Bushwick’s Braven Brewing has been looking for its own brick-and-mortar home in Bushwick even before Eric Feldman and Marshall S. Thompson officially started the company in 2013.
Now, with papers finalized and signed just yesterday, Braven’s dream is coming true on March 1. Bushwick Daily has learned that the brewing company will be taking over the space currently occupied by Lantern Hall, a craft beer bar at 52 Harrison Pl.
“This was a great deal,” said Lantern Hall’s owner, Jeff Wong. “Braven will be a great addition to the neighborhood.”
The deal was brokered by Max Lu and Lane Sanders of M Properties Group, a brokerage firm that specializes in Bushwick.
It’s been a hectic few weeks for Feldman and Thompson. Aside from finalizing this deal, which began shortly after Bushwick Daily visited Braven last year to discuss their newest year-round beer, the brewery that produces all Braven beers unexpectedly shut down.
“They shut down with very little notice,” Feldman said. “We saw a lot of great support from the New York City and New York State brewer community. It was actually pretty cool to see, in an adversity situation, where a lot of people were affected negatively, many of them came to try to help us out.”
But things are looking up. Braven found a new brewing partner who offers a range of capabilities that the previous one couldn’t, such as the ability to package in 12oz cans and tall-boy styles. Now, the brewery is finally putting down some proper roots in the neighborhood.
“The first business plan was written in Heavy Woods, April of 2013,” Thompson said. “There have been times when people have tried to say, why don’t you do it in… places where it might be easier. But we were determined, from the beginning, to always do it in Bushwick no matter what.”
Braven Brewing Co., as the space will be called, is currently scheduled to open mid-summer of this year. The plan is to recreate Lantern’s 2,500-square-foot space as a brewpub.
Braven is going to install a “small and nimble” 3.5-barrel brewing system, built by Agile Stainless of Portland, Or., which is capable of producing about 1,000 barrels annually. It’s not full-scale production, but it will give Braven a valuable platform for experimentation, innovation, and production of seasonal and specialty brews.
The rest of the space will be turned into a 60-seat restaurant. With a focus on traditional pub fare — burgers, wings, sandwiches, and the like — the menu will be built around not only Braven beer pairings, but the use of Braven brews in the food.
Before any menus are designed or tanks are installed, Braven Brewing needs to hire a brewmaster.
“[The brewmaster] will have a lot of creative control,” said Thompson. “We have certain ideas of what we’d like to do, but we also want somebody who has their own creative vision.”
Feldman added, “We want to find that person that’s going to help us round out the team and make it happen.”
While finalizing the deal yesterday, Feldman and Thompson learned that the very first beer ever poured at Lantern Hall, during their soft opening, was Braven’s own Bushwick Pilsner — a little coincidence that bodes well for the future of the brick-and-mortar Braven Brewing Co.
“We have really deep connections to this neighborhood, so we’re very happy to finally have a place we can call home here,” said Thompson. Feldman continued, “We’ve been working on this for a great number of years. We’re thrilled, thrilled to be able to actually start. I’m stoked.”