Tag Archives: NY

The Spirit of Rochester, NY

the spirit of rochester ny

This post is not entirely beer-related. However, to appreciate one’s city, celebrate its history, champion hard work and the spirit of service… that’s totally craft beer. So, in the spirit of craft beer, I bring you the spirit of Rochester, NY—my city.

Every so often I hear someone rag on Rochester; usually they say there’s nothing to do here. It seems to come mostly from people that grew up here, living in the suburbs, outside the vibrant life of the city. If you’re one of those people, I invite you to read the following text and reconsider Rochester, NY. Come to our city, experience it, and come to understand what many of us already know—The “get together” spirit is strong here. It’s in our neighborhoods, like The South Wedge and the Neighborhood of the Arts. It’s at The Public Market on Saturday mornings. It’s in our bars and restaurants, seen in the thoughtfully prepared menu’s full of quality, local ingredients. And it’s in our beer scene, close knit and accepting…. full of variety and quality, creativity and collaboration.

I recently stumbled upon The Book of Industrial Rochester, published for the Allied Trade Commissions of Great Britain, France, Italy and Belgium, on the occasion of their visit to Rochester, NY in November, 1919, under the auspices of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. In reading the introductory statements, which I’ve copied below, I found myself filled with emotion—an overwhelming sense of pride for the city I’ve come to call my home. Feelings of social contentedness and a sense of community, strengthened by words written nearly 100 years ago.

The Spirit of Rochester

To obtain recognition in these strenuous times one must carry his pedestal with him.
The meek and lowly may inherit the earth—later.

So said a commercial cynic recently. Rochester doesn’t need a pedestal in order to obtain recognition. It is a city that in the eyes of the knowing part of the world is set on a hill. Neither does Rochester desire to inherit the earth. It wants the earth to inherit Rochester.

Rochester is a young city. It was only a hundred years ago that a handful of pioneers settled in this beautiful valley of the Genesee at the brink of a great waterfall, and set up the beginnings of what is now the City of Rochester, the twenty-fifth city of the United States in size. The story of Rochester’s growth is not unlike the story of the growth of many other American cities. It is a story of enterprise and thrift coupled with an intense desire for advancement in education and the things which make life more worth while.

Read More About The Spirit of Rochester…

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!

Beer is Culture Art & Design Exhibition 2013

sixpoint beer is culture

All month long, Sixpoint Brewery is accepting submissions for their annual “Beer is Culture” design competition. The brewery is inviting consumers to submit an original design or illustration that successfully taps into the theme, “Beer is Culture”. (taps into the theme, ha!) So what does that mean? Here’s a little explanation from the Sixpoint website:

We believe Beer is Culture. Is this a bold statement? Perhaps, but let us illustrate a historical connection. Before human civilizations… before cities… we were merely cave people and hunter-gatherers. No one was certain of where the next meal was; life was hard.

Then, roughly 10,000 years ago an amazing innovation occurred: agriculture. The earliest civilizations cultivated cereal grains and made crude fermented beverages. A constant food supply was cleverly maintained. Occupations became specialized, and culture sprang forth like a fountainhead. This was the dawn of civilization — the proliferation of architecture, artisans, culinary arts, theater, and a million extensions of creativity. This was the dawn of culture!

If you’d like to participate, you can submit a design on their website using the OFFICIAL 2013 BEER IS CULTURE EXPO ENTRY FORM. All submissions are posted on the Sixpoint Facebook page for voting and the work(s) with the most “likes” will be awarded a series of glamorous prizes. The top six finalists will receive a special care package from the brewery, including customized apparel and treats from Sixpoint and other local artisans. The six finalists will also receive an annual membership to a local art museum of their choice. The top three finalists will receive coasters featuring their artwork. (These coasters will also be distributed to bars where Sixpoint is sold!) Finally, the top winning artwork will become the profile picture for Sixpoint’s Facebook page for an entire year, and the artist will receive a featured interview on the Sixpoint website.

If you’re not interested in submitting work of your own, please head over to the gallery and vote for your favorite artwork. Below is the design that I submitted… I would be honored if you’d click-through and give it some love!

