New York City officially welcomed its newest brewery, Five Boroughs Brewing Co., to Sunset Park on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6 at a taproom launch party.
The spanking new location, 215 47th Street, was filled with attendees eager to celebrate the new space with games, food from Brooklyn Cowgirl, DiSO’S Italian Sandwich Society, STUF’D, El Toro Rojo, and Phil’s Steaks, and of course, great craft beer.
“Our grand-opening weekend was beyond our expectations,” said brewery Co-Founders and COOs Blake Tomnitz and Kevin O’Donnell in a joint statement. “We were blown away seeing so many neighbors, friends and brand-new faces from all across the city join us to celebrate the launch of Five Boroughs Brewing Co.”
Although it’s early in their stint in the neighborhood, the reception has been positive. “Sunset Park has been an incredible home for us, and we’re so excited to be among its fabric of strong manufacturing businesses as well as its rising social scene,” they said. “We’ve been working closely with the community to measure our impact, and Blake is on the board of the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SBIDC), which provides advocacy and support to businesses in Sunset Park, Gowanus and Red Hook.”
Choosing the right space to support their business was the founders’ first priority and it wasn’t easy to find at first. “It’s surprisingly hard to find a space within New York City to support a manufacturing business, and we looked across the five boroughs to select a building that could accommodate our needs to produce enough high-quality beer for all New Yorkers,” they explained. “When we saw this former steel manufacturing plant in Sunset Park with its high ceilings and incredible space, we knew it was the right one. We had a very long journey working with the city and the community to rehabilitate the building, and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.”
It takes a great brew and something unique to keep a solid brewery going strong, and both 27-year-old Tomnitz and 34-year-old O’Donnell, a Bay Ridge resident, have brought something new to the table.
“Each New York City brewery is doing what they do very well, and we all work quite closely in the Brewer’s Guild to support each other’s missions,” said both founders. “Five Boroughs is committed to making the highest-quality craft beer accessible to every New Yorker. Whether you’re the kind of beer drinker who’s a complete craft aficionado or you’re just drinking your first craft brew, Five Boroughs is for you.”
The journey started six years ago. Tomnitz and O’Donnell were co-workers when Tomnitz, then a college student and home brewer, came up with the idea for Five Boroughs Brewing Co.
In 2014, the two partnered. O’ Donnell attended craft beer events around the city as the duo put a team together to form their brewing business. After a long real estate search that brought them to Queens and the Bronx, they found their home in Sunset in 2015.
Five Boroughs’ flavorful brews are what make this space special, offering four core beers that include the brewery’s IPA, Pilsner, Gose and Hoppy Lager which will be available on draft in bars throughout New York City.
“We also offer taproom-exclusives including our Mango Saison, Raspberry Gose, Helles and our Mosaic Pale Ale, which just won a bronze medal in the Pale Ale category in the New York State Brewers Association Taste NY Governor’s Cup Craft Beer Competition,” they said.
The future looks bright for the two founders as settle into their new home. “We do hope that the Sunset Park location will be a destination,” they added. “We love to meet New Yorkers from all of the boroughs, and our taproom staff is excited to talk about our beer with everyone who comes through, no matter their level of knowledge.”