Monday, 18 February 2013

Memories of Brooklyn

The SMH have been to darkest Brooklyn!  

The article is pretty close to what we saw and heard when we visited the brewery although they missed out a few bits which we were told on our brewery tour.

The reason the owner got involved was because of the US military.  As part of his War Correspondent job he was in the Gulf during the First Gulf War.  The troops tended to live on aircraft carriers and couldn't get any beer so started brewing their own in baths on the ships.  Occasionally a brew would go "off" which would take out a whole platoon for a couple of days.  The brass realised they couldn't stop the brewing so decided to teach them how to do it properly.  

After this period of work, the correspondent thought about things and realised that just about every other correspondent he had worked with was dead.  This seemed to indicate a career change was needed and brewing seemed like fun.  In fact his neighbour, the banker, wasn't that interested until he went to a microbrewers convention in LA where the other brewers found that some financier from New York was in the room.  They thought they might get some money from him  if they gave him a good time.  When the banker's headache died down a week or so later he agreed to fund the Brooklyn enterprise.

They moved around a bit before getting the current site and when we visited (2005) they were still the only brewery in New York City.  Others have since started up.  

The Brroklyn Brewery also runs a Happy Hour on a Friday night which I attended with some folk from work.  We were about the first there (about 6pm) and it was quite pleasant and the beer (as we knew it would be) excellent.  When we left - about 9pm the place was packed and it was only when we got out to the relative quiet of the street we realised how noisy it had been.  Part of that was because folk took their kids along and they converted the salt of malt into a huge slippery dip - a bit like otters on a muddy riverbank! 

An interesting sideline to the Happy Hour was that they served drinks in plastic cup, emblazoned with the logo, and one got a new cup for every drink.  So we ended up with a lot of nice souvenirs - which we still have!

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