This beer buff is dreaming of the 1640s.
Ale importer Ed Raven is putting the final touches on a new Greenpoint brewpub and restaurant, which he has dubbed Dirk the Norseman after Greenpoint’s first colonial landowner, to highlight the brews he brings ashore to North Brooklyn.
“I felt like we needed a platform to showcase the beers that we import,” said Raven, who channels the Scandinavian settler by keeping a wood stove roaring in the warehouse at all times.
Dirk the Norseman will have 16 varieties on tap, including six imports, but Raven and brewmaster Chris Prout will also cook up 10 types under the same roof using the moniker Grain Terminal, making theirs the fifth company to brew beer in the borough.
The idea for opening a suds depot first began to ferment when a customer ordered a bunch of garden-style tables from Raven, who is the owner of Raven Importing Company and the cozy craft beer store and bar Brouwerij Lane, then decided he did not want them.
“I had to do something with all these tables,” Raven said. “And I needed a bigger place to entertain.”
Raven started renovating the former plastic bag factory at the corner of N. 15th and Franklin streets last year. He installed the brew tanks in the back, built a huge bar with the 16 taps in the center of the room, refitted old kegs as chandeliers, installed the huge wood stove by the front garage doors, and saved a space in the back corner for bands to play. The result, he is quick to point out, will be nothing more highfalutin than a beer hall with good food.
“This is not going to be a pretentious place,” said Raven.
The craft beer scene in Brooklyn has grown substantially since the Brooklyn Brewery opened up shop in Williamsburg, becoming the first borough-based beer-maker since Schaefer carted off the last of its kegs in 1976.
“When I started in 1998, no one knew what a craft beer was and distributors had no interest in them,” Brooklyn Brewery owner Steve Hindy said. “Now distributors are eager to get their hands on any new beer that comes along.”
Raven hopes to open the pub in mid-December and will face competition from the Brew Inn, a gastropub and restaurant that is slated to start serving at a Manhattan Avenue location in early 2014.