A photo posted by Braven Brewing Company (@bravenbrewing) on Jan 19, 2015 at 6:03pm PST
I was one of the first people to get to The Well on Friday night to celebrate the official roll out of Braven Brewery’s first beer, the White IPA. So I was shocked when I tried to step out briefly with a friend who wanted a cigarette and was stopped by a bouncer.
“If you want to smoke, you’ll have to go out back. Otherwise you won’t be able to back in,” he informed me. “The line out there is crazy.”
The Well was so packed at that point, I was convinced most of Bushwick was already inside enjoying the complimentary beer. The fact that people were voluntarily waiting outside to get in, enduring blasts of icy wind, could only mean one thing: Bushwick is very excited about Braven Brewery.
An eclectic crowd was there to celebrate, and though the free beer was certainly an enticement (as were the music from The Rub and the always-amusing drawings of Napkin Killa) you could tell the crowd was stoked about Braven, too.
Bushwick residents have been waiting for Braven’s launch since the brewery’s Kickstarter got funded—exceeding its goal by thousands of dollars—in 2013. Yet, the excitement around the brewery seems to involve a bit more than a comfort in knowing everyone’s crowdfunding contributions have gone to good use. A brewery in Bushwick is an exciting opportunity for the neighborhood.
For one, it’s a chance for Bushwick to blend its history with its current climate. As we’ve noted in the past, 10% of America’s beer used to be brewed here. But it’s been over 30 years since a brewery actually called Bushwick home. The founders of Braven hope to both honor that tradition, but also help to put Bushwick on the map.
Yet, as evidenced by the overwhelming reaction to Braven’s official launch on Friday, you can’t deny that having a Bushwick-labeled beer is also just plain cool, perhaps even a matter of pride.
Braven’s White IPA, “an IPA with a Belgian wheat twist,” is now available on tap at various locations around Bushwick (including The Sampler, Heavy Woods, Arrogant Swine and Pine Box Rock Shop) and in other neighborhoods around New York City. Over the next few weeks, Braven’s reach will be doing Bushwick proud at over 40 different locations.