Brooklyn has a long history as of one of the premier brewing locations in the country. One Park Slope resident is providing tours to beer-loving Brooklynites to learn more about the suds that made the borough a beer drinking hotspot.
David Naczycz of Urban Oyster Tours will lead his “Brewed in Brooklyn” tour, which gives the history of North Brooklyn’s brewing traditions and history. The tour will cover the sites of a number of old Brooklyn breweries, including John Schneider Brewery, Eastern Brewing Company, and Otto Huber Brewery (which are long defunct) and the bar The Well, which is is part of the old Huber site and is a pit stop for a drink along the tour. The tour will also include a stop at Brooklyn Brewery, where participants will get a tour of the brewery and a drink. The tour will mostly cover Williamsburg and small parts of Bushwick.
Naczycz, a Detroit native and Brooklyn resident for nearly a decade, wanted to educate people on the great brewing history in the borough.
“We were looking for unique stories when we launched the company, stories that weren’t already being told, and in our research we came upon the amazing history of beer brewing in Brooklyn. Like most people, we weren’t very aware that Brooklyn had once been home to 48 breweries and had at one point produced 10% of the nation’s beer. It was also rather poetic that the rise, fall and rise again of the beer brewing industry has perfectly tracked with the rise, fall and rise of Brooklyn. It was such an incredible story we felt it would make an excellent tour.”
Naczycz founded his tour company Urban Oyster in 2009 in order to provide tours of parts of New York that he felt were often overlooked.
“The idea of Urban Oyster was that we were concerned about the disappearance of small, local businesses from the city and we wanted to create tours that would address that. The name of the company comes from the history of oysters in New York City, perfectly summed up in Mark Kurlansky’s book, The Big Oyster. Oysters were once plentiful and so numerous that they were a staple food of the poor. However, by the early 1900s pollution destroyed the oyster fishing in New York harbor. For us that was the perfect analogy of what was going on with small businesses in the 21st century. We were squandering this precious resource by not realizing the consequences of our actions. All of our tours visit only local businesses because we want to teach people the importance of supporting those businesses,” Naczycz said.
The “Brewed in Brooklyn” tour takes place each Saturday from 12 to 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $69, and include food and drink on the tour. Participants must be 21 or over. For more information or to book your tour, click here.
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