Andrew Gustafson

Brewed in Brooklyn Tour

This walking tour takes visitors to a corner of Williamsburg that was once home to over a dozen breweries. Little remains of the German community that once thrived here, but you can still see remnants of old brewery buildings and tenements that housed brewery workers. The last breweries closed in Brooklyn in 1976, but the industry is coming back to the borough, which now hosts three brewing companies. On this tour visitors learn about the history of beer brewing in America, tour a working brewery, and taste some of the finest craft beers that Brooklyn, and the world, have to offer.

For this tour, I created a tri-fold brochure with a tour map on one side, while the reverse is a placemat that is used to serve the tasting glasses at the breweries (top right). To tell the story of the decline of brewing in New York, it was necessary to illustrate two parallel trends in the American brewing industry over the past 150 years: the rise of Prohibition, and the consolidation of the industry (bottom right). Prohibition did not happen over night; by the time the 18th amendment was ratified, half the states in the Union were already dry. Corporate takeovers have meant that two companies control nearly 90% of the US beer market today, but consolidation began in the 1890's. Thankfully, these trends have reversed in recent years. Not only is Prohibition long gone, but so are many restrictions on things like homebrewing, distribution and interstate sales that survived well past 1933 and hampered the growth of microbreweries. Budweiser may be in the hands of InBev, but today, America is home to more brewing companies than at any point since the 1870's, the heyday of the German brewing boom.

If you are interested in taking this tour, visit the Urban Oyster website.
Brewed in Brooklyn Tour map
Prohibition and Consolidation: American Brewing Adapts to Change
Prohibition and Consolidation inset