Brooklyn Brewery is looking at the Navy Yard and Industry City as a potential spot for its brewing operations. The firm has been searching for space in the borough to relocate its manufacturing facilities there.
The brewery, famous for its namesake lager, currently has space in Williamsburg. According to Eric Ottaway, the company’s chief operating officer and general manager, it is searching for as much as 60,000 square feet.
The bulk of Brooklyn Brewery’s beer is made upstate in Utica, but the brewery has held onto its Brooklyn location because it is essential to its brand and is where it makes most of its specialty beers. The Williamsburg facility on North 11th Street, at 61-71 Wythe Ave., functions more than just as a brewing factory; it offers a tasting room and retail shop and gives visitors a chance to watch beer being made. Ottaway said the company wants its new location to serve a similar purpose.
“What is tricky is finding a space where we can do the manufacturing but also have the retail be an important component,” Ottaway said. “It’s hard to find a neighborhood that has the level of visibility that Williamsburg has.”
Large complexes like Industry City and the Navy Yard are focusing on bringing in manufacturers such as Brooklyn Brewery that have production facilities and provide consumers a chance to experience product creation. The Navy Yard recently signed a deal with eatery Russ & Daughters to take space at Building 77 in the complex for both retail and food manufacturing.
Brooklyn Brewery has nine years left on its current lease in Williamsburg. “But we know our ability to renew is zero,” Ottaway said, noting how rents have soared in the neighborhood and landlords have sought to redevelop buildings into high-end commercial or residential space.