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North American Breweries Breaks Ground on Genesee Eco-Brewery District

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 6:00 PM by Rachel Laber

North American Breweries today announced that it is breaking ground on plans to create a Genesee Eco-Brewery District that will sustain and grow the business, spark innovation and raise quality standards for New York State’s beer industry, while making Rochester a thriving destination for beer and brewing.

Today, the Genesee Brewery breaks ground on the most visible part of the brewery modernization: a new 13,000-square-foot brewery “cold block” on St. Paul Street, which will contain a dry hopping system, yeast separator and beer filter, ingredient addition system, and cleaning system. The building features two stories of glass windows that create a view into how beer is finished. This is called the “cold side” of brewing, which includes the equipment and process to continue aging and perfecting beer after fermentation is complete.

Behind the building on the cold block, the brewery will install a new outdoor fermentation cellar featuring 24 new state-of-the-art fermenters, more commonly referred to as “beer storage tanks,” that hold between 500 to 2,000 barrels of beer. This will allow the Genesee Brewery to ferment a larger variety of beer styles and flavors more efficiently.

The five-year construction project began with the demolition of 10 outdoor beer fermentation tanks, and the removal of previous equipment inside the Genesee Brewery. The installation of a new state-of-the-art brewing system, the “hot side” of the brewing process is slated for completion this spring

According to Kris Sirchio, CEO of Genesee’s parent-company North American Breweries, this project creates new opportunities for Genesee, the Rochester community and New York state. “We’re investing to sustain Genesee and build on its potential. By modernizing our brewery, we will make it more efficient, allowing us to sustain and expand our business,” said Sirchio. “In addition, this project will improve our environmental footprint, reducing our energy consumption, conserving water and reducing emissions. This, along with a focus on our surrounding neighborhoods, and collaboration with other breweries, will help Rochester and New York state become a destination for beer and sustainable brewing.”

“We are so grateful to Governor Cuomo for seeing the vision of the Genesee Eco-Brewery District and helping to make it a reality,” said Sirchio.

"The expansion of the Genesee Brewery is a clear example of how we are leveraging Rochester’s many strengths to spur economic growth and create job opportunities across the entire region," Governor Cuomo said. "Working together to build upon the Genesee Brewery’s rich history and helping to support its great future is one more way we’re pushing the Finger Lakes Forward."

"Monroe County has become a top destination for breweries in our region,” said Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. “We are proud to see a local company like Genesee Brewing enjoying success and we could not be happier that they’ve chosen to expand right here at home.”

"The Genesee Brewery is an important part of Rochester's past, and thanks to this investment from the State of New York they will continue to be a pillar of our community as we look toward the future," said Mayor Lovely Warren. “Thanks to North American Breweries' commitment to the triple bottom line and lifting people out of poverty, this investment will lead to even more jobs, safer neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.”

Project Funding and Phase Two

The $50 million project includes investments from Empire State Development of up to $4.5 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits and up to $5 million through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative tied to NAB’s capital investment and commitment to hire people out of poverty. New York state funding will support phase two of the Genesee Eco-Brewery District, which builds on the success of the Genesee Brew House. Last year, about 300,000 people visited the Brew House to experience the museum, restaurant and pilot brewery. Phase two will expand on this vision, adding opportunities for people to learn, taste and experience beers from throughout the region. 

“We’ve just begun planning for phase two but we hope to expand our museum, restaurant, pilot brewery and tasting room,” said Sirchio. “We will add space to accommodate events and attract people interested in craft brewing. Rochester will become a destination for beer. And New York state’s oldest brewery, Genesee, will help pave the way.”

About The Genesee Brewery

Founded in 1878, the Genesee Brewery, based in Rochester, is New York state’s oldest brewery. The Brewery makes the Genesee line of beers, including the iconic Genesee, the refreshing Genesee Light, and the original Genesee Cream Ale. For more information, please visit geneseebeer.com, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About North American Breweries

North American Breweries is one of the largest beer companies in the United States. NAB brews, packages, imports, markets and sells its branded product portfolio through an independent network of wholesalers throughout the U.S. Brands include: Labatt, Genesee, Seagram’s Escapes, Magic Hat, Pyramid, the Original Honey Brown Lager and Portland Brewing. NAB also performs contract brewing of beer and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on behalf of other companies. NAB is also the U.S. importer of Imperial from Costa Rica. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, NAB operates breweries and alehouses across the United States, including its flagship brewery, the Genesee Brewery in Rochester, NY, which is one of the longest continually-operating breweries in the United States. For more information, please visit www.nabreweries.com.

Author: Rachel Laber

Rachel Laber is the Director of Communications and Public Relations for Visit Rochester. If you are interested in learning more about Rochester and the Finger Lakes, contact Rachel at (585) 279-8325. Journalists, bloggers, and travel writers interested in visiting the Rochester/ Finger Lakes region learn more here.

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