Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Scene Playing Out In Front 'Other Half Brewery' In Carroll Gardens Every Saturday Morning May Be Cool For Beer Drinkers, But Not So For Local Residents

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PMFA recently received an email from a local resident, who wrote:
"Do you know about the scene takes place on Saturday mornings around 9 AM around the other half brewery at 195 Center St. near the Smith the ninth stop on the F? They often have 400-500 people lined up going around the block with cars illegally parked all over the area… I know the neighbors are starting to complain and the precinct said they're going to come down and ticket."

Of course, we needed to check the situation out for ourselves. So on a recent Saturday morning at
9 am, we walked up Smith Street towards Center Street.  We could see the long line from a few block away. It had already snaked from the brewery on Center Street, around the block to Smith Street to the corner of Garnet Street.  As more people where  arriving, the line stretched towards Court Street along Garnet Street.
Some had brought coolers, some were sitting on folding chairs,  while others had brought their dogs along for company. The line was abuzz with animated chatter.

The brewery in question, of course, is Other Half Brewing, which opened at the edge of Carroll Gardens in 2014. The micro brewery, owned by Samuel Richardson and Matt Monahan,  has been so successful that it has a huge following amongst beer enthusiasts.  Its tap room draws quite a crowd during the week, but the long lines are for those who want to purchase a 4-pack or a case of  Other Half Brewing Company's newest batch which is released on Saturdays and available when the brewery opens its doors at 10 am.  In order to get one's hands on the coveted brew, one has to literally
line up for hours.
PMFA spoke to the first people on line that morning,  a group of young men in their 20s, who cheerfully admitted that they had been there since 6 am.
The New York Times, which covered the brewery and this new trend back in February, reported that some people stand in line for more than 11 hours.

The area around the one-story brick building housing the brewery is mostly industrial. There is a cement plant at the end of the block on Smith Street. Next to that is a scrap metal place, and traffic noise from the elevated section of the Brooklyn Bridge Expressway is constant.
However, there are three residential homes right next to the brewery, and Garnett Street is mostly residential. As we walked along the line, we could not help but feel sorry for the people living there.
Imagine having hordes of people camping out for hours in front of your door every Saturday morning?

We reached out to the reader who had sent us the email, who confirmed that this scenario continues to play out weekly. As for the police? The reader answered:" Haven't seen the 76th Precinct."

We should of course support our neighborhood businesses and the success of Other Half Brewery is admirable.  However, its success has a significant impact and is frankly disrespectful to those who live nearby.
The crowd that gathers each and every Saturday to purchase beer from Other Half Brewery is just crazy.  There just has to be a better system that works both for the brewery and for its neighbors,

Do you live nearby?  Has it impacted you? We would like to hear from you.


24 comments:

Anonymous said...

"We should, of course, support our neighborhood businesses"

I like the sentiment, but what good is it being good neighbors if they won't be good neighbors back? Surely they've noticed the Saturday morning crowds and thought past just their own success.

Meanwhile, I like beer more than the next person, but waiting in line like it's the newest iphone is pretty stupid (waiting in line for an iphone is pretty stupid also). These idiots need a paper route.

Joao said...

There is a McDonald's across the street, with a gas station as the only other structure on that block. Maybe they could work something out with those two businesses so the line starts across the street from the brewery, and goes around that block instead?

Anonymous said...

This has gotten out of control. Quite simply they need to follow suit of the more organized and community friendly brewery Three's Brewing who offers pre-orders online thus eliminating the frenzied street crowd. It's a simple solution. On the other hand the cooler toting hopheads that loiter for hours in front of others apartments is illegal.

Side note, has anyone tried their beer? It seems even the people waiting for and drinking it admit it's overrated and they are merely there to "be a part of something" because it's trendy. Not saying the beer isn't good, just that the consensus is its not THAT good (too much hop complexity) and more about the extrinsic reward of getting the limited edition cans so a photo can be posted on instagram or facebook. Kids these days.

Breweries like Three's Brewing, Strong Rope and Folksbier all within walking distance offer the same quality experience without all the mishegoss.

Anonymous said...

Now I am sure some people are annoyed by it especially if it is weekly rather than a once in awhile event. I also live near by and often see neighbors interacting with the crowd, enterprising children selling things to people standing in line - so far it seems rather community-esque and I have yet to personally hear anything negative. Everyone in line seems rather chill with their nose in their phone. Overall, this post seems negative in tone - like you are trying to stir up drama where no one has said or reached out saying they have an issue.

Anonymous said...

20 year olds? That would be very illegal. Everyone should call 311 en masse.

Katia said...

Anon 1:37, I meant to say 'in their 20s" of course. Just changed it in the post.

Katia said...

Anon, 12:16, please read the beginning of the post and the email that was sent to PMFA by a local resident. The nearby residents are clearly getting annoyed. We did not inver that fact and are not stirring up drama, as you suggest.

Greg Adams said...

I live down the street. Admittedly, I don't have to deal with these crowds every Saturday morning but being a craft beer enthusiast, I have to disagree with other commenters that the beer isn't good. In actuality, its one of the best in the country. Perhaps the local community can meet with the owners to try to figure out a better time for can releases. One brewery in Brooklyn does them at 530 on Thursday nights. I'm sure there are ways to work this out.

With so many businesses failing on smith street, we as a community should embrace the successes and encourage artisans like other half brewery to call Carroll Gardens their home.

Anonymous said...

