BusinessWeek Online interviews Steve Hindy about Beer School, a new book he wrote together with Tom Potter. Hindy and Potter quit their day jobs to launch Brooklyn Brewery in the industrial neighborhood of Williamsburg. Today, the brewery is an international brand pulling in $11 million in annual sales.
A sample question and answer:
In your original plans, did you set out to launch a microbrewery or did you intend this to end up as the international, multimillion dollar brand that it is now?
We always intended on becoming as big as we could. When we started, we felt that there were lots of small breweries, particularly on the West Coast, and New York City had a tremendous brewing history. We believed this tradition was not forgotten and somehow we could tap into that and it would be a fantastic market to build a branded beer.
We had planned on building a regional brand on the East Coast, but now we’ve begun expanding into Europe. It was kind of a surprise, but we have caught on in Britain and Japan, and we have a serious foothold in Denmark. We’re going into Sweden, Finland, and eventually, Norway.