Like everything in Brooklyn, beer in this of-the-moment borough is getting even more interesting. These are the faces behind the magic.
By Joshua M. Bernstein / Photography by Sam Horine
I can track the evolution of Brooklyn beer through my crappy bodega. Back in January 2003 when I moved to then-hardscrabble Crown Heights, my corner store’s coolers were filled with Coors, Bud tallboys and a wealth of low-cost malt liquor. Occasionally the bodega stocked six-packs of Brooklyn Lager, but the beer’s freshness, like that of the milk, was hardly guaranteed. As the years disappeared, I noticed a steady, upward shift in my bodega’s beer offerings. Harpoon appeared, then Lagunitas, Goose Island and Bear Republic. Simultaneously across Kings County, better beer began bubbling up. Craft-focused bars such as Barcade, Bar Great Harry and Pacific Standard became IPA-dispensing neighborhood anchors. Bierkraft introduced the take-home growler. Sixpoint opened in Red Hook, concocting hoppy ales that tapped the thirsty market for locally crafted beer. Brooklyn Homebrew and Brooklyn Brew Shop made apartment-brewing a snap. Today, Brooklyn’s beer scene is firmly on the national map. But that’s not enough for a quirky cast of passionate entrepreneurs and innovators, who are transforming Brooklyn into a world-class beer destination. From an Evil Twin’s epically ambitious bar to a bespoke bottle shop run by a former pro basketball player, here are five key projects destined to alter Brooklyn’s carbonated landscape.