STEVE HINDY: Starting a business is, I think, every bit as exciting and actually perilous and dangerous as covering a war.
I met American diplomats in Saudi Arabia where they have Islamic law, no alcoholic beverages. And these guys were avid home brewers. When I came back to New York, I started making beer at home. I thought Brooklyn would be a perfect place for one of these at the time were called microbreweries. People know that Brooklyn Brewery is committed to its community. We donate now to more than 300 organizations every year in New York City.
There are like 380 craft breweries now in New York state. And we employ something like 100,000 people. So we've become a real factor in the state's economy. And the governor and many other politicians have recognized that this is an industry that we should get behind. The craft beer revolution has been a boon to farmers in upstate New York. Hops can be a great cash crop.
Cornell is uniquely situated with the ag school and the extension program to help the craft brewing industry develop in this state. I think one of the big advantages of Cornell was the incredible array of choices. I went there thinking I would design golf courses. And I ended up majoring in English literature. The confidence that I got at Cornell was valuable in helping me make the leap to starting a brewery.
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As co-founder and chairman of The Brooklyn Brewery, Steve Hindy '71, MAT '75, has helped to galvanize the American craft beer movement. Started in 1987 with Hindy's then-neighbor, Tom Potter, Brooklyn Brewery has become a borough icon and a top name in American craft beer brewing.