Made (by hand) in Breukelen

The story of Breukelen Gin is told in this lovely short film that ties together two emerging cultural trends: the rediscovery of the hand-made and the rise of Brooklyn (or Breukelen) as a brand

The story of Breukelen Gin is told in this lovely short film that ties together two emerging cultural trends: the rediscovery of the hand-made and the rise of Brooklyn (or Breukelen) as a brand

Breukelen Gin packaging by I Love Dust

Breukelen Gin (taking the old Dutch name for the New York borough) was started by Brad Estabrooke after he was laid off from a job in finance in 2008. His story is told in the above film, the first in a series named Made By Hand, a filmmaking project that looks to document the “handmade” movement in Brooklyn and further afield. Their next film will focus on Cut Brooklyn, a knifemaker.

Hipster Brooklyn, with its independent shops, flea markets and ever-growing population of creative-types is a natural home for such businesses, often started by the disillusioned and the recently redundant looking to somehow do something ‘real’ with their lives and their pay-offs. After years of building websites, brands or M&A deals, getting your hands dirty no doubt has its appeal.

Across the water in Manhattan, there are similar enterprises, such as graphic designer Peter Buchanan-Smith’s Best Made axe brand.

But Brooklyn remains the spiritual home of the handcrafted (and often eye-wateringly expensive). Alongside knives and gin, the borough lends its name to a host of businesses including (inevitably) bikes and clothing, as well as the longer-established, now revived brewery. And, of course, the son of very famous parents.

No doubt a new neighbourhood will eventually emerge to take its place (and most of those who set the original scene have already departed for cheaper areas) but, for now, brand Brooklyn is being exploited to the max: however you spell it.



CR in Print

Thanks for reading the CR website, but if you are not also getting the printed magazine, we think you’re missing out. This month’s issue has a superb feature on the Sainsbury’s Own Label packaging of the 60s and 70s, a profile of new Japanese creative supergroup Party and our pick of this year’s top graduates. Read all about it here.

If you would like to buy this issue and are based in the UK, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.


More from CR

Vintage 80s: London Street Photography

In many ways the 80s don’t seem that long ago, especially with the recent resurgence in 80s-style fashion. Yet a new book of photographs from 80s London by Johnny Stiletto reveals that in fact the city has changed dramatically since then…

CR October issue: set in stone

The October issue of Creative Review features a cover set in granite and concrete. The design ties in with our feature on Blackpool’s Comedy Carpet, the latest typographical installation by Gordon Young and Why Not Associates


CR commissioned designer and imagemaker Trevor Jackson to create a series of images using a digital SLR. The commission was for a project that was unfortunately cancelled but we thought you’d like to see one of the results anyway. In creating the images, Jackson says that he became “increasingly fascinated with the flash reflections appearing […]

Riots and responsibility: guilt touches an icy adman’s heart

There was a cartoon in the Observer, the weekend after the August riots, that showed a procession of kids, hooded like the Nazgûls from the Lord of the Rings, carrying looted PlayStations and flat-screen TVs through a burning street. Leading them was a piper, also hooded, wearing a sandwich board saying ‘consumerism’. It stopped me […]

Senior Creative Designer

Monddi Design Agency

Head of Digital Content

Red Sofa London