Historically speaking, Brooklyn was destined to become a brewing hotspot. The borough's beer-centric past dates back to the 19th century, when German immigrants brought with them ages-old brewing techniques and opened breweries in droves before national competition eventually forced them to shut down a little more than a century later. Fast-forward to 1984, the year Associated Press correspondent Steve Hindy returned to the City after a six-year reporting gig in the Middle East, armed with home-brewing techniques he learned there as well as a desire to revive the brewery tradition. Today, the Williamsburg brewery's Brooklyn Lager (and other varieties) can be found in bars throughout New York City, in 26 states and 20 countries. And the operation is expanding to double its current output. Brooklyn Brewery hosts free tours every Saturday: between 1 and 5pm (starting on the hour), learn about the past, present and future of the company. (You just have to be 21 or older or accompanied by a parent or guardian.) After, grab a seat at one of the indoor picnic tables and, if you're of age, sample some of the brewery's wildly popular creations. (Beer tokens are available for $5 apiece or at five for $20.) The bar sells snacks, but outside food is also welcome. For more information, visit brooklynbrewery.com.
Photo: Malcolm Brown