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Bushwick's Braven Brewing Launches First Beer in Bars Across City

By Serena Dai | January 5, 2015 7:40am | Updated on January 6, 2015 6:33pm
 Bushwick's own craft brewery Braven Brewing is launching its white IPA at bars across the city in January 2015.
Braven Brewing Launches White IPA
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BUSHWICK — Bushwick's own craft beer is finally hitting the taps.

Braven Brewing, a Kickstarter-funded brewery planning to open in the neighborhood this year, debuted its flagship White IPA on Sunday at craft beer spot The Sampler and barbecue beer garden Arrogant Swine, which both have the beer on tap.

By the end of this week, nearly 40 bars across the city will have the IPA on tap, said Braven co-founders Eric Feldman and Marshall Thompson.

For Feldman and Thompson, who have been working to launch Braven for two years, this week marks the "end of the beginning" and the beginning of Braven actually selling beer.

Up until now, all the beer they've distributed has been promotional or for friends.

"It’s pretty incredible," Thompson said. "We have to step back."

The longtime friends and brewing buddies were inspired by the small business culture in Bushwick, which they said made them feel like anything is possible.

Once they started to do research, they found that Bushwick used to be one of the largest beer brewing centers in the country. But by 1976, the last brewery closed.

Braven Brewing will be the first brewery to open in Bushwick since that time.

Though the current kegs were brewed upstate, the two friends plan on opening their own spot in Bushwick with tours and a bar by the end of 2015.

"People are looking to the past in a hopeful way," Feldman said. "Some of those older traditions that made the neighborhood in the first place are coming back, and we get to be a part of that."

"It's something real to cling on to," Thompson added. "It's not just hipster Bushwick."

Thompson and Feldman will spend the next month hosting parties across the city to introduce locals to the beer.

Starting this week, bars like Heavy Woods, Bronx Ale House, Left Hand Path, The Ginger Man and Rattle N Hum will be serving the IPA.

The launch party is set for Friday, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. at The Well, a bar at 272 Meserole St. that's housed in a former brewery. Free beer will be served.

Feldman and Thompson are looking to be in even more bars in the coming months and encourage fans to request Braven. In the spring, they plan to launch a pilsner inspired by recipes from old Bushwick breweries.

"We're really proud of this neighborhood and what's happening," Thompson said.

"The neighborhood's a big part of the story," Feldman said. "And we hope to be a big part of the neighborhood's story going forward."