Merry Tuesday to each of you!! In case you’re curious, today’s the last day of Harris Teeter’s Super Double coupons!
In case you’re just getting here, check out my first day of NYC adventures. Today’s post is a little bit out of order, chronologically, but one I really was itching to write. I love to visit breweries, ever since my Senior year in college when, for spring break, I didn’t go get topless in Cancun or make mischief in Cabo. Nope, instead, I went to scenic Pottsville, PA to visit Yuengling, America’s Oldest Brewery!
Knowing that we were going to spending the weekend based primarily in Brooklyn, how could I miss the infamous Brooklyn Brewery?
Actually, the construction outside of the building made it pretty easy to miss (or hard to find, depending on how you look at it.)
Located just a few blocks from Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, we were even able to pick up Claire’s little brother, John, for the trip. This was important because: 1. I think he’s great and 2. He could take pictures of Claire and me! (vanity, thy name is Jordan.)
For $20, we grabbed 6 drink tokens and, if you can’t handle basic math, that meant two beers for each of us. We arrived around 12:45, just in time to pick up a beer before the “tour” of the brewery. Each token = one 12 oz beer, so we each went for the East India Pale Ale.
Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for the brewery, they’re expanding, so the first room, the brewhouse, which is normally open to visitors, was closed off. Luckily, they had this handy-dandy illustration that made us feel like we were right there!
Eric, our wise old tour guide, described the process of brewing, explaining how they outsource their bottling (of their smaller bottles) to a factory in upstate New York but their kegs and their bombers are brewed in the brewery in Brooklyn.
Eric was funny, charismatic, and an excellent guide. I will admit, there wasn’t much to the “tour” as we mostly just relaxed, sipping our beers, in the main room of the brewery. It was okay, though, because he told some hilarious stories and shared interesting factoids with the group, ones we’d never know about if not for the tour.
Brooklyn Brewery’s iconic logo was actually developed by Milton Glaser, creator of the I Love NY logo (you know, the one with the heart instead of the word love). He originally asked WAY more than the $20,000 that Brooklyn Brewery had allocated for logo development. Luckily, though, Milton’s a bit of a beer fan. So what he did was create a fantastic logo and, in turn, Milton gets free beer from the brewery for LIFE!! (Hear that, graphic designers? Get those pens to the paper!)
Also, when the brewery was created, the NY mafia was taxing EVERY business in the area, and approached the brewery, former Associated Press correspondent Steve Hindy and former Chemical Bank lending officer Tom Potter, for some moneys. After weeks of negotiation and not really wanting to pay the mafia, one of the bosses approached Tom in the factory, telling everyone to get lost. Tom, probably shaking in his boots, was pretty certainhe was going to get “offed” and sleep with fishes. Then, to everyone’s surprise, the boss told Tom he was just messing with him and decided that the Brewery would be good for business and the area, and thus they were exempt from the tax.
We also learned the exciting tale of how the brewery got their tiny chandelier!!
Actually, this was the least interesting story of all. Someone put it up for a holiday party a few years ago, and everyone’s too lazy to take it down. Gotta respect their honesty.
After getting a quick shot with (some of) the logo, we decided to head back to the bar for another brew!
The bar is only open on Fridays from 6-11pm and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6pm, but it’s a lively atmosphere and a great vibe! They sell water and beer but, if you’d like, you can order pizza or delivery food right to the brewery (they’ll even provide menus!) It reminded me a lot of the atmosphere of Fullsteam in Durham, very open, very relaxed, and very much about the community. We saw birthday parties, bachelor parties, and a mom who’d brought her kids and some cupcakes while she enjoyed a beer. I loved it!
True to form, since I can’t go anywhere without making a friend, we ended up connecting with our tour guide while getting our second beer and, since we’re adorable and great (and humble?), Eric treated us to another beer, on the house!I went with the Winter Ale for my second beer (delicious, malty, almost biscuity) and back to the IPA for the freebie.
Thanks, Eric!! We love you!
Everyone was nice, the vibe was great, and, if you’re interested in beer, some history, and a good time AND you’re in NYC, I’d totally recommend getting over to Brooklyn Brewery for a Saturday or Sunday tour!