Road Trip Alert: Genesee Brew House Opens In Rochester

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Road trip alert: Genesee Brew House opens in Rochester

Print Email >Don Cazentre | By Don Cazentre | "> Don Cazentre | The Post-Standard

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on September 17, 2012 at 5:30 PM, updated September 17, 2012 at 5:52 PM

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Jenny Girls.JPGCourtesy Genesee Brewing Co.Waitresses serving beer at the new Genesee Brew House pub/museum/brewery in Rochester.

Genesee beer fans, it may time for a road trip.

Many Upstate New Yorkers grew up, sort of, on the beers made by the Genesee Brewing Co., of Rochester, including the celebrated Genny Cream Ale.

Now Genesee is tapping into that nostalgia, but with an eye toward modern craft-brewing, too.

It all comes together in the new $3.9 million Genesee Brew House, which opened to the public on Sept.8.

Genesee turned a 9,200-square-foot former packaging center into what it calls "a beer destination" featuring interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations that explore Genesee's 100-plus-year-old history, along with a gift shop and a pub-style restaurant.

And there's a pilot brewery, where Genesee will try out new recipes and produce some beers served exclusively at the pub. Genesee will invite "guest" brewers from some of the other breweries in the area to help.

The pub, featuring a 41-foot bar crafted from original Genesee cedar fermentation tanks, will also serve beers from other regional breweries. (The brew house has a secondary goal of promoting Rochester's "beer renaissance," including craft brewers).

The Genesee Brew House is in Rochester's Upper Falls neighborhood, in a location with a spectacular view of the High Falls on the Genesee River.

Genesee brews a traditional lineup of domestic beers, such as Genesee Beer, Genesee Light and its Cream Ale, plus a line of craft beers under the Dundee label.

Genesee Brew House Exterior.JPGCourtesy Genesee Brewing Co.Exterior of the Genesee Brew House, in Rochester's Upper Falls neighborhood.

Meanwhile, news reports that surfaced in early September indicate that Genesee may be for sale -- again. The report, from the Reuters News Agency, said that Genesee's parent, a New York City equity firm called KPS Capital Partners, had put its brewery portfolio up for sale.

That brewery division, Rochester-based North American Breweries, sells Labatt in the United States and acquired Independent Brewers United Inc., which owns the brands Magic Hat and Pyramid, in 2010.

Genesee was founded in 1878 and was run by the Wehle family for more than a century until a management-employee-led buyout in 1999.

KPS/North American Breweries took control in 2009 and has pumped considerable money and marketing efforts into the legacy Genesee brands -- including the restoration of the large lighted sign in downtown Auburn.

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Road Trip Alert: Genesee Brew House Opens In Rochester


Road Trip Alert: Genesee Brew House Opens In Rochester

Road Trip Alert: Genesee Brew House Opens In Rochester


Road Trip Alert: Genesee Brew House Opens In Rochester

Road Trip Alert: Genesee Brew House Opens In Rochester


Road Trip Alert: Genesee Brew House Opens In Rochester