Unlike the L Train (RIP), Brooklyn Brewery won't be ditching Williamsburg after all. The brewery had plans to be an anchor tenant in the developing Brooklyn Navy Yard's Building 77, with a proposed rooftop beer garden and production facility, but has since pivoted thanks to the goodwill of their Williamsburg landlords. That's a phrase I never thought I would type.
Brooklyn Brewery founder Steve Hindy revealed that two of the brewery's three landlords expressed interest in keeping the brewery on as a tenant past its 2025 lease expiration date. This hopefully puts to rest any rumors that the brewery would be ousted from its longtime home on North 11th Street, where they've been brewing up Brooklyn Lager since 1990.
[Last year], the deBlasio Administration signaled it was going to limit commercial development in the IBZs [Industrial Business Zone], requiring developers to include manufacturing businesses in their projects. Suddenly, two of our three landlords announced they were open to extending our leases in Williamsburg. (Our third lease is a warehouse across the street from the brewery; it is not in the IBZ. It is in a mixed-use zone. That means it will likely be developed for housing or commercial uses.)
"Our leases don’t expire until 2025," Hindy continued. "And we are hopeful that we will be able to extend them way beyond that year." The company has yet to announce whether they'll be abandoning Staten Island for cheaper digs upstate for their new facility.
The "Brooklyn" branding—while perhaps growing a bit stale in New York City—has a huge impact overseas, where the brewery continues to grow in popularity.
"We’ve got this rip-roaring export business," Hindy told the Times, noting that their international business may soon eclipse their domestic business. Anyone else thinking now is the perfect time to open a Williamsburg-inspired cafe in France?
It turns out the Brooklyn Navy Yard isn't at all upset about being abandoned by the internationally-recognized brand.
“We’re here for manufacturers that need long-term or reduced-cost space to stay or grow in New York City. When a company like Brooklyn Brewery has a path to stay in its own private space, it’s an opportunity for the Navy Yard to support other emerging businesses," Navy Yard CEO David Ehrenberg said in a statement. "We’ve had overwhelming demand by food and beverage manufacturers to be part of Building 77’s food hall, and we look forward to combing through the waitlist to fill out the space and open next year."
The Brooklyn Navy Yard still counts Russ and Daughters, Mast Brothers and other local food businesses as tenants for its forthcoming food hall.