For better beer – Words and images by Mike V. Sardina
A Destination at Home
The Genesee Brewing Company is an old brewery, founded in Rochester in the late 19th Century. It’s also a big brewery—as a part of ‘North American Breweries’ (along with Labatt USA), it’s the seventh largest brewing operation by production volume in the world. That’s a hell-of-a-lot of 30 racks…
And it sits right on the Genesee River in Rochester, New York, overlooking High Falls. It might not seems like a hip, destination brewery for beer lovers…I mean, who really gets jazzed up over Light Lager, Cream Ale, Kölsch, or Bock, these days. And some might argue that Genny is a “macro,” one of the “big, bad brewers.” But this location, in essence, is exactly a destination, one that I would argue that every beer lover should appreciate, if not admire.
Inside an old brick building that was constructed in 1904, you find a beer museum of sorts, with memorabilia and relics from the company’s history laid out in the first floor, leading toward the back of the building where the brewery’s pilot brewery is located. Here, Genny experiments and pushes the boundaries of the beers it offers—IPAs, hoppy Lagers, a Mosaic-dry hopped version of the renowned Genny Cream Ale (sidebar: that beer is damn delicious).
On the second floor is the pub, a welcoming family friendly restaurant serving comfort pub-style food and pints of beers from the Genesee and Dundee (namely: J.W. Dundee’s Honey Brown Ale) brands. And the third floor is an expansive rooftop terrace that provides a stunning few of the falls and the downtown Rochester skyline.
The beers are simple clean, straightforward even, but absolutely delicious. And despite the fact that Genesee is owned by North American Breweries, it feels like the hometown spot. A hometown destination for a great beer.