Brewed in New York – Rochester Full Episode


– [Maya] Today on Brewed in
New York we’re in Rochester. This city has given birth to some of America’s
best known brands. Tiny upstarts turned
into industry giants. – [Matt] And that’s just as
true in the world of beer so we’ll be taking you
to breweries both big. – [Maya] And small. – [Matt] In this special
episode of Brewed in New York. Rochester! Discover even more local
foods and beverages at Taste New York locations
throughout the state. Whether you’re at a
state park, sporting event, or stopping at one of our
New York welcome centers, it’s never been easier
to choose local and buy New York. Unalam, a family owned business
in upstate New York serving the building industry
for over a century. You can spot Unalam’s finely
crafted timber products in breweries throughout New York
State and beyond. Learn more at unalam.com 1886 Malt House proudly partnering with
New York’s finest grain growers to produce locally sourced,
high quality malt. for farm and craft breweries. The Northeast Hop Alliance Farmers, brewers,
and educators working together to
provide high quality, locally grown hops
to craft beer consumers in New York and
the Northeast. (rock music) – We’re standing in front of Rochester’s scenic High Falls. This waterfall that sits
on the Genesee River has helped moved
industries through the city for over 200 years. – The falls first produced power for flour mills
two centuries ago. Helping to earn Rochester’s
nickname The Flour City. Later they generated
electricity for industrial titans like Kodak which you can actually
see from this foot bridge. – [Maya] Today High Falls
provides an inspiring backdrop for an iconic brewery
that’s been going strong for over 125 years. And it sits right here
on the banks of the river that bears it’s name. – [Matt] Next up
Genesee Brewing Company. – My name is Kris Sirchio I’m the CEO of North
American Breweries. Proud parent of Genesee
Brewing Company. We are New York state’s
oldest brewing company. We’ve been here since 1878. In fact we’re the
second oldest brewery in the entire United States. Everybody you meet who
comes through these doors has a story about their
experiences at Genesee. Whether it’s with
their grandparents whether it’s with their father whether it’s in the
areas on the canal that they’ve experienced or it’s even the
memorabilia that somehow finds it’s way down in
that bar in their basement. They all have a story
or a connection. – [Matt] Geneseee is
indeed a cultural icon of the northeast. And the sixth largest
brewery in the country. Known for it’s original
Geneseee lager. Geneseee Light and of course cream
ale introduced in 1960. The brand has long been
synonymous with consistent easy drinking beer
for hard working folk. For decades Geneseee
beer was well known but the brewery
wasn’t accessible. As the craft beer
revolution swept through upstate New York the
owners recognized the value of having a gathering place
to interact with customers. They decided to create
a destination that would celebrate their
history but also add small batch craft beer
to their offerings. – The Genesee Brewhouse
Pilot Batch Brewery was really a wonderful thing that the previous
owners put together. They saw the opportunity
in craft beer growing. They saw the opportunity
in brewhouses emerging. But more importantly
they knew that this is the heart of the
Genesee Brewing Company. This site this location right here
in the High Falls area. And to build a place
where everybody could come and enjoy the history
right next to the brewery and really help
this area of town go through a rebirth was
just wonderful foresight. I like to joke that the
large brewery was like Willy Wonka and the
Chocolate Factory. Nobody really ever came out. A lot of workers went in
and you saw trucks leave. We weren’t in touch
with our local city except through our employees. And so now they have
a place to come. And they have a
place to learn about what Genesee is all about. And then we get to
express our passion to all of our visitors. – [Matt] Passion doesn’t
even begin to describe how pilot brewmaster Dean
Jones feels about his job. He’s one of the most charismatic
brewers you’ll ever meet and his enthusiasm about
his craft is contagious. – My favorite tagline is “never
trust a skinny brewmaster.” Would you trust a skinny chef? I love food. I love beer. And that is my life’s passion. And I couldn’t be any
happier in a place where I work and
with a job that I do. Being a pilot
brewery is kinda fun because you get to expose a
lot of people to new things. I mean Genesee was a
large brewery that made six different beers
throughout it’s history and now we’re changing that. We’ve got over a
hundred skews in process and doing really a
lot of fun things. What’s nice here at
the pilot brewery is we do have a
captive audience. We have our taste bar that
all goes to charities. So people come in, taste the
things that I’ve developed here in the pilot brewery
and then we get feedback from those customers
and if it sells well or it does really well
with those customers we’ll end up considering
sending that out to the market. We try to pair with local
artisans that have cool product that we can use in our
beers and get inventive. Right here in Rochester we have the number one salted
caramel in the nation. Which is Hedonist
Artisan Chocolates down in the South Wedge. So I bought it and
