While the first beer was brewed in Brooklyn in 1822, this homegrown brewery founded in 1988 by a couple of neighbors, led the charge towards a new trend in borough-local micro-brewing. While it began with just a single lager, Brooklyn Brewery’s lineup now includes a pilsner, an IPA, a brown ale, a few seasonal brews, and a number of rotating small-batch brews. These days, the Brooklyn Brewery label (designed by graphic artist Milton Glaser of “I <3 New York” fame) is ubiquitous in the pubs, tavern and markets of New York City.
Due to Brooklyn zoning laws, neighbors and home-brewing enthusiasts Steve Hindy and Tom Potter originally had to open their operations in Utica, New York, but were finally able to move to their present Williamsburg digs in 1996. Garrett Oliver, Hindy and Potter’s first apprentice, has been their brewmaster since 1993 and is now one of the most famous faces in the beer industry. All three of these gentlemen have written books on beer, and all are available for sale at the brewery.
Forty-minute small batch tours are offered by reservation only Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. p.m. and cost $8, which includes tastings and a souvenir glass. Free facility tours requiring no reservations are given
several times a day on weekends, generally between 1 and 5 p.m. The Brooklyn Brewery becomes a convivial bar on Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, and while only a few snacks are for sale here, bringing in outside food and/or getting deliveries from nearby restaurants is encouraged.