Eric Ottaway, The Brooklyn Brewery
I have an expression I use often- No rest for the weary!- and in case you thought we were resting, we’re happy to announce a big jump in our sister brewery count. One or two weren’t enough, so we decided to open three new ones in the last couple of weeks. After all- why rest?!
Now that New Carnegie is solidly up and running (we’re struggling to keep up with production actually), EC Dahls is humming along (those crazy Norwegians keep inventing new beer styles), and Jeju Brewing Company is about to release their first beer (woohoo!), we thought we’d better find something else to keep us busy. So we turned to Asia, hit the UK, and made our first foray into Eastern Europe.
We’ve been travelling to Hong Kong for years now, and always loved the humming beehive of activity there, probably because it reminds us of NYC. After many visits, and watching the craft beer scene develop, we have decided to join the party, and are opening HK Yau Brewing Company. What is “Yau” you say? The YAU spirit is about the power of comradery and community. It’s about shared passion, like minds and at the end of the day, people. We’ve been living the Yau of Brooklyn for 30 years, and now we get to celebrate the same spirit on the other side of the world.
Of course if you want to talk about major global cities, besides New York and Hong Kong, you can’t leave out London. London has almost become a second home for us, and we love the cultural melting pot that it represents. In 2014 we were lucky enough to stumble upon a little brewery in Hackney, London Fields Brewery, when we attended a festival there. Little did we know that 3 years later there would be an opportunity to acquire it. Very reminiscent of Williamsburg, the London Fields neighbourhood is full of small artisanal producers- coffee roasters, bakers, smoked seafood makers. We can’t wait to start working with London Fields.
Our last new venture is kind of the polar opposite, however. Of course we’re used to people saying, “You opened a brewery where?”, but this one had us scrambling for a map too. Allow us to introduce Svyturys Brewery in Klaipeda, Lithuania. It’s probably the last place you might think there is a thriving craft beer market, but craft is over 10% of the market there and growing. Klaipeda is a seaside resort famous for its lighthouse, and home of the original Svyturys Brewery. It’s also right next door to that Russian military enclave, Kaliningrad, but don’t worry Trump and Putin are good friends, so no problems there. The team at Svyturys has been developing excellent craft beers for several years, and when they told us they wanted to knock down their old administrative building and replace it with a new brewhouse, barrel aging cellar, tasting rooms, and a restaurant, we were in. Keep an eye to the north for more news soon.
There will be plenty of opening parties and new beers coming soon from our new extended global family. Should you find yourself in Brooklyn, Stockholm, Trondheim, Hong Kong, London, or Klaipeda, please come have a beer with us!