it was covered in this sea salt from
Seneca Lake and I thought this is going to make a
great porter or a stout. So I bought about $60
worth of chocolate came back and started
playing with it. Look at all the ingredients that went into those
salted caramels. Look at how I could apply
that to my brewing process and come up with this great beer that was so well received
in a lot of states where it was released. – [Matt] As a pilot brewery,
staying cutting edge and inventive means never
getting too comfortable and knowing that
there will always be a certain amount of subjectivity in how your recipes
are received. – We came up with
a honey lilac IPA for the Rochester Lilac Festival and right I never brewed
with lilacs before so it was kind of
interesting to put lilacs in the kettle and
that beer came out and we got everything
from a five star rating to a one star rating. Some people just loved it. The complexity of lilac
and honey together. And I laugh because there
were comments on there like “smells like my dead
grandmother.” And it was really a lot of fun. So that was innovation at
it’s finest and it’s worst. – [Matt] Even with the
occasional mixed review there’s no doubt
that Rochester loves all things Genesee. And Genny loves
Rochester right back. The brewery has
employed generations
of Rochester families The brewery has
and is keenly aware of
it’s role in the success and is keenly aware of
it’s role in the success of the local community. – Every single day I get a
Genny story. They’ll say “My grandfather
worked here” “My aunt worked here.” We’ve had employees that have
been here for 45 years. It started out my dad
working here right after
Prohibition And my two brothers both
worked here I started here and then my son
started here approximately
six years ago I definitely feel like The brewery feels more like
a community or a family. Everyone is really friendly
with each other. Everyone is really friendly
with each other. When you take care of your
community your community
is going to take care of you. We have a program called
“Tap it Forward” We bring our employees and our partners into the
community to make Rochester a more
beautiful place for a lot of
our citizens – We really believe
that everybody wins when you make
great quality beer. So for us it’s really
important to work with all the local
craft brewing companies. We bring them in
to our facilities. We let them use our
analytics equipment. We work with them on
sourcing their ingredients. – We basically started
a five eight five brewers collaborate group. We were already hangin’ out
and drinkin’ beer anyway so we just put an
official name to it. We want this area
to have great beer. And these are our brothers. And it’s not
competition, it’s fun. We’re all drinkin’ each
others beer and enjoyin’ it. It really is a family
community that we built here. Which is just awesome. – When everybody has a
great beer experience. They’re gonna come
to this region. We believe we’re the best
oldest brewery in the country. And when you combine tradition
and heritage with innovation you get great beer that
people want to see. And that’s why we have over
300,000 people coming to the Genesee Brewhouse
every year right now in Rochester, New York. – We’ve got the best
view of the falls. We’ve got great beer. We’ve got great food. Everybody’s happy to be here. You can tell so when you come in everyone has this great
Genesee experience and we wanna share this with
as many people as we can. – [Announcer] Craft 101. – This show’s about
craft beer right? So at some point it would
probably be a good idea to talk about what we
mean by craft beer. Some associate the
term with richer, more full bodied
beers rather than lighter mass produced style. So the Brewers
Association of America defines a craft brewery
more specifically as small independent and traditional. Let’s break that down. By small they mean
an annual production of six million barrels
of beer or less. That’s still pretty big. To put this into perspective here are the annual
production numbers of some of our larger New
York state craft brewers. So as you can see there’s
still plenty of room for growth within
the term small. By independent the Brewers
Association suggest that less than 25% of a craft
brewery should be controlled or owned by the interest that
is not itself a craft brewer. So no selling out. At least no more than 25%. Lastly, craft breweries
are traditional. And by this the Brewers
Association means that the majority of
beers a brewer produces should derive their
flavor from traditional or innovative brewing
ingredients and
their fermentation. So no funky flavored
malt beverages. Sorry Zima. It’s actually good that the
definition of craft beer put forth by the
Brewers Association leaves room for interpretation. Because it allows
beer lovers everywhere to add their own
spin to the term. Regardless of how you define it most people agree craft
beer is downright delicious. Now that we’ve visited Rochester’s oldest most
established brewery what do you think about
visiting a smaller brewery that just opened it’s door? – Sounds good to me. – Now let me ask you this. What has three heads
and serves beer? – I don’t know. What? – These guys. This brewery with an
interesting origin story and an even more interesting
name opened it’s doors in 2016 with a special visit
from a champion of the New York craft beer
