Today, owner Gerry Rooney (of Putnam’s Pub & Cooker in Clinton Hill) opens Circa Brewing Co. in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn. The 6,000-square foot space is home to a fully-functioning brewery and restaurant that serves a selection of fresh, house made brews, wood-burning pizzas, shareable grilled meat and vegetable plates, light salads, and other seasonally-inspired fare.
The beer program, led by head brewer Danny Bruckert (formerly of Sixpoint Brewery), features up to 12 different beers that are brewed on-site using high-quality grains and are served at the absolute peak of freshness. The diverse yet approachable list includes options like a refreshing Berliner Weisse, an East Coast-meets-West Coast House IPA, and a sessionable Nitro Pale Ale. Danny’s beer offerings range from classic and historical brews, to new and creative iterations, and also nod to the future through the exploration and experimentation of new flavors, techniques, and ingredients. An SRM (Standard Reference Method) color swatch system is prominently displayed within the space and serves as a visual design element. It also functions as a basic guide to help guests identify a beer based on its hue and intensity. Circa offers beer by the glass or flight, and guests may also purchase growlers to-go.
Circa’s cocktail program features an assortment of barrel-aged, hand-shaken, as well as beer-infused cocktails from renowned bartender Damon Boelte (of Boerum Hill’s Grand Army). Guests may enjoy options such as the For Goodness Sakes (mezcal, lime, honey, egg white, purple basil, salt, tamarind soda); the Spent Grain Old Fashioned (rye whiskey, spent grain tincture, bitters, orange & lemon zest); and the Tropicalé! (coconut tea rum, lime, honey, mint, Circa IPA). All wines are sourced locally from Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Rooftop Reds and are available on tap.
Danny’s twin brother, Luke Bruckert, helms as head pizza chef and chef de cuisine, specializing in Napoli-style pizza. Fired in custom-made Mugnaini wood-burning ovens, Luke’s pizza dough undergoes a two-day “slow-proofing” fermentation process and is made with Molini di Voghera flour imported from Italy’s Lombardi region. Guests may enjoy creative offerings such as:
- Big Dipper with truffle béchamel, melted leeks, wild mushrooms, pork shank, gruyere, and pork jus dipping sauce
- The Choke with marinated artichoke, hazelnut pesto, sweet drop peppers, Rogue River blue, and mozzarella
- ‘62 Hawaii with sweet onion, bourbon ham, charred pineapple, mozzarella, aged provolone, and black salt
- Classic pies like the Margherita and Salumi
Other menu offerings, charged by Executive Chef Bruce Dillon (formerly of Putnam’s Pub & Cooker), include shareable grilled meat and vegetable plates cooked over an open fire on the GrillWorks Inferno Wood Burning Grill. Guests may opt for options such as Wood-Fired Chicken with piri piri sauce and grilled baby gem; a Tomahawk Bone-In Rib Eye (For Two) with bone marrow butter; and Grilled Cauliflower Steak with black garlic cream, eggplant caponata, and herb oil. A selection of shareable bites and light salads round out the menu.
The design of Circa Brewing Co. was a collaboration between Brooklyn-based architecture firm Greg Yang Design (GYD) and owner Gerry Rooney. Inspired by Brooklyn’s industrial manufacturing spaces and drawing from the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, Circa Brewing Co. was fashioned using ground-faced concrete units, cast glass block, steel and rough sawn solid wood.
At the core of this “factory” workshop—encircled by a 70-foot long oak worktop bar —are stainless steel tanks, machinery and pipe works of a 7-barrel brewhouse. The beer making process is open and visible to the bar and main beer hall, which is located under a sloped sawtooth ceiling. The ceiling is flanked by structural steel storage catwalks designed to age oak cask beers. A large-scale airfoil ceiling fan and circular biergarten lighting fixture juxtapose the industrial and traditional, and serve as a centralizing object for the space and visitors.
Circa offers three spaces for events: the “Tasting Room,” which can host casual seating for up to 25; the “Brewer’s Room,” a private area with space for up to 18 guests; and the “Chef’s Table,” which can seat parties of 10. Circa can also host semi-private events for 50 to 150 guests, while the entire space can host a private affair for up to 250.
Circa staff uniforms were created in partnership with illustrators Travis Millard and Killer Acid, best known for their album cover and poster designs for artists such as Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, and Kurt Vile. The psychedelic, skate graphic-inspired shirts will be sold in three limited-edition series on the Circa website and at the restaurant.
Circa Brewing Co. is located at 141 Lawrence Street, between Fulton and Willoughby Streets, in Downtown Brooklyn, New York.