Rochester's Craft Brew Scene Might be the Best in the Country


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On this episode of Beer Artisan, we visit the Rochester, New York brewing scene.

Rochester has been brewing beer since the early 1800’s. The first brewery in Rochester settled on the east bank of the Genesee River after a spring of pure water on Central Avenue was discovered. Although that brewery no longer exists, the oldest running brewery in the state, Genesee Brewery, still brews on that same river. 

The water found in the springs of Rochester is extremely clean. The brewers in the area are well aware of this fact and do not take it for granted.

Chris Spinelli, co-founder of Roc Brewing says, “There’s 20 percent of the world’s fresh water in our region. [W]hen you talk about the Great Lakes and all the Finger Lakes and all of that, I mean, we are very lucky to have the water resources we have here.”

Roc Brewing is one of the newer breweries to the Rochester area. Spinelli started the brewery with a couple of friends after getting into home-brewing 8 years ago. As Roc grew, Chris started the 585 brewers club, a group for Rochester brewers to come together and share their love for the trade.

In these meetings, brewers share tips and information about what's going on at their home breweries and news around the beer industry. Dean Jones of Genesee Brewery attends these meetings as well.

As the oldest brewery in New York, Genesee has a lot of knowledge to share. For example, he gives tips on creating the perfect brew with the perfect composition. “Depending on the type of beer I’m brewing, if it's a nice historical Munich Dunkel, I’ll download that water report from that area in Germany, in Munich, and actually replicate that water here in the hot liquor tank,” said Jones.

Watch the episode above to see how old and new brewers come together in Rochester in the name of craft beer.