industry Governor Cuomo. – This is the new economy. It’s entrepreneurs
who have courage. Have vision. – People will come here from
all over to sample our beers and hang out and
have a great time. – And come they did. These savvy business
owners were able to predict their brewery would draw tourism because they had actually
been perfecting their craft and building their brand
for more than six years. I talked with co-owner
Geoff Dale to learn more about how Three Heads
found it’s groove. Tell me about Three
Heads Brewing. That name is very interesting. There’s gotta be a
story behind that. – Yes, totally. It sorta goes back to
when we first started we always would listen
to music, have parties and we would do our home brews and it was always
a big battle on who would get
control of the iPod. Todd and I are both Phishheads and Dan is a Deadhead. And so when it became time
for namin’ the brewery it was just an obvious choice. – Three of you. –
So, Three Heads. – Perfect. Well you guys started in 2010 and you guys used
contract brewers. For people who don’t
know what that is. Could you explain? – Sure. Back in the day, Todd and I
were both stay-at-home Dads. Dan actually was a
vice president of a
real estate company. We didn’t have the ability to
just jump in with both feet open up a production brewery. So we approached Custom
Brew Crafters and we said hey, we have the
recipes, if you brew them we’ll distribute them. As soon as we put
our first beers out they just started selling. And then it just
got to a point where we could only supply 10 bars. Because they bought all
the beer we were making. And that really sort of forced
the hand where it was like, okay, it’s time, we need
to build our own place so that we can actually
increase our capacity keep up with the demand. It took off. – Well, I love that. And I also love Rochester. This is the first
time I’ve been here. You have a lot of great
interesting neighborhoods. How did you pick
this neighborhood? – We had been looking around
at different locations. Some of them were on the
outskirts of Rochester. But we really wanted to
be in the city proper. We come in here to the
Neighborhood of the Arts. All this great artistic
things going on with music, with you know just art,
jewelry, and it just made sense here we are making
artistic beers. And it’s nice because we
feel like we’ve been able to be a part of this rebirth
in this neighborhood. – Speaking of artistic, your
label is beautifully done. You’ve got some great artwork. How did you come about
finding all those things? – So, funny story. Todd and I are
actually in a band. We were playing a festival
and our acoustic guitarist says, hey, my
brother-in-law does art he’s gonna do a poster for us. He did one of the most
eye-catching posters I’ve ever seen in my life. From that day forth,
all we ever do is give him the name of the beer and within like
two to three weeks he comes back and
goes, here’s the label. He really has a fun sort of 70s hippie vibe in his artwork. We actually just won
a contest in USA Today for having the best beer
label in the country. He knows who we are and
what we’re trying to go for. It’s a match made in heaven. – I love it. You mentioned that music is
really important to you guys but you also play in a band. How is your love of music
reflected in this business? – We do music here Thursday,
Friday, Saturday nights. Just like we have distinct beers we want to have distinct music. The goal is to reach
out and try and get not just the best in Rochester but we try to get
regional bands. We actually have a
band later this week that’s coming from Trinidad. But it’s just to me music and beer is just
a perfect pairing. – Hello Rochester. So happy to be here
at Three Heads Brewery for the first time. I hear they have some beer you
might want to check that out. I know I have. – [Maya] It’s clear the
combination of music and art is responsible for this
brewery’s funky vibe. And all three heads enjoy
striking the right chord with their customers. – Three Heads Brewing
is a place for fun and music and good beer. – We feel like live
music is a great way to let people really come
in and have a great time. And leave thinking that that
was their best night ever. – [Todd] Music soothes the soul. Music brings people together just like the beer. – [Maya] But make no mistake,
this brewery is guided by one overarching
philosophy, beer first. And considering the high demand for their product
across the region, Three Heads has it’s
priorities straight. – It’s the passion. We do feel and love
beer with all our heart. – We want flavors to bounce out and hit you over the head and be like, wow,
that’s an amazing taste. Not just simple, there’s
nuances and flavor. Just like works of art. – Okay. Enough talking about
these works of art. It was time to taste some
of these storied brews. This is a beautiful bar and this is a beautiful
flight of beer and I would love to know
which each one of these are. – We’ll start right off
with our NOTA Pilsner. It is a beer named after the Neighborhood of the
Arts where we are located. Meant to be a nice,
light, crisp pilsner. Just perfect for sitting on
the patio on a summer day. – Well it delivers on promise
and has a wonderful bite and is very crisp. What about this
second beer here? – This is our
Little Juice Coupe. It is an India pale lager. India pale ales have a
