Genesee Brewery Opens $3.9 Million ‘Genesee Brew House’

ROCHESTER, NY — The Genesee Brewery held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 31 to unveil The Genesee Brew House and announce details of its grand opening. The public grand opening celebration on Sept. 8 will feature a free concert, tours of the pilot brewery, beer tastings for individuals who are 21 years of age or older, food and more.

“The Genesee Brew House commemorates Genesee brewery employees and our loyal fans,” said Rich Lozyniak, CEO of North American Breweries, Genesee’s parent company. “It captures Genesee’s rich history while paying tribute to brewing in Rochester, New York.”

“For over 130 years, The Genesee Brewery has been a vital part of our local economy and has helped put Monroe County on the map. Today’s opening of the Brew House signifies the many great things that are in store for our region. I applaud the public-private partnerships that made this investment possible and wish North American Breweries continued success in revitalizing this historic jewel of our community,” said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks.

In November of 2011, The Genesee Brewery announced plans to renovate the former packaging center in Rochester’s Northeast neighborhood. The majority of the development project is complete but the outdoor concert and event space will be completed in spring 2013. The company has invested nearly $3.9 million into the project.

“The Genesee Brew House will be a destination for Rochester residents and visitors alike,” said Mayor Thomas S. Richards. “We look forward to the vibrancy that people will bring here as they come to dine, see the exhibits, sample the brew and take in the newly opened vistas of the High Falls and Genesee River gorge.”

About the Genesee Brew House:

Once a century-old packaging center, The Genesee Brew House has transformed the 9,200 square-foot space into a beer destination for Upstate New York and beyond. The first floor of the Brew House features interactive exhibits, multi-media content, a gift shop and a pilot brewery complete with a tasting bar. Upstairs, there is a pub-style restaurant with a 41-foot bar (hand-crafted out of old, wooden Genesee brewing tanks), outdoor terrace seating and a rooftop patio.

“We were literally sweeping the sawdust off the floors yesterday,” said Mark Minunni, director of engineering and project manager for the Genesee Brew House. “Despite our aggressive timetable, we’re excited about the 360-degree beer experience we have created through the Genesee Brew House. Along with our fellow brewers here, we hope to put Upstate New York on the map as a destination for beer lovers.”

The Genesee Brew House tells a story of the Genesee Brewing Company that dates back to 1878. The brewery lays claim to being one of the oldest and longest continually operating breweries in the United States. By using an eclectic mix of vintage barrels, reclaimed wood, exposed ceiling, neon signs, new technology and modern exhibits, The Brew House will bring Genny’s story alive for generations to come.

Exhibit Gallery:

  • Genesee Brewery Interactive Historical Timeline: features film viewers with video footage from post-prohibition when the brewery flung open its doors and was back in business. Also includes a scale model of the brewery grounds, artifacts, photos and an authentic gold leaf painting of the original Genesee campus.
  • Historic 12 Horse Wagon: used to deliver beer from the brewery in the 1930s, the 12 Horse wagon became an iconic image in Genesee beer advertising and on packaging. The exhibit features an exact replica of one of the wagon wheels and an original harness worn by the Belgian Roan horses.
  • Genesee in the Media: showcases Genesee advertising throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s through vintage television screens and radios.
  • Tools of the Trade: highlights the brewmasters who worked at the Genesee Brewery throughout its history. Features a locker filled with vintage brewery uniforms and tools, accompanied by audio from brewery workers describing a typical day at work.
  • Genesee Photobooth: a beer-can shaped photobooth invites visitors to create and capture Brew House memories to take home and share online.
  • How Our Beer is Made: takes people through the step-by-step brewing process, along with stories and samples of the different ingredients that make Genesee Beer.
  • Cans and Bottles: Genesee Beer has undergone several packaging changes throughout the years. This exhibit features the many faces of Genesee cans and bottles.
  • Genesee in Sports: features artifacts from Genesee-sponsored sporting and outdoors events, from fishing tournaments, to bowling and boxing.
  • A Look at Miss Jenny: introduces Genesee’s most iconic and sexiest spokesperson. Her image is known throughout America as one of the earliest examples of females in beer advertising. This exhibit pays tribute to Miss Jenny with artifacts, replicas of her costumes and more.
  • Rochester’s Brewers: an interactive map of the breweries that once existed in Rochester, along with all the breweries that exist as part of Rochester’s brewing renaissance today.
  • Brew FAQ: A touchscreen and audio display allows visitors to see and hear Genesee brewery employees as they explain the brewing process from start to finish, including details about the water used, quality processes and how the beer makes it to your favorite store shelf.
  • Collector’s Corner: will feature vintage Genesee artifacts on loan from collectors throughout the region.

Pilot Brewery:

  • Contains Newlands steam-fired 20-barrel brewing system.
  • The small batch system allows for brewers to create new recipes and experiment.
  • The Brew House will offer three different beers that are exclusive to the Genesee Brew House. The beers will change frequently.
  • A tasting bar will feature a flight of four different beers for $2. A portion of proceeds from the tasting bar will benefit various local charities throughout the year. The first recipient will be The Housing Council. The Genesee Brew House is also collaborating with the American Heart Association and the Rochester Public Market on a Community Health Education program.
  • The tasting bar will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily.

Pub-Style Restaurant:

  • Will have 16 taps for the freshest beer in Rochester. Two of the taps will be available for guest brews.
  • The menu includes pub-style fare including: hamburgers, chicken wings, salads, sandwiches and sausage, hot dogs and specialty meat products from Zweigle’s, an Upstate N.Y. favorite,. Gourmet sides and an assortment of appetizers round out the menu.
  • An outdoor terrace features seating for 28 people, and a rooftop patio with 49 seats both offer scenic views overlooking High Falls and the Genesee River Gorge.
  • The centerpiece of the pub is a 41-foot long bar, handcrafted by Genesee Brewery employees from vintage cedar brewing tanks that we part of the original brewery campus.
  • Hours of operation: Open daily from 11 a.m. — 7 p.m.

“The journey to opening the Genesee Brew House was a labor of love,” said Lozyniak. “As we open the doors to the Genesee Brew House today, we welcome in the Rochester community and Genesee fans to savor our history and imagine what’s to come for the Brewery in the next century.”

The Genesee Brewery graciously thanks the following Rochester trades and firms: The Pike Company, Hanlon Architects, Herrick-Saylor Engineers, Schuler-Haas Electric, Crosby-Brownlie Mechanical and Rochester Gas & Electric for its substantial economic development assistance.

Note: The Genesee Brew House project was originally estimated at $2.6 million but has come in at $3.9 million due to the following project upgrades: enhancement of the outdoor festival site and rooftop patio, as well as expansion of the pilot brewery.

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