A More Civilized Beer Drinker

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…

Sherwood Inn: Saranac Summer Beer-B-Que

The following is a guest post, written by a good friend of mine, Ryan Conaughty.  I met Ryan while he was studying for his Masters in Creative Writing at SUNY Brockport.  He’s taught me a lot about craft beer and has been a huge supporter of this site since it’s inception.  If you enjoy his writing, I recommend checking out his bike journal titled, TransAm Blues, wherein he tells the story of the time he rode his bicycle across the whole freaking country, by himself.  He’s a great writer, a great friend, and he knows a whole lot more about beer than I do.  Enjoy!

sherwood inn

The Sherwood Inn sits on the northern shore of Skaneateles Lake, an emblem of vintage class and elegance. It’s a gorgeous building; beautifully simplistic. It stands with subtle dignity, a testament to the days of nickel beers and horse-drawn carriages. To me, it represents a lifestyle we lost somewhere along the way: one without constant and immediate technological distractions that rip us away from each other while pretending to connect us. The Sherwood Inn is a building that reminds me of the good old days that we easily forget about and then wish that we could somehow get back.

the good old days

The lighting is soft and low inside the Inn. The bar in the tavern is old and comforting. It’s dark and there’s a low murmur with the sounds of clinking glass and bottles. It’s one of those bars you walk into and you can feel the stories emanate from the scratches and scuffs in the gloss of the wood. It feels as though you’ve stepped back into the past and it feels completely natural to be there. Outside, the sun is slipping out of the sky toward the horizon and people are beginning to sit down for dinner. There is a small table with various NY cheeses: sharp, smoked, creamy, it’s all beautiful. I see servers walk past me with balsamic onion and goat cheese tartlets and another with bacon wrapped dates. There is a large table with cold bottles and cans of Saranac Blueberry Blonde, Summer, and Pale Ale that people are helping themselves to.

More About The Saranac Summer Beer-B-Que…

Local Spotlight: Victoire Belgium Beer Bar

Victoire Belgium Beer Bar - Rochester, NY

Victoire Belgium Beer Bar

What: Beer Bar featuring Belgian imports and Belgian-style beers.

Where: 120 East Avenue, Rochester NY, 14604 / tel: 585-325-3663

When to go: Open 4:00 pm – 2:00 am. Regular hours start Monday, July 9th: Monday – Friday 11:00 am – 2:00 am

A new addition to the East End district, Victoire (pronounced veek-twahr) offers an impressive selection of authentic Belgian imports along with Belgian style beers from breweries like Ommegang, Victory, Stone, & Unibroue. They feature 20+ taps along with an impressive number of bottle conditioned beers. More About Victoire Belgium Beer Bar…

The Girls Guide to Rochester Real Beer Week 2012

rochester real beer weekIt’s coming… the first annual Rochester Real Beer Week, a weeklong series of craft beer related events including tastings, food and beer pairings and dinners, socials, concerts, and craft beer launches!  Events will run June 15-23rd in and around Rochester, with many local bars and restaurants getting into the action with great specials and events all week long.

More About Rochester Real Beer Week 2012…

Two Goats Brewing

    

Two Goats Brewing

http://twogoatsbrewing.com

What: Brewpub on the Finger Lakes Wine Trail.

Where: 5027 State Rte 414, Hector, NY 14818 (on the East shore of Seneca Lake)

When to go: Might be pretty busy on the Weekends due to travelers on the Wine Trail.  Check their website for live music dates!  (Closed on Wednesday)

Yesterday we took a day trip down to Watkins Glen to visit my dad.  Since it was overcast and a little on the chilly side, we decided to skip the beach and take a drive up Seneca Lake instead.  As luck would have it, we stumbled upon Two Goats Brewing, a brewpub on the east shore.

More About Two Goats Brewing…

TAP NY 2012 – the Saga Continues…

TAP-NY-2012

Sunday morning started early.  We had forgotten to close the curtains in the hotel room so we were up with the sun and ready for another round… after a few Advil and a cup of coffee of course.  Breakfast was our first order of business.  After stopping at 4 ATMs we finally found one with cash and were able to procure a couple of bagel sandwiches and some iced coffee. (Pro Tip: Mountain Bagels & Cafe doesn’t take plastic.)  From there it was back to the Forrester to await the arrival of the other brew crew members that were joining us for day two.

More About Day Two at TAP NY 2012…