Brand Spotlight: Brooklyn Brewery

The story of Brooklyn Brewery begins in the last place you would expect: Saudi Arabia. In the early 1980s, Brooklyn’s co-founder, Steve Hindy, was a correspondent for the Associated Press covering the Middle East. With alcoholic beverage forbidden in Saudi Arabia and most other Middle Eastern countries, many Western diplomats had taken to homebrewing so they could still enjoy a beer from time to time. Hindy’s time covering and socializing with these diplomats sparked his own interest in homebrewing and the still very young world of craft brewing.

When he returned to his native Brooklyn in 1984, Hindy decided to start a brewery with his downstairs neighbor, Tom Porter, in order to bring good beer back to New York City. Due to limited resources and the high cost of doing business in the Big Apple, Hindy and Porter had to contract brew the first Brooklyn Lager in Utica, NY.

Getting their beers to consumers proved to be a bit of a challenge. In the mid 1980s, the beer market was completely dominated by large, national breweries that had mostly snuffed out local breweries. They also controlled most of the local distributors in New York and those they didn’t weren’t particularly interested in taking a chance on a local beer. Undeterred, Hindy and Porter started self-distributing out of a van and after some initial struggles with skeptical bar owners, New York’s high crime rate, and offers of “protection” from the mob, Brooklyn soon became a local favorite. In 1996, Mayor Rudy Giuliani cut the ribbon on the brand new Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn and within seven years the large distributors that had shunned them in the late 1980s were clamoring to carry their products.

Today, Brooklyn is one of the world’s leading craft beer producers and can be found in 25 states and 20 countries around the globe. Their stable of perennial, seasonal, and specialty beers have won countless awards at international beer championships including the World Beer Championships, World Beer Cup, and the Hong Kong International Beer Awards.


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Representing craft beer brands with pride