Following in the footsteps of Russ & Daughters and the Mast Brothers, Brooklyn Brewery confirmed this weekend that they, too, will be planting a massive production facility at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Williamsburg-based brewery signed a 40-year lease for 75,000-square-feet at the Navy Yard — space to be used for offices, a brewery, and a huge rooftop beer garden and restaurant, the Wall Street Journal reports. It's also the first time the brewery will be offering food, a menu that will be "more than pretzels and bratwursts," chief executive Eric Ottaway says.
The company has been looking for new spaces for the past three years, partly in anticipation of its Williamsburg leases ending in 2025, co-founder Steve Hindy says. The brewery opened in Williamsburg in 1996 and was one of the first brands to help turn the formerly industrial neighborhood into a destination, but Hindy doesn't expect to keep manufacturing there due to rising rent costs. After the leases end, Williamsburg will likely only maintain a more public-facing Brooklyn Brewery outpost, like a retail space or brewpub, he tells the Journal.
Brooklyn Brewery plans to open its outpost in the Navy Yard by early 2018. It's one of several big New York food brands debuting production facilities and public-facing cafes at the newly renovated Brooklyn Navy Yard's Building 77. The Navy Yard has previously not been open to the public, and the city has pitched in $80 million to Building 77's $185 million revitalization in hopes of sparking job growth. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has made it a goal to target "foodies" in his economic growth plans. Besides Brooklyn Brewery's planned new rooftop garden, the building will include a food hall. Meanwhile, Brooklyn Brewery is still negotiating a lease to move its bigger production facility from upstate New York to Staten Island, a move that firmly plants the company in NYC. Check out the renderings of Brooklyn Brewery's Navy Yard plans and Building 77 below.