Ed Raven is the brains and passion behind Greenpoint Beer and Ale. Raven has worked in the New York beer industry since the 1980's when he first worked as a salesperson for Brooklyn Brewery. Later he began importing classic European beers like Jever and Gaffel under his company RavenBrands. Then came Brouwerij Lane, one of the first beer shop/bar combos in the city in a then-unassuming street in Greenpoint. And then in 2014, he opened a full scale restaurant and brewery, the first of its kind in modern day Brooklyn.
When he opened, Ed brought home brewers Chris Prout and Erik Olsen, who were employees at Brouwerij to make the beers for in house consumption. At the time the restaurant was called Dirck the Norseman which referred to the first European settler in this part of present day Brooklyn. But since 2016, the space and brewery has taken on the more straight-forward name of Greenpoint Beer & Ale.
Chris and Erik have since moved on to other gigs, namely Chris is the head brewer at Gun Hill Brewing Company in the Bronx. And brewing duties have since been passed on to Trevor Schlam.
Greenpoint Beer & Ale smells like grilled and smoked meats when you walk in because the nearby kitchen is banging out some rich, hearty pub food like brisket sandwiches and grilled bratwurst. The European industrial vibe along with the filling food pairs perfectly with the rotating beer list, which can include traditional European lagers or funky, yeast-forward ales.
One of the most interesting for our groups to try when we bring them by on the Private NYC Brewery Tours, is the Milk & Coffee which is a unique Blonde Ale that looks golden but tastes of freshly brewed coffee.
You might not notice but all the beer is made in the back of the restaurant on a five barrel system. A few of their flagship beers are canned with cool designs and a handful of kegs are sent out to local craft beer bars. You can also taste some of Ed's traditional imported brands available by bottle.
Greenpoint Beer & Ale is one of the lesser-known breweries in Brooklyn, but one of our favorite hidden gems. It's a throwback to the beer halls you would have found in this part of Greenpoint and Williamsburg when German immigrants flooded the neighborhood and opened up their own local breweries. We learn about that history and tradition on our Brewed in Brooklyn tour and are thankful that places like this are bringing the tradition back.
Greenpoint Beer & Ale
7 North 5th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222