázquez, Assembly Member Joseph Lentol, Council Member Stephen Levin, Empire State Development Executive Director Peter W. Davidson, and Brooklyn Brewery Partners Robin and Eric Ottaway and Brewmaster Garrett Oliver.
"More than a century ago, Brooklyn was one of the largest centers for brewing in the nation, and for more than 20 years, Brooklyn Brewery - one of the country's most celebrated craft breweries - has revived and extended that tradition," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The new brewhouse will enable the brewery to increase its local production by ten times, continue to add jobs, and increase its tours and events, which were already drawing tens of thousands of visitors every year. Cheers to Steve Hindy and the entire Brooklyn Brewery team - we couldn't be hoppier for you."
"The expansion of our Brooklyn Brewery means that most of our growth in the next three years will be in Brooklyn," said Brooklyn Brewery President Steve Hindy. "We expect to double our sales in the next three years."
Local craft brewers like Brooklyn Brewery are growing at a time when overall beer consumption in the United States is falling. In 2009 and 2010, despite major capacity limitations, Brooklyn Brewery sales rose 20 percent, even as total beer consumption in the U.S. fell. And, with its expansion complete, the brewery expects to increase sales another 100 percent over the next three years.
Last year, Brooklyn Brewery sold 108,000 barrels of beer, most of it produced under contract at the Matt Brewery in Utica, New York. For years, the brewery searched for more space to expand in Brooklyn, ultimately acquiring space next door to the brewing facility it has operated since 1996 in Williamsburg.
"Brooklyn Brewery has played a big role in Brooklyn's resurgence," said Small Business Services Commissioner Walsh. "By investing in his business, in the manufacturing sector, and in this great borough, Steve Hindy has made a real difference in New York City."
"Congratulations to Steve Hindy and Brooklyn Brewery on their exciting new expansion," said Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz. "This growth will help create jobs and make this Williamsburg institution even more 'stout' by increasing its capacity ten-fold. So, let's raise a mug and toast to Brooklyn Brewery's bright future - and hope there are even more expansions 'on tap.'"
"The expansion of Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg is a win-win for the business and the community," said Congress Member Velázquez. "The new facility will mean additional capacity for the brewery, but also more good paying jobs, here, in Brooklyn."
"We're lucky to have Brooklyn Brewery in north Brooklyn," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "The brewery provides jobs, community support and - dare I say - great beer. I was happy to support the application for a grant from the Downstate Revitalization Fund, and am proud to congratulate Brooklyn Brewery for the opening of the expanded facility."
"Steve Hindy and Brooklyn Brewery have been good friends and strong leaders for Brooklyn and for New York," said Assembly Member Lentol. "This is exactly what government should be doing for our businesses: supporting them and helping them grow within our communities. I am thrilled to be here today, and I am proud to have helped secure the funds that allow this expansion to go forward. But the true man of the hour is Steve Hindy, my heartfelt congratulations to him and to Brooklyn Brewery. Cheers!"
"The Brooklyn Brewery has been a staple in Williamsburg for years, and I'm glad that they have been able to expand their brewhouse right here in the neighborhood," said Council Member Levin. "It is great to see successful local businesses continuing to invest in the community and take pride in their Brooklyn roots. As they have grown from a small company to a nationally-acclaimed brewery, the Brooklyn Brewery has been instrumental in promoting Williamsburg, and the entire borough of Brooklyn, as a hub of creativity and entrepreneurship. I look forward to enjoying Brooklyn-brewed beer for years to come."
Empire State Development awarded the brewery an $800,000 Downstate Revitalization grant for the project. The Fund was created to help attract businesses, improve commerce and revitalize local economies.
"Today's ribbon cutting exemplifies the State's commitment to create opportunities that generate jobs and keep our entrepreneurs, workers and families in New York State," said Empire State Development Executive Director Peter Davidson. "Projects like the Brooklyn Brewery are essential to the economic viability of our small businesses and communities across New York. Its only an added bonus then, that the Brooklyn Brewery is also one of New York's small businesses whose continued growth and expansion have meant more jobs right here, in my hometown of Brooklyn. I look forward to seeing the continued growth and opportunities developed by the expansion of the Brewery."
The expansion will allow for brewery tours and special events on weekdays. Before the expansion, even though public hours were limited to Friday, Saturdays and Sundays, the brewery was drawing roughly 2,000 visitors per weekend. For information on tours, visit www.brooklynbrewery.com.
The Brooklyn Brewery was started in 1988 by Steve Hindy, a former Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, and his Brooklyn neighbor, Tom Potter, a former banker. Potter retired from the business in 2004, and he now is starting a distillery in Brooklyn - the New York Distilling Company.
The Brooklyn Brewery is in one of New York City's Industrial Business Zones. In 2005, the City established Industrial Business Zones to support industrial businesses and provide targeted assistance programs, including employee training, help with regulatory issues and job placement services.
Brooklyn Brewery beer is made with NYC Water, world-renowned for its taste and quality. NYC Water, delivered from pristine watersheds up to 125 miles north of the city, is largely unfiltered - a status given to only five large cities in the United States. In recent years, New York City has made significant investments to protect its water supply and upgrade its water distribution system.
Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Dan D’Ippolito (Brooklyn Brewery) (718) 486-7422
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