Brooklyn Brewery, minority owned by Kirin Holdings is relocating its brewery after more than 30 years. The new location is only four blocks away from the old one, but with 41,000-square-feet roughly one fourth bigger than the old location. It will not only house the brewing operations but also a taproom and corporate offices. Opening is scheduled in the summer of 2024.
“When we moved to Williamsburg in 1991, spaces were practically being given away since the neighborhood was considered pretty sketchy,” CEO Eric Ottaway, said in a statement. “Obviously, Williamsburg has completely transformed, and is now one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city. The ongoing commercial development of the area puts pressure on the ability of manufacturers like ourselves to remain in the area.”
The price for real estate in this area has skyrocketed in the last three decades and the Williamsburg Building that’s home to Brooklyn Brewery had been sold to a real estate developer in 2017. With the lease ending at the end of 2024, the brewery has been looking for a new spot to settle down. “We’ve literally been looking for five or six years knowing that this date was approaching,” Ottaway said.
Founded by former English teacher and foreign correspondent Steve Hindy and his neighbor and brewer Tom Potter in 1988, Brooklyn Brewery is considered one of the pioneers of the craft beer movement. Especially, since opening the brewery in Williamsburg with the help of brewmaster Garrett Oliver in 1996, the brewery has gained cult status and has expanded internationally.
The cooperation between Carlsberg and Brooklyn Brewery started in 2004 when Carlsberg took over distribution of Brooklyn beers in Scandinavia, thus boosting sales of the US craft brewer. In 2012, the two breweries deepened their cooperation by opening the New Carnegie Brewery as a joint venture in Stockholm/Sweden. Four years later in 2016, the partners launched together the EC Dahls Brewery in Trondheim/Norway. One year later both partners stroke several deals. First, they agreed on a new partnership exclusive to Hong Kong, then they announced the joint purchase of 6 year-old London Fields Brewery in the capital of the UK (inside.beer, 3.7.2017) and only a few days later both companies said they will invest EUR 5 million in a new company in Lithuania that will take over part of the current business of Svyturio-Utenos Alus, a company owned by Carlsberg that produces Lithuania’s two most popular beers. (inside.beer, 11.7.2017)
In June 2020, Carlsberg finally purchased Brooklyn Brewery’s brand rights for parts of Asia and Europe for USD 130 million to “capture the premium category growth”. (inside.beer, 6.2.2021)
As of 2016, Kirin Holdings of Japan holds a 24.5% stake in Brooklyn Brewery, ensuring the brewery retains its "craft" status as determined by the Brewers Association, where a craft brewery must not be controlled by another brewery with 25% or more. At that time the two brewers also signed a deal for the production and sale of Brooklyn beer in Japan and Brazil. (inside.beer, 12.10.2016) However, less than one year later, Kirin sold its whole business in Brazil to Dutch brewer Heineken. (inside.beer, 1.6.2017)