Brooklyn Brewery in New York City
Brooklyn Brewery was started in 1987 by former Associated Press correspondent Steve Hindy and former Chemical Bank lending officer Tom Potter. Hindy learned to brew beer during a six year stay in various Middle Eastern nations such as Saudi Arabia and Syria, where possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages were forbidden. Upon his return to his home in Brooklyn in 1984, he and Potter, his downstairs neighbor from Park Slope, quit their jobs and founded the brewery. The pair hired graphic designer Milton Glaser, best known as the creator of the logo for the I Love New York campaign, to create the company logo and identity.
Originally all their beer was brewed by contract by Matt Brewing Company, and the pair started their own distribution company and personally transported and marketed their beer to bars and retailers around New York City. In 1996, they acquired a former matzo factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and converted it into a functional brewery.<ref name="nyt-1996-06-02"/>
Although the brewery looked to expand its brewing capacity in the City, originally most of the production, including all Brooklyn Lager and all bottled products, were brewed by contract in the upstate New York city of Utica, due to the limited ability to meet demand at the Williamsburg brewery, its lack of a bottling line, and the cost benefits of contract brewing. The company later sought to expand its facilities in Brooklyn, but had difficulty finding a suitable site within the borough. However, an economic recession allowed them to remain in Williamsburg and undertake a $6.5 million expansion of the brewery in 2009.
At their Williamsburg location, they offer guided tours on Saturdays starting at noon and beer tastings on Friday nights from 6pm to 11pm.
Since 1994, Garrett Oliver has been the Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster. In 2003 he published the book "The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food". Garrett has also been a judge at the Great American Beer Festival for eleven years.
In 2005 John Wiley & Sons published the story of Steve Hindy's and Tom Potter's successful start up in the book Beer School: Bottling Success At The Brooklyn Brewery.<ref name="beer school"/>