Whispers of the first brewpub in Brooklyn have been fluttering around the NYC food scene for quite some time, and now Dirck the Norseman is finally inching closer to its official opening date. Named after Dirck Volckertsen (one of Greenpoint's earliest settlers), the cavernous brewery/restaurant transforms the old Polycraft plastic bag factory into a large but warm space filled with reclaimed wood, tin and glass. Inhabitat recently stopped by to chat with owner Ed Raven and explore the Norseman's recycled interior and state-of-the-art, on-premises brewery. Step inside our gallery to get a sneak peek of your own!
Raven, a beer veteran who got his start two decades ago selling beer for Brooklyn Brewery, chose the old plastic bag factory in Greenpoint as the site for Dirck the Norseman because of its airy, open space and waterfront location. “I really just needed a larger space to entertain,” he told us. But it didn’t hurt that there was also a bit of a connection between location’s history (it is said that Dirck’s actual home was situated on or near the factory’s plot) and Raven’s own roots. “I am part Danish, part Norwegian and the rest Italian,” he explains. “Call it destiny? Maybe.”
Raven’s appreciation for reclaimed materials also influenced the beer garden’s interior, which retained many of the factory’s original features, such as the cement floor, beamed ceiling and metal piping. “I am attracted to rough and historical raw spaces. When renovating them, they call out for recycled, used and original materials. Why mess with something that has worked for decades?” Raven told us.
Aside from what was already available at the space, old schoolhouse windows, repurposed church pews and reclaimed wooden tabletops were incorporated in the hall’s design. A massive statement chandelier and stained glass doors leading to the bathroom were salvaged from a shuttered Mexican restaurant. Raven even used lumber from his own home in (we’re not making this up) Woodstock, NY to create the shelf that hangs over the fireplace. The enormous, custom-made wooden bartop was created by Fruitful Furnishings in Margaretville, NY.
Looking around Dirck, it was hard to find anything new at all except for the gleaming metal equipment in the kitchen and brewery areas. Judging from the top-of-the-line machinery and the fact that brewmaster Chris Prout was already inside one of the beer tanks hard at work, it’s easy to see that the operation is serious about the food and drink it will be serving to its customers. Raven told us that he would begin brewing his first batch of suds on the day that we visited, and that it would take about 3-5 weeks for it to be ready for consumption. Most of Dirck the Norseman’s draft offerings will be brewed right on site but a few will be ordered from outside. Living up to its classification as a brewpub (which, according to brewersassociation.org, is a restaurant-brewery that sells 25% or more of its beer on site), Dirck will also offer a full menu of elevated pub fare to help patrons prep their stomachs for all of that alcohol:
Beer Garden Menu:
Rotiserrie chicken half w/gramolatta $14
Fulfill marinade Gramolatta – parsley, cilantro, lemon, Lemmon zest, bania guada mustard
Housemade chipolata sausage w/onion gravy $12
Bacon leek beer broth mussels over toasted challa bread Pullman toast $14
Free range brisket w/red horseradish sauce $14
Pulled Turkey confit $13
over challa bread w/onion mountain rings and cranberry sprinkles
Pork chop schnitzel $14
mushroom green pepper sauce on the bone crust – sage crumbs Parmesan
Egg wash – eggs salt pepper Parmesan tomato paste
Grainy mustard honey sauce
Housemade Bacon thick slabs $6
Fries – peanut oil and long russet potatoes $6
Mini Potatoes in dill goose fat garlic $7
Caesar salad bread dust aged Parmesan chives fondue $11
Housemade Pickles $6
Warm potato salad w/dill bacon and poached egg $8
Braised hammock with cabbage $12
Soup – beer onion gruyere $7
Deviled eggs $6
Acme smoke white fish Pullman bread chives mayo creme frece chives crispy onions spread everything bagel mix
The brewpub’s estimated opening will be “on or around January 12th,” but for those wanting to check it out beforehand, Raven will be throwing a New Year’s Eve party at the space tomorrow night starting at 10PM with free food, beer and wine. Just bring a bottle of bubbly for entrance. Dirck the Norseman is located at 7 N. 15th Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Photos ©Yuka Yoneda