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Brooklyn Brewery eyes piers • Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn Brewery eyes piers

Brooklyn Brewery wants to pack up its malt and hops and head for the waterfront
near Atlantic Avenue, a company official told The Brooklyn Papers.

After outgrowing its Williamsburg facility on North 11th Street, the company
started looking to expand, but soon realized it had been priced out of
the trendy former manufacturing neighborhood.

“We’ve been thinking about moving, but the way property values
have been there’s no way we can afford to buy any of our neighbors,”
said Steve Hindy, the company’s president and co-founder.

So now, says Hindy, he and his business partner, Tom Potter, are looking
to move out of Williamsburg completely. Ideally, they would set-up shop
on Pier 7, just south of Atlantic Avenue.

If all goes as planned, Brooklyn Brewery — which produces most of
its beer upstate — would open a restaurant, offer brewery tours and
put in a bottling line at the waterfront location.

“What excites me is having an industrial business with manufacturing
employees and a tourist attraction and possibly a beer garden. Historically,
beer gardens have been a part of New York City. I think it would be a
wonderful concept to bring that back,” said Hindy.
This summer, the brewery started a Friday night beer garden at the Brooklyn
Historical Society, at Pierrepont and Clinton streets in Brooklyn Heights.

For the past several months, Brooklyn Brewery has been negotiating for
a pier lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the
city Economic Development Corporation, which are in the process of shifting
the piers from predominantly cargo uses to cruise lines and other commercial
ventures.

“I’ve looked at piers 6, 7 and 11, and the [former] Domino Sugar
Factory [on Williamsburg’s waterfront]. I looked at a lot of locations,”
said Hindy. Pier 6 is just off Atlantic Avenue and Pier 11 is in Red Hook.

But with the future of the Red Hook-Columbia Street waterfront still in
limbo, hammering out a deal has been difficult.

Each pier poses its own problems.

Brooklyn Bridge Park is expected to take over Pier 6, but it is still
unclear whether Brooklyn Brewery could use part of that pier as well.
American Stevedoring, which currently operates a shipping cargo port on
Piers 7-12, is in negotiations with the EDC and Port Authority for a new
lease. The company uses Pier 7 to store cocoa. But the city wants to bring
Carnival and Norwegian cruise lines to Pier 12 and use Pier 11 to create
access to that dock. City officials also seek to consolidate American
Stevedoring’s operations on Piers 8-10.

American Stevedoring officials say, however, that they would welcome a
move by Brooklyn Brewery to the waterfront.

“The introduction of a beverage import facility, including a Brooklyn
base for Brooklyn beer, is something we have long advocated for as part
of a broader maritime plan,” said Matt Yates, director of commercial
operations for American Stevedoring.

Brooklyn Brewery is hashing out a plan to possibly partner with Phoenix
Beverages, a major New Jersey distributor of Heineken and other beers.

“If Phoenix was there we could brew the beer next door and give it
to Phoenix to distribute. Right now, we deliver the beer to them in Long
Island City,” said Hindy.

Phoenix currently runs its New York operations out of three sites in Queens.

Community members are cautiously optimistic about the deal but say they
still don’t have enough information.

“At this point, the Port Authority is aware that we have a lot of
questions,” said Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board
6, which seeks to maintain maritime uses on the waterfront.

Both the Port Authority and EDC confirmed this week that they were discussing
the plans with Brooklyn Brewery but said they could not comment on the
details.

Located off Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn Brewery currently occupies a 20,000-square-foot
plant with 55,000 square feet of additional warehouse space nearby. They
open the brewery to the public on Friday nights and on Saturday afternoons
for tours and tap beer. The company also rents out its tasting room for
special events.

Hindy sees a move to the pier as a step in the right direction for the
city’s waterfront.

“What better place to have a beer and watch the sunset,” he
said.

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