Brooklyn’s beer scene is new. The borough, on the western tip of Long Island (across the East River from Manhattan), is one of five that make up New York City, but its culture influence as a progenitor of trends is widely acknowledged.
Despite its size (the population of 2.5 million would make it the fourth largest city in the United States if it weren’t a part of New York City) and vanguard approach to trends, the majority of its ten operating breweries and brewpubs have opened only in the past four years, with at least three additional brewing companies set to open their locations to the public in 2017. Add to that the six or so contract brewing companies—such as Grimm Artisan Ales, Sixpoint, and KelSo—based there, and you’ve got yourself a burgeoning beer scene that shows no sign of stopping.
Many of Brooklyn’s professional brewers sprouted from area homebrew clubs, such as the Brewsers, who meet at a bottle shop and tasting room, Brouwerij Lane, in Greenpoint, and the Brewminaries, who host their bottle swaps at Brooklyn’s only and much beloved homebrew shop, Bitter & Esters, in Prospect Heights. Some are graduates from bona fide brewing schools, and still others have cut their teeth at professional stints before opening their own breweries. But a surprising number of Brooklyn’s brewmasters have entered that role as first-time brewers, and more surprising still, they’re remarkably good at what they do.