In news separate from the potential 7-year nights and weekend L train shutdown, homegrown craft beer purveyor Brooklyn Brewery is looking at options to leave Williamsburg, according to a report from Crain's. The brewery, which currently makes most of its beers upstate, is scouting places like Industry City in Sunset Park and the Brooklyn Navy Yard for both a manufacturing facility and a retail space with a tasting room. They have nine years left on their lease in Williamsburg, but chief operating officer Eric Ottaway tells Crain's that the company may leave sooner. "We know our ability to renew is zero," he says, citing rising rent costs in the neighborhood.
Brooklyn Brewery, which opened in 1996, is one of the first brands that turned Williamsburg into a destination, and since then, costs in Williamsburg have soared. Last year, the building that Brooklyn Brewery shares with Brooklyn Bowl sold for $50 million. Finding a new location has been "tricky," Ottaway says, especially since it needs to have room to both brew beer and welcome the public."It's hard to find a neighborhood that has the level of visibility that Williamsburg has," he says. Besides moving the retail space, Brooklyn Brewery is also planning to move its larger upstate brewing facility to the city, too. The company is in the midst of a deal to put its brewing plant in a $70 million, 200,000-square-foot building on Staten Island.
UPDATE: In a blog post on its website, Brooklyn Brewery backtracks on the Crain's article and says that the departure from Williamsburg was "greatly exaggerated." "A lot can happen in nine years, and we're not going to commit ourselves to predicting the future," the company says.