Brewed in Brooklyn Coming soon

Rheingold worker watches thousands of  gallons of foaming beer gush onto the floor of the plant went down the sewer as company officials prepared to close the 119-year-old brewery in 1974.

Robert Walker/Robert Walker/The New YorkTImes

Rheingold worker watches thousands of gallons of foaming beer gush onto the floor of the plant went down the sewer as company officials prepared to close the 119-year-old brewery in 1974.

A new documentary is taking Brooklyn back to it’s beer brewing roots.

The 50-minute film “Brewed in Brooklyn” gives beer history buffs a crash course in Brooklyn’s boozy past, from the first brewery that opened in the 1800’s all the way to present day home brews.

“At one time [Brooklyn] was the beer capitol of the United States, if not the world,” said filmmaker John Weber, 55. “It went from having roughly 50 breweries at the turn of the century to zero in 1977. It just seemed like such a great story to tell.”

Weber got the idea for the film after taking a historical tour of old beer hot spots, including the ‘Old Brewers Row” in Bushwick and beer gardens in Williamsburg and Astoria.

The-four-and-a-half-hour walking tour of abandond breweries and present day watering holes made Weber realize how little was known about the history of beer in Brooklyn.

“It was completely intertwined with the borough in so many ways,” Weber said. “Schaefer had a sign on the scoreboard behind Carl Furillo in Ebbets Field. Rheingold sponsored a beauty contest that millions of people voted on every year. Three of the top ten breweries were located in Brooklyn. That’s a major industry in the 1950’s.”

Weber – a videographer for an insurance rating agency – enlisted the help of Kim Bjorheim, 33 and Bennett Aube, 25, to make the film. Together they spent two years working nights and weekends interviewing beer historians, brewers and booze connoisseurs. So far they’re producing the film with their own money and don’t have any financial backing.

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Brooklyn Brewery President Steve Hindy

They’re hoping a kickstarter campaign can help them raise enough cash to put the finishing touches – like original music – to the film.

“The (film) is extraordinary,” said Marshal Stevenson, 40, who runs the New York Beer and Brewery Tour and was interviewed in the film.

“This gives you a window into the beer culture. It was a major industry in the northeast – especially Brooklyn.”

Stephen Hindy, president of the Brooklyn Brewery on North 11th St,. in WIlliamsburg said he was glad to take part in the film.

“It’s a great story and I’m really pleased that someone has made a movie about it,” said Hindy. “A lot of extraordianry things have happeed in New York that don’t get a lot of attention. New York was the brewing capitol of America and Brooklyn was the heart of it.”

For now, Weber and his team are hoping to finish the film soon so they can screen it for mass audiences.

“The idea of uncovering and learning abot this historical thing that’s not being talked about in beer culture or in regualr culture is amazing,” said Weber.

 

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