Brooklyn Brewery announced today that Kirin Brewery, the Japanese beverage company, has bought a stake in the company that's one of Brooklyn's biggest brands. President Robin Ottaway said Kirin bought a "minority equity investment" of 24.5%, keeping the business independently owned and operated.
"I began visiting Japan regularly in 2012, and while it was clear that craft beer was happening there, it needed a catalyst to make it bigger," Ottaway explained on the brewery's blog. "I noticed that of the big domestic brewers, Kirin seemed to understand craft best."
In New York City, the new partnership will allow Brooklyn Brewery to expand elsewhere in the five boroughs including a new facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. "While keeping our current brewery in Williamsburg, we are building our new global headquarters in the Brooklyn Navy Yard with a 600-person capacity rooftop beer garden. We intend to build another bigger brewery that will enable us to brew 100% of the beer we sell domestically in-house."
Abroad, they're looking to open up a Brooklyn bar and continue to expand their business oversees in Japan but also with partnerships they have in Sweden, Norway and Korea, in the near future. Together with Kirin, Brooklyn will create a joint venture to expand the craft beer market in Japan and perhaps even create an original product that'll be majority owned by Kirin.