A Brooklyn-based craft beverage maker specializing in ginger ales and ginger beers, Terry Tang co-founded Brooklyn Food & Beverage in 2010. The company's first consumer-sold beverage was Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, an unfiltered ginger ale made with real ginger, as sweetened with pure cane sugar. That first drink was produced in Tang's East Williamsburg noodle and dumpling factory in Chinatown. Just a few years later, Brooklyn Food & Beverage -- the parent company of the Brooklyn Crafted label -- moved into its new home in Bushwick. Now the company’s beverages can be found in major retailers like Whole Foods, Fairway and Trader Joe's, beyond having an overseas presence in Europe and Asia.
Recent Tang -- the recipient of the 2008 NY Business Top Entrepreneur/Small Business Award from Crain’s for his success with TMI Food Group -- released a new line of Mini Ginger Beer bottles for Brooklyn Crafted. Available in four delicious flavors, including mango and early grey, you can actually see the pieces of ginger in these drinks. The new line joins other recent brand additions like Extra Spicy Ginger Beer, Extra Spicy Sugar Free Ginger Beer and Sugar Free Ginger Ale. Tang caught up with The Daily Meal for some Q&A over e-mail.
Before co-founding the TMI Food Group, what experience did you have with the food world? Is it true you had a noodle and dumpling factory in East Williamsburg?
Terry Tang: Prior to co-founding TMI, I had two well-known Chinese Szechuan restaurants on Long Island, one of which was called Tang’s. I did also have a noodle and dumpling factory in East Williamsburg.
Where did the idea for the Brooklyn Crafted line of drinks come from?
Brooklyn Crafted was born from the growing trends and demand for ginger beer. With an already successful line of ginger ales, we decided to pay homage to our Brooklyn roots for the expansion of our ginger beer line.
Do you have a favorite of the Brooklyn Crafted drinks?
Yes, my personal favorite is Sugar Free Extra Spicy Ginger Beer.
Among the latest from Brooklyn Crafted is the Extra Spicy Ginger Beer and the Extra Spicy Sugar Free Ginger Beer. Is spicy food a big part of your diet?
What is coming up for Brooklyn Crafted? Any new products or upcoming events?
We’re constantly doing different events around the city and sharing our ginger ales and beers with the masses. We’re currently conceptualizing new drinks and plan to have new products roll out in 2018.
For how long have you been associated with Brooklyn?
TMI moved from Chinatown to Brooklyn in 1991, and I’ve been here ever since.
Brooklyn has changed tremendously within the past decade. To you, has all of the change been for the better?
Of course. Brooklyn is much safer now and there is much more growth in the area.
When not busy with work, how do you like to spend your free time?
I enjoying reading, cooking and enjoying a good dinner at a nice restaurant.
Do you have a favorite restaurant near Brooklyn Crafted headquarters?
My favorite restaurant near our headquarters is Roberta’s.
Finally, Terry, any last words for the kids?
Any time you’re trying to grow a business, you must remember to nurture your original supporters.