Meet John Urlaub, owner of Rohrbach Brewing Company. I recently caught up with John at Rohrbach’s Production Brewery & Tasting Room to learn more about one of the city’s first craft breweries. A Rochester native and graduate of St. Bonaventure University, he worked for Kodak before starting the brewery. His Kodak career included several relocations, including LA – where he tried his first craft beer, Anchor Steam; New York City – where he discovered Manhattan Brewing Company and fell in love with the brewpub concept; and eventually to Rohrbach, Germany – after which, he named the brewery.
Rohrbach Brewing Company, established in 1991, officially opened their doors in 1992 at the German House in Rochester’s South Wedge neighborhood. John laughs as he tells me that the toughest part of starting the brewery was getting his brewers license. But he didn’t have trouble getting approval… it was actually finding the application. “There were so few breweries in NY at that time, no one at the State Liquor Authority could find an application!”