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40under40 40under40 Photos by Ashton Worthington
40 Under 40 Tastemaker 2019

Brian Polen, 38

Cofounder/President, Brooklyn Kura, Brooklyn, NY

Saké brewed in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Kura, New York’s original saké brewery, began as experimental home brew in the separate kitchens of Polen and business partner Brandon Doughan. After the two met by chance and discovered a shared love of saké, they spent years doing research on the beverage and breweries throughout Japan and the United States. In 2016, Polen quit a nearly decadelong career with American Express to form Brooklyn Kura. Through a combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern innovation, the company now produces local craft sake that rivals Japanese selections.