A Brooklyn Brew in Stockholm? Fuggedaboutit
If you live in Colorado or California and enjoy the beers of Brooklyn Brewery, you are out of luck. Despite its size as the 13th largest craft brewer in the country, Brooklyn Brewery does not distribute west of Minnesota.
However, if you live in Stockholm, Sweden, it's a different story. Brooklyn Brewery products are easy to find.
"Sales have really started to spike in Sweden," says Ben Hudson, marketing director for Brooklyn Brewery. "Now we're seeing a point where our beer is close to really becoming mainstream [there]."
So close to mainstream that Sweden is now the second largest market for Brooklyn Brewery outside of New York. Yes, you read that right.
"I usually have to explain it twice," says Hudson. "Most people think I mean the number two market outside the U.S., and I have to say, no, no, it's No. 2 after New York City."
This weekend to celebrate its Brooklyn-Sweden connection, Brooklyn Brewery is co-hosting an "all-Brooklyn" music festival, aptly titled "Brooklyn, Sweden."
The event features 16 indie rock, pop, punk or electronic music bands that have some sort of connection to Brooklyn. The event is being split over two days in two cities, Malmo and Stockholm.
"We have a great fan base there and we felt like it was time we give back and throw a big party for our customers," says Hudson.
Fifteen percent of Brooklyn Brewery beer is exported overseas, the largest percentage among craft brewers, according to Hudson. In fact, of Brooklyn Brewery's top three market, two are overseas. The United Kingdom ranks third, ahead of New Jersey and Massachusetts, which rank fourth and fifth. (For more:The Brewery That Brought Beer Back to Brooklyn)
Exporting overseas is easier for Brooklyn Brewery than most other craft brewers because of its easy access to a shipping port.
"It's cheaper to ship kegs and bottles over the water in boats and bulk tankers than it is to ship bottles on the roads across the United States," Hudson continued.
In addition to logistics, Brooklyn Brewery has another built in geographic advantage.
"Most people from overseas that visit the U.S. tend to visit New York as part of their trip. They discover our brand and it makes it that much easier to go to market when we go overseas," Hudson noted.
Next up for overseas expansion is France.
"We see [overseas markets] as normal territory at this point. A slightly more complicated, slightly different relationship, but it's really just become part of our routine business," says Hudson. "We take it as seriously as we do the United States."
Brooklyn's expanding presence overseas comes at an interesting time in the craft beer landscape as brewers like Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and Oskar Blues are beefing up their presence in Brooklyn's home turf, by expanding with East Coast brewing facilities. (Read more:Sierra Nevada Founder Talks Craft Beer: Past, Present Future and NorthCarolina Crafts a New Beer City, USA)
So will Brooklyn be going in the reverse direction?
"We definitely have westward ambitions," says Hudson. "But we're not in any rush at this point."
-By Tom Rotunno, CNBC Senior Editor