For a minute last year, it seemed as though the future of Mast Brothers—Brooklyn’s beans-to-bar, gorgeously wrapped chocolate bar—was in danger. They were not so purely beans-to-bar after all! In their very early days of production, it was discovered, Rick and Michael Mast bought and remelted commercial French chocolate in their own recipe to give it a smoother texture than their nascent methods would have allowed. People totally lost their shit over this! First because the Masts insisted that this was not true, then because we learned they lied, and finally because they were kind of jerks about it: “We have spent precious time away from our family on the week of Christmas to manage a senseless, mean-spirited ‘takedown,'” they said.
But it turns out their confidence about the future of their business was one thing they weren’t lying about. Today, Grub Street reports a significant Mast Brothers expansion to the Navy Yard’s future Green Manufacturing Center. In 65,000 square feet, the Masts will nearly double their employees with 100 news position, ratchet up chocolate production, and begin an entirely new artisanal initiative: the world’s first “chocolate brewery,” which will make alcohol-free “chocolate beer.”
Personally, I’d rather just drink alcoholic beer while I eat some chocolate (which I believe is a truly fantastic combination), but the Masts—who can’t now rest on their beans-to-bar laurels alone—seem to be embracing the approach of innovate or die. Indeed, with all these new jobs, oodles of square footage, and chocolate beer coming to Navy Yards soon, it looks like the Mast Brothers will be around a while longer.