"Brooklyn is a heavily saturated market. There are four other local beers coming down the pike," says Eric Goulange, co-founder of New Heights, a boutique brewery he's launching with brewmaster Norie Manigault and restaurateur Dimitri Vlahakis. Vlahakis is the man behind ten bars and restaurants including Motorino, Chez Jef, and Esperanto.
New Heights has signed a lease for 2500 square feet of retail and 1600 square feet to brew eight styles of beer at a rate of 14 half-barrels (kegs) every two weeks in the rapidly gentrifying Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood. Their initial investment: under $300,000.
New Height's 4 Tips for Rolling Out the Barrels:
1. Sell directly to end users. "Part of our distribution strategy is selling our production across the group's ten restaurants at a premium," says Goulange.
2. Balance the brewing business with food. "We're introducing a food program to maintain crowd retention. While you have to cover salary for a cook and the fragility of product, pizza has the best mark up in the world."
3. Marketing plan. "Focus on the Bed Stuy community with PR and social media, happy hours with different brewers using their social clout, tasting hours, and tap takeovers where one brewer gets 5 lines and brings a beer geek crowd."
4. Merchandise. "Pint glasses and growers with logos need to reflect the quality of the product. We're producing growlers with pewter handles and ceramic stoppers," says Goulange.