Bushwick is a mecca for artisanal, local, and unique creations. There’s a level of local pride attached to cultivating something fresh and new in a hub of exploding creative energy. Only a few minutes walk from the Morgan Avenue L train station another local Brooklyn business is doing just that and taking the phrase “Brooklyn made” to the next level.
Brooklyn Crafted is a beverage brand that’s been around since 2016, and has made a name for themselves in the world of ginger beer, but since 2019 all their more recent releases have been fully created, brewed, and bottled under one roof at their Johnson Avenue factory and bottling facility. “Ever since we started the brand it’s been our dream to be completely self sufficient and bottle and brew everything in house,” said Marcia Hu, the Marketing Manager of Brooklyn Crafted.
Brooklyn Crafted began when Terry Tang, the CEO, saw a need for a ginger beer that’s truly made with unfiltered ginger. Tang went from CPA to New York City food mogul with an interest in dumplings and noodles that eventually led to a focus on the beverage market. Hu explained to Bushwick Daily that Tang takes the challenge of innovating and creating drinks that aren’t common place and bringing it to the masses.
Besides their famed ginger beers, Brooklyn Crafted has been working hard on bringing ready-to-drink herbal teas and using calamansi, a kumquat-mandarin hybrid from Southeast Asia, to create a line of lemonades. The herbal teas feature flavors like hibiscus and prunella. Some popular flavors in the calamansi line include the original, ginger, and pomegranate. These drinks are leading the charge in transitioning all Brooklyn Crafted beverages to be completely Bushwick created.
“Terry has done business in Bushwick for decades, so when it came time to choosing a facility for Brooklyn Crafted, keeping it here was a no-brainer. Brewing and bottling has always been at the heart of Bushwick’s history, and we’re incredibly proud to bring that art form back to this neighborhood with Brooklyn Crafted,” explained Hu.
It may not seem notable, but it’s quite uncommon to be brewed and bottled 100 percent in house. Beverage companies tend to use co-packers, which are bottling facilities that exist elsewhere, like in Jersey, Philadelphia and upstate, that already bottle things for other companies. Smaller companies will give them their recipe and the materials and they’ll get all the labor done.
The bottling line is the newest addition to the Brooklyn Crafted operation which is allowing the company to become more self-sufficient and keep operations as local as possible. Although they aren’t 100 percent bottled in Brooklyn, they are actively moving towards that. The ginger beers are the only exception here, which require a carbonation machine to be added to the bottling line.
As for the future of the brand, moving toward 100 percent created, brewed, and bottled for all their products is a main goal. Another future goal is to become a co-packer for local businesses in need of bottling services.
“Think about all the New York City-based food companies that want to create their own matcha or soda, but they have to seek out far away co-packers in Pennsylvania, South Jersey, or upstate to do this for them. Not only are they far, but they have these super insane minimums,” explained Hu.
You can find Brooklyn Crafted Beverages at some of your favorite local spots including: Lazy Suzy, Bunker Vietnamese, The Rookery, OZI, City Fresh Market, Brooklyn Beer Garden, Anna’s Best, Leslie’s Kitchen, Bleecker Deli & Grill, and The Wheelhouse.
Cover image courtesy of @theVicstyles.
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