If Benjamin Franklin was correct in his assertion that beer is, in fact, proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy, then as of this weekend Greenpoint has got to be the happiest place in the world. On Saturday, the neighborhood’s newest beer shop Brouwerij Lane opened its doors to a crowd of thirsty Brooklynites, offering them complimentary goulash, tastes of their on-tap brews and a sneak-peek at an impressive collection of the 400 bottled beers that stock their bountiful refrigerators.
The brainchild of Ed Raven of Raven Imports Co.—an importing company specializing in European varieties like Gaffel Kolsch, and other German and Belgian beers—Brouwerij Lane features a diverse array of bottled beers from all over the world, as well as 10 brews on tap which, for $10, will be freshly pumped into a growler, or glass jug, to take home. In addition to more popular titles, Brouwerij stocks hundreds of craft beers and hard-to-find varieties, and was designed in the tradition of wine shops.
“We really want to stock great beers from great brewing companies,” said Raven, who has been brewing, importing and distributing beer since 1987. “I wanted to make a store where I’d like to go and shop. Beer is great—it’s a product you can enjoy while you work!”
And Raven isn’t the only one who enjoys beer enough to make a career out of it. Erik Olsen, an architect-turned-Brouwerij employee, is a life-long beer lover who has been brewing his own for many years.
“There is such a wide variety of flavors. And so many isolated little locations where they brew specific types of beer. For some brewers, making beer is almost like a sport. There is much history and pride—it really is a culture.”
Though it may seem stressful opening up a new business in such a turbulent economic climate, Raven and his staff aren’t too worried, and they hope to host tastings and special events with guest speakers in the future.
“We’ll be fine,” Raven said with a smile. “Beer helps ease the pain!”