“This neighborhood used to be the brewing home for the Northeast. There were over two dozen breweries in Bushwick alone [in the late 1800s]…we want to bring brewing back to Bushwick”
Eric and Marshall have always been a part of their community. From going to see music together in DC in their youth, to delving deep into the world of NYC homebrewers, to now supporting the creative community surrounding their Bushwick office, the idea of what the Braven Brewing Company would eventually stand for grew naturally out of their common passions.
Marshall had owned a clothing shop in DC in the mid-2000s (which unfortunately suffered the same death many small businesses did in the recession), so his entrepreneurial spirit initially outpaced Eric’s. The thought of Eric leaving his stable job at a law firm to pursue what was previously a very passionate hobby took a few years of Marshall’s convincing along with a real business plan...and a budget.
So, after a few years of brainstorming, market research, and planning, they used a Kickstarter campaign to produce an original recipe from one of those 1890’s Bushwick brewers. And their first product, Bushwick Pilsner, went to market in 2015, just a few years later.
“I love when we’re the beer of gallery openings… We’re the social lubricant for people to interact and engage. I like to think about how many ideas are being created and fostered in that room at that time and maybe we had a little part to play in that.”
Today, as they strive to, “inspire creativity with every sip”, the brand continues to support local arts institutions including the Bushwick Collective, Bushwick Film Festival, Works in Progress and more.
Looking ahead, they can’t wait to open a brick and mortar facility in Bushwick (they currently brew out in Saratoga Springs, NY). And their advice for other aspiring craft brewers? “You just have to work harder than everyone else.”
Photos courtesy of Braven Brewing Company & Brewbound.
Braven Brewing Company beers are available in Bushwick and throughout Brooklyn. Their latest brew, Las Tumbas (an orange-chocolate habanero stout), was released earlier this year.
By The Bootstraps is my way of highlighting the stories of intrepid entrepreneurs as they bootstrap their way to success. Every week I’ll release a video (and sometimes audio version) of these conversations. If you’d like to read more about the project or submit your own entrepreneur story for consideration, visit here.