The popular and aptly named Brooklyn Brewery has announced plans to relocate their current space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to the Navy Yard and Industry City, according to Crain’s New York Business.
The brewery has long been searching for a spot to relocate their manufacturing facilities to the borough, which can offer as much as 60,000 square feet.
While the majority of Brooklyn Brewery’s beer is made further upstate in Utica, they still hold onto their Brooklyn location, where they create most of their specialty brews as an essential part of their branding.
North 11th Street, at 61-71 Wythe Ave., also functions as a tasting room, retail shop, and a place for the public to watch beer being made. The new facility would serve as a similar location.
“What is tricky is finding a space where we can do the manufacturing but also have the retail be an important component,” stated Eric Ottaway, the company’s chief operating officer and general manager. “It’s hard to find a neighborhood that has the level of visibility that Williamsburg has.”
Brooklyn Brewery would play a role in Industry City’s and Navy Yard’s ambition to bring in manufactures with production facilities that can provide consumers a chance to experience product creation.
Currently, the brewery has nine years left on their Williamsburg lease.
Noting the recent hike in rent prices in the neighborhood, as well as landlords pushing to redevelop buildings into high-end commercial or residential space, Ottaway explained, they “know our ability to renew is zero.”
Brooklyn Brewery received a total of $800,000 in state grants to renew its Williamsburg lease until 2025, but it wasn’t clear whether or not relocating before the lease expired would cut a portion of their subsidy.
In addition, the company plans to move its Utica brewing plant to a $70 million, 200,000-square-foot facility on the west side of Staten Island, but the transaction is not yet finalized.
“We need to bring our manufacturing closer to the ports in the city,” said Ottaway, noting that the firm’s overseas export business is showing positive growth.
However, it may be a good thing they’re not currently in the process of moving their Williamsburg location given that New York City Beer Week recently kicked off and ran through February 28.
Expanding from four breweries during the original Beer Week to 24 participating this year, Time Warner Cable News reports there were hundreds of events in bars, restaurants, and retailers around the city, all curated by the New York City Brewers Guild.
“Seems like there is a beer bar, beer restaurant every block,” said brew master and taste-tester at Greenpoint Beer Works, Kelly Taylor. “It used to be you’d have to search out and travel and go to them. Now they are in your neighborhood.”
With the majority of the Untied States living within 10 miles of a local brewery, Taylor is likely not far off.