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In June 2009 David Naczycz founded Urban Oyster, a company that offers tours in New York CIty, named so because of “the belief that, like oysters, the neighborhoods of New York are treasured resources that require nurturing and cultivation in order to survive and flourish.” Its inaugural tour: Brewed in Brooklyn.
“We knew we wanted to start in Brooklyn,” says Naczycz (pictured above and below, giving tours). “We researched five or six different stories to start with. Beer was the most exciting. It was the Best story no one was telling”
Brewed in Brooklyn takes tour-goers through Williamsburg and Bushwick, starting at the Brooklyn Brewery, visiting historical beer sites and ending in Barcade.
“I Started doing research into beer itself, to educate myself and become a beer expert,” he says. “The Brewed in Brooklyn tour was what made me a beer expert”
Since that first year, Naczycz and his team have added more tours and continued their research. One by one, their subsequent craft beer beverage tours included the Fermented NY Beer Crawl, the Craft Beer Sail and the Brewery Winery Distillery tour. Along the way Naczycz has kept his research ongoing, conducting it at the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Brooklyn Public Library and interviews with the Brooklyn Brewery.
“The more knowledgable and interested I became in beer the more I became interested in craft beverages in general,” he notes.
When thinking about the future of craft beer, Naczycz is intrigued to see what will happen as breweries start changing hands, getting passed on from the people who founded them. “When something is yours and you made it, it’s like a child,” he explains. “When it gets handed off to someone, for that person it means a little less. It’s going to be interesting to watch that process.”
Since 2009 Naczycz also seen the evolution of Williamsburg. When Urban Oyster tours first started Brewed in Brooklyn, the buildings that now house the Wythe Hotel and Mabel’s barbecue were both empty warehouses.
In this time the craft beer industry has also grown exponentially, and Naczycz has seen it firsthand. “Some places we go to that weren’t crowded then are crowded now,” he notes, citing Barcade as an example. “There are more beers than you can shake a stick at.”
This post is sponsored by Urban Oyster. Photos courtesy Urban Oyster.