Tag Archives: drink local

Rochester Real Beer Week 2013

rochester real beer weekIt’s that time of year again! Friday, June 14th is the official start of Rochester Real Beer Week. Much like beer weeks held in other cities across the country, Real Beer Week starts with the Rochester Real Beer Expo and continues with a week long series of craft beer related events including tastings, food and beer pairings and dinners, socials, concerts, and craft beer launches. I love beer week as both a celebration of great craft beer, but also a celebration of Rochester’s eclectic neighborhoods, local businesses and all the great people that live here!

If you attended any of the events last year, you know that Rochester Real Beer Week is a seriously good time. This year, it promises to be even better… Tonight, the party has already begun over at Tap & Table for ROCkin’ on the River, the RRBW Official Kickoff Concert. Head down from 4-9pm for an outdoor show on Tap & Table’s riverside patio with a local beer focused draft list,  guest bartenders from local breweries, and a “Nose to Tail” Pig menu. Chef Brendon Clar will be creating dishes for the evening using a whole Berkshire hog. Note: T&T will not be offering their normal menu for the evening, but a vegetarian and vegan option will be available.

beer pouringThe big event is tomorrow’s Real Beer Expo. The Business Association of the South Wedge Area (BASWA), along with neighborhood business owners, bring you a kick-ass street party with over 80 of the most exciting craft beers currently available.  The third annual Rochester Real Beer Expo will be held tomorrow, Saturday June 15th from 6-10pm with a pre-event VIP/Preview hour from 5-6. The party takes place on tree-lined Gregory Street in the South Wedge, right outside Tap & Mallet. Along with a world-class collection of craft beers they’ll be serving up ciders, locally made cheeses, and local eats including Cajun BBQ, fresh pizza, poutine, German & Italian sausage, wraps and sandwiches, hand rolled cigars, and more. All against the backdrop of live local musicians.

Beer will be flowing from breweries including Anderson Valley, Ballast Point, Brooklyn Brewery, Captain Lawrence, Custom Brewcrafters, Dogfish Head, Evil Twin, Founders, Great Lakes, Green Flash, Ithaca, Left Hand, Naked Dove, New England, ROC Brewing, Rohrbachs, Smuttynose, Southern Tier, Stillwater, Stone, Three Heads, Uinta, Unity Kombucha, and SO many more! This is not just a bunch of breweries pouring their regular line-up of beers… I just saw the beer list for this event and you DO NOT want to miss out on this selection!

There are still tickets available but they are going quick so get in on this while you can!

Check back for updates about more events happening all week long as Rochester Real Beer Week continues!

John Urlaub, Rohrbach Brewing Company

john urlaub rohrbach brewingMeet 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!”

Read More About John Urlaub and Rohrbach Brewing Company…

Visiting Saranac Brewery

Last week I traveled out to Utica, NY to visit the Matt Brewing Company, home to Saranac beer. As the second oldest family-owned brewery in the country, and the oldest in New York State, the Matt Brewery is rich with history. As soon as you enter the tour center at 830 Varick Street, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a museum. Originally the bottling works of the brewery, the tour center was designed and decorated back in the 60’s, by Walter Pfeiffer – a leading Victorian architect at the time. The room, featuring high-ceilings and Italian tile floors, is filled with Victorian-era antiques… Certainly not the type of decor that I’m used to seeing at a brewery!

The tour begins with a history lesson as our guide points out a display case full of old bottles and cans representing the numerous products and brands produced at the brewery over the years. From the first 1888 Lager made by The West End Brewing Company, founded by F.X. Matt the same year, to the current line-up including Saranac Beer & Soft Drinks, Utica Club, and a number of other specialty products for smaller breweries. Recently ranked the 12th largest* brewery in the United States, and 6th* out of the top 50 US Craft Breweries, the Matt Brewing Company has a lot to be proud of.

saranac brewery tour

More About Visiting Saranac Brewery…

2012 Flour City Brewer’s Fest

What: 2012 Flour City Brewers Fest – Beer Festival & Tasting Event

When: September, 21, 2012 6-9pm (VIP ticket holders enjoy early admission at 5pm)

Where: Frontier Field, 1 Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, NY, 14608 (map)

Buy Tickets at: http://fcbrewfest.com/tickets.php

FCbrewerfest logoA long-standing part of the Rochester, NY beer community, Rohrbach Brewing Company has been hosting the annual Flour City Brewers Fest since 1995. I spoke with brewery owner, John Urlaub, about the growth of the festival and in the local craft beer community. With more than 20 years in business, Rohrbach Brewing is an O.G.* in the Rochester beer scene. “The craft beer community has exploded in Rochester,” said Urlaub, “we’ve seen more growth in the past 2 years, than we did in the 18 years before that… The local community here really embraces and supports craft beer, and they love to talk about it!  It’s really cool.”

The first brewers fest was held at Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, NY and hosted only a dozen or so breweries.  Since then, the festivities have been moved to Frontier Field in downtown Rochester, and the list of participating breweries has more than tripled in size. Urlaub adds, “Today, people are coming to the Brewers Fest hoping to find their new favorite… Back then, we were just trying to get people to try a flavorful beer!”

More About The 2012 Flour City Brewer’s Fest…