tendency to be a little hoppy but what’s nice is the
lagers bring the hops to the forefront in a
little different way so it’s not as maybe
bitter as some IPA’s. – Yeah, I can taste
that right now. I’m gonna have to have a
second sip if you don’t mind. – Oh, I don’t mind. – That’s wonderful. Now what do we have here? – This is our flagship beer. This is The Kind IPA. Is a nice west coast style IPA. With these very citrusy. We do bitter but
it’s not painful. – I can taste the citrus. It’s wonderful. And finally what’s
this fourth beer? – Well, we’re going
completely left field now. This is the Rochestafarian. It is a scotch ale. It’s gonna be a little
bit more malt forward. Not hoppy like the other ones. Just gonna be a nice clean. – Oh, I love that. That has like a
deep taste to it. That’s wonderful. Well, now that you’ve let
me taste your delicious beer I would love to
see how it’s made. For my personalized
tasting to a guided tour this Three Headed Brewery rolled
out the red carpet for me. I guess it’s all in a day’s work for the hosts of a
destination that’s keeping New York’s craft beer
revolution alive and well. – I couldn’t brew anywhere else. This is home to us. There’s great beer being
made here in New York and that’s on the climb and we want to be
a part of that. And now that you’re seeing we have 10 to 20 breweries
right in the city of Rochester that it’s really
becoming a great place to do a little day trip
and hit three or four. You know get your Uber
and go to a couple places. But we have seen a lot
of people comin’ in from out of town to
visit Three Heads. If we can bring smiles
on peoples faces then we know we’re
doing a good job. – Traveling to discover
new sites and tastes is what beer tourism
is all about. But plan ahead to use
public transportation ride sharing or a designated driver. Never drink and drive. – I’m in the South Wedge
neighborhood of Rochester. An area first developed by Erie
Canal workers in the 1820s. The neighborhood fell on
hard times in the ’70s but over the last 10 years it’s undergone a
rapid revitalization. Now it’s a hip
neighborhood known for it’s vibrant, diverse community. And where there’s
community revitalization you’ll usually find
a craft brewery. Today I’m at Swiftwater
Brewing on Mount Hope Avenue. The name Swiftwater
is a reference to the whitewater kayaking
passion that commanded founder Andy Cook’s attention
prior to his brewing career. But once Andy discovered
the art of making beer he was ready to test the
waters of business ownership in the town he calls home. – I’ve lived in Rochester
for the last 15 years and I really love the city. And I really felt
that Rochester needed not just one more brewery but maybe like a
dozen more breweries. So I really wanted
to be a part of that. – [Matt] Andy’s unique
upbringing is responsible for the emphasis Swiftwater
places on sourcing local, fresh ingredients
for their beers. – I grew up on a dairy farm and it’s just
incredibly hard work. I have a immense
respect for farmers. So anything that we can
source locally we do. We have a little
garden in our backyard. And my mom has a
greenhouse and she grows quite a bit of the ingredients
that we serve at Swiftwater. We use whatever New York
state hops we can get. Our malt is grown on
my parents dairy farm. Which is really cool
and then we ship it to Pioneer Malting in
Rochester and then they malt it and send it back to us. So from ground to glass if
you have a beer at Swiftwater the malt has traveled
under 100 miles. And the other really
cool part of that is that we have control
over the process all the way from the seed
and it really lets us give feedback
directly to the people who can make a difference
in our product. – Swiftwater attributes
it’s rapid success to the support it receives
from family, friends, and the community. In fact many of these
folks helped Andy construct the brewery itself. By his side since the beginning has been friend and
co-owner Chris Perri. Chris started out
tending the bar and managing the
staff at Swiftwater and has become an accomplished
brewer along the way. For someone who is not
familiar with Swiftwater what sets the brewery apart? – I think that we have
sort of a farm to table type of feel both for
the beverage aspect and for the food as well. Even though it’s a small menu
as far as food is concerned it is very sophisticated
and very flavorful. Very healthy. So I think that draws a
lot of attention to us. It’s also a great
neighborhood staple. And so we get a lot of
neighborhood traffic. We get everything from
working professionals to families to college kids. We just offer something
that’s very inviting. And encourages people
from all walks of life to come and give it a try. – I gave myself a little
tour of the South Wedge and it looks very distinct. It feels very different
from the rest of Rochester and it seems like a
really cool neighborhood. – Yeah, we have a
lot of young people. A lot of people
who have been here in the neighborhood
for, you know, 50 years so we have I think a
rare opportunity here that we have a very
close knit community that’s very interested in
making that community better. So we have a lot of shops. There’s a great tea leaf
bar right on South Avenue. There are a lot of
great places to eat yoga studios wine stores. – Lots of bars
carrying Swiftwater? – In the neighborhood
they better be. (laughing) – [Matt] Being