HURRICANE SANDY DEALS A BLOW TO BEER
Hurricane Sandy devastated huge swaths of the Eastern seaboard and left a long-lasting trail of destruction in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Countless businesses were impacted, including several of New York’s craft breweries. While most breweries made it through the storm intact, the surges of saltwater, power outages and distribution problems all dealt a blow to the state’s thriving beer industry. The storm did destroy a small Long Island brewery – Barrier Brewing in Oceanside. Brooklyn Brewery, one of the biggest US craft brewers, managed to escape serious damage at its facility near Brooklyn’s Williamsburg waterfront, where water stayed a block away. But its distributor, Phoenix/Beehive, took in five feet of water at the storm’s peak in its warehouse on Brooklyn’s Red Hook waterfront. Sixpoint Brewery also took in water at its facility on Red Hook waterfront and suffered a halt in brewing. “We’re still picking up the pieces from last week’s devastation, but we are making incremental progress,” the brewery said. “Once we have gas restored and finish with the remaining repairs, we’ll be brewing again.” At Barrier Brewing, saltwater from the ocean and surrounding bays reached about 6 feet outside the brewery and four feet inside, said founder Evan Klein who apprenticed at Sixpoint. The full extent of the damage would not be known until power was restored and equipment could be tested, but Klein said he expects to have lost the brewery’s forklift, delivery trucks, pumps, mill and possibly its brew tanks, as well as much of its inventory and ingredients. Breweries in and outside New York have asked to help, with offers ranging from providing ingredients to cold storage to brewing, Klein said. The 2-year-old brewery had just moved into its new facility in June. “It’s a pretty bad scene, but we have no doubt we’ll be operational again, maybe in two months, hopefully by the end of the year,” Klein said.