I go to the brewery for these releases. That said, if I lived on the block I'd be very annoyed. Lots of people inking themselves into a stupor, throwing their trash on the street, etc. Other Half really should do something about it but the line drives the hype, and the hype drives the sales, so I don't really see them doing anything without some sort of push from the authorities.

Anonymous said...

"a group of young men in their 20s" Come on. Seriously?

Anonymous said...

This is stupid. Residents of NYC always stand in line for something.

What the person failed to mention are the druggies in the area. The way I see it these people are doing that area a favor.

Anonymous said...

who wants to bet the one complaint was made by a transplant (like the many in this comment section)....... plenty of people from the community in line and I have never seen a resident complain in person. Every now and then some inconsiderate person will litter but they are often called out by others in line or the others in line simple clean up the garbage, the actual locals in the area go about their business because a crowded street in nyc is nothing new

Anonymous said...

" It seems even the people waiting for and drinking it admit it's overrated and they are merely there to "be a part of something" because it's trendy. "

Anonymous June 15, 2017 11:51 AM, This is a garbage opinion that comes up in almost every post about something popular. You might as well have complained about "people from Ohio" and "millennials" into your post and hit all the stereotype buzzwords.

It's obviously not trendy because someone had to email the blog who also didn't know anything about it. I'm pretty sure I could pull randoms off Smith St and ask them about this and most of them wouldn't even know about people waiting hours in line for beer.

Your post is nothing more than "this is something I hate so I need to find a way to demean the people who like it."

Anonymous said...

There were some very good observations and recommendations made to the brewery in the comments - online pre-ordering, owners meeting with local community to see what win-wins to come up with. I hope that the brewery takes residents' concerns seriously. And to those of you who think that complainers are whiners, never belittle someone's complaints. Do onto others....the karmic wheel - you never know when you might be at the other end. Being respectful and considerate is a win-win. Let's always try to go there. It feels better, too.

Anonymous said...

Anon June 16, 2017 9:04 AM. Go wait for hours in line for beer if that's your thing. I've gone there when there is less of a wait. Beer is not that good and the extremely high alcohol content gets these kids drunk very fast. There is a plethora of quality craft beer readily available everywhere in Brooklyn. If you are holier than thou, why don't you just drive 6 hours and get some heady topper. Heady Topper = good beer, but again not worth the hubbub. At the end of the day its just beer. Not enough to get upset about here unless this line is causing trouble, making too much noise or littering. As a previous poster pointed out these apartments are directly across the street from McDonalds & a gas station so if they don't have issues with that why take issue with this. Let the bearded men brew the beer and let the brainwashed youth buy it even if it's not that great. Everyting gonna be ayre.

Katia said...

Thank you, Anon, 11:40. That was exactly the point of my post.

Anonymous said...

Re: Joao. It would be a bad idea to have a line up near those businesses that have people in cars coming and going. Someone will get hit on the first day.

Its sad that people will line up for beer and phones, but probably wouldnt do any community work. Get those people over to park asap and pick some weeds!

Anonymous said...

OH much more delicious than HT.

Peter Malik said...

The solution is the utilize the McD space across the street. OH clearly means a huge uplift for that decrepit area, and the product is excellent. People will always have opinions on whether it makes sense to line up for a can of beer at 6 a.m. but boy, we collectively do far, far stupider things in this society. So live and let live.

Peter Malik said...

The people who go to OH is not going there to get drunk and are generally far more civilized than your usual bar crowd. From my experience any loitering is less than on a typical block of Smith and Court St. This is a great business in a pretty grubby part of Carroll Gdns so I think before we fall prey to an alarmist posture and call for even more regulation and restrictions let's try to find a solution. If the McD parking lot is not the solution there is plenty of sidewalk space on both sides of Smith to make the line unobtrusive.

Anonymous said...

"who wants to bet the one complaint was made by a transplant"

Ugh, seriously, Anon June 15 5:03, you need to get out more. Like there is no way it was a Brooklyn single mother of 3 who knew she was signing a lease under the BQE, on Hamilton, next to a scrap yard, near the bus route, within nose-shot of the Gowanus. Yet draws the line when her family is woken up to the sound of camping hipsters on her stoop eager for Saturday morning beer. Gotta be someone from one of those quiet cities like Detroit or Chicago where everything is crickets.

Anonymous said...

My apartment faces the line and I welcome those customers bringing revenue to this side of Court Street. We have lost Teafee, Treats Truck, Kimchee Taco, and many others over the years. The neighbors are never loud of bothersome, which is more than I can say for the meth addicts that hang out outside my apartment screaming through the night. Like someone said, these are not wasted customers lining up early in the morning. This is a destination brewery. Aficionados drive long distances to come here. Would I do that? No, but I also don't wait on crazy lines for trendy food. Leave them alone and embrace the changes in the neighborhood! We all win.

Anonymous said...

I personally do not live near there (but few minutes from there). I feel bad for the residents for tolerating the noise and people hovering outside of their homes after Saturday morning.

Anonymous said...

I'm on Court and Smith and you'd never even know there was a line unless you walked down a block or two, but it always seems pretty chill whenever I go by. I also agree with the comments about how many shops have gone out of business in the area, especially on Court south of 9th street, Teafee, Treats Truck, etc. That area could use some positive energy. Also, what's with multiple comments bashing iPhones? What does beer have to do with phones? People stand in line for new stuff, happens all the time. It's not a new concept. But, "standing in line for an iPhone" has become some kind of lazy shorthand for enthusiast behavior that someone doesn't approve of. ;)