A Brewery Grows in Brooklyn as Bloomberg Celebrates His Birthday

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Brooklyn is about to get a whole lot hoppier.

The ever-popular Brooklyn Brewery says it will increase beer production in the borough tenfold over the next three years, thanks to an $8 million expansion of its facility in Williamsburg.

The brewery‘s president Steve Hindy cut the ribbon on the expansion with Mayor Bloomberg and other elected officials Monday morning.

Hindy, who had been publicly frustrated with his search for a new site in the city, said Monday he was finally able to expand with help from an $800,000 grant from the Empire State Development Corporation as well as the city’s new designation of the neighborhood as an industrial business zone off-limits to residential development.

“This neighborhood has changed unbelievably in the 15 years since we opened the brewery,” said Hindy. "And without the industrial business zone, a kind of sanctuary for our kind of business, I don't think we'd be here.”

Hindy said he expects to double the company's sales in the next three years, and shift the bulk of its beer production back to Brooklyn from the Matt Brewing Company in Utica, New York. Mayor Bloomberg, who turned 69 on Monday, called the expansion “just about the best birthday gift” he could imagine.

“I can’t think of a better valentine to New York either than one of our iconic businesses taking steps to grow here in New York City,” said Bloomberg.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Mayor Mike Bloomberg celebrate their birthday at the new Brooklyn Brewery brewhouse in Williamsburg

(Photo credit: Spencer T. Tucker, Office of the Mayor)

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who was also born on February 14, was on hand for the ribbon cutting as well. Bloomberg, who emceed today’s event, joked that while he is “a touch older” than the BP (by 14 years, for the record), “I hope you don’t catch up, and you should hope I don’t pull away.”

Not to be outdone, Markowitz returned the niceties. “You may be wealthier and thinner than me,” he said to Bloomberg, “but I’m younger and better looking. So, that hasn’t changed, that’s for sure.”