Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Brooklyn has been a beer lovers’ town since the 1850s. But there are only a few of the original brewery buildings still standing. This one is the most well known.

Name: William Ulmer Brewery — main brew house and addition
Address: 81-83 Beaver Street
Cross Streets: Corner of Belvidere Street
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Year Built: 1872, 1881
Architectural Style: Rundbogenstil Romanesque revival
Architect: Theobald Engelhardt
Other Works by Architect: The William Ulmer Brewery office next door and William Ulmer’s mansion on Bushwick Avenue, as well as mansions, row houses, tenements, churches, factories and breweries mostly in Bushwick, Williamsburg and Eastern Bedford Stuyvesant
Landmarked: Yes, the entire brewery complex was landmarked in 2010.

In 1871, German immigrant William Ulmer became a partner in the Vigelius & Ulmer Continental Lagerbier Brewery, on the corner of Belvidere and Beaver streets in Bushwick. By 1879, Ulmer had become sole proprietor and renamed in the William Ulmer Brewery.

The Bushwick section of Brooklyn had become home to most of Brooklyn’s German immigrants, starting in the late 1840s. They brought many different industries and products to this country, but are best known for lager beer, which soon became the drink of choice in New York and, eventually, the entire country.

Before Prohibition Brooklyn had at least 24 breweries, many of them in the predominantly German Eastern District, which included Bushwick, parts of Williamsburg and Eastern Bedford Stuyvesant. The Ulmer brewery was one of the most successful.


Read Property Group, developer of the massive Bushwick mega-project Rheingold Brewery — it encompasses at least 10 city blocks — has sold part of the site to another developer, named Joel Goldman. The sale has not yet hit public records, but Read told local Council Member Antonio Reynoso and community development watchdog group Rheingold Construction Committee about the sale, City Limits reported.

It’s business as usual for developers to resell or flip development sites. But Reynoso and community organizers are worried Goldman and another developer, Rabsky — which also bought part of the site last year, for $53,000,000 — won’t honor the promises Read made to build affordable housing on the site in exchange for a 2013 rezoning.


On Friday night, the Bushwick performance space and artist community Silent Barn suffered a fire on the building’s third floor while a concert took place downstairs.

All residents and concertgoers were safely evacuated, but the third-floor apartment where the fire started — one of four units that house nine members of the Silent Barn community — was ruined. Smoke and water damaged the other apartment and the downstairs performance space.

The cause of the fire is believed to be an electrical malfunction, according to a post on the venue’s website.


A Brownstoner reader and longtime resident of Bushwick sent Brownstoner her thoughts about recent changes and gentrification in Bushwick:

“Just a quick email to see if you can help me understand what exactly is occurring in Bushwick. I have lived in Bushwick for what seems like forever and seen the changes that have happened here.

Yes I must agree some things are in the best interest of all who reside in this area but then again many of our longtime residents are forced to leave. Why you ask — well the rents are increasing rapidly and it is very difficult for the families to pay this.


No single-families among this week’s picks — two come with multiple rental units, while the other two have a single one each. They’re include a Park Slope limestone, a pair of Bed Stuy brownstones and an aluminum-sided job in Bushwick.

At 435 Classon Avenue in Bed Stuy (right on the Clinton Hill border) we’ve got a newly renovated four-story — in fact it’s so newly renovated that the work is still in progress. You’ll find a four-bedroom owner’s triplex sitting over a garden rental, a “1 bed/1 bath unit that with easy rent ability,” per the listing.


A reader sent in these images, writing: “I noticed a new bar being built on the corner of Bushwick Ave and Moffat. Any info on this?”

After a little digging, Brownstoner uncovered the deets on the observed activity at 1413 Bushwick Avenue. Salud Bar & Grill applied for a liquor license from CB4 in February and is posting construction updates and pictures of tasty-looking grilled meats to an Instagram account. Brownstoner reached out to June Ramirez, the eatery’s owner, and learned that Salud “will have a little bit of everything,” including fresh brew coffee, craft ales, food, and wine.

“We are currently working on the menu now and it’s almost done,” Ramirez told Brownstoner. “Looking to open late this month or early October.”


We’re coming up on Labor Day weekend, when people are generally more interested in savoring the last moments of summer than working Sundays and eyeballing real estate. So when it comes to open houses, this is not an action-packed weekend.

We’ve found a few, though — three in total. They’re all in brand-new condition: Two, in Bushwick, are gut renovations; one, in Crown Heights, is brand new construction.

The Bushwick houses are on the same block, as it happens: Eldert Street between Knickerbocker and Wilson avenues, a few blocks from the L train station at Halsey Street.

At No. 249 we’ve got an aluminum-sided number offering double duplexes, each 1,800 square feet, including an owner’s duplex with three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a deck with stairs down to the backyard.

Up the block at No. 275 is a three-story brick townhouse  with a two-bedroom apartment on top and a two-bedroom duplex below, with a large “recreation room” in the basement and access to a fenced-in garden. It’s got a bit of a rustic vibe, with beamed ceilings, exposed brick and skylights made from reclaimed wood.

Last up, on St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights, we’ve got a newly built home with a double duplex plus a finished basement. Each duplex has three bedrooms and an outdoor space — the bottom unit has the garden, the upper one has a roof deck.

275 Eldert Street in Bushwick
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $1,250,000
Sunday 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Photo by Corcoran


The Bushwick apartment of designer and decorative painter Matt Austin is a playground of visual creativity. He has playfully painted and paneled the third-floor railroad flat with care, and filled it with eccentric oddities — many of his own design.

When Austin moved in, the apartment was a wreck, said New York Magazine, which features the home in its Winter 2016 Design Hunting magazine. (The magazine is out this week in print but not yet available online.)

But the friend renting it to him gave the painter free rein to make any nonstructural changes he wished. After a good cleaning and a kitchen remodel — assisted by Austin’s plaster-specialist brother and a furniture-making friend — the apartment became a canvas for his ideas and a showcase for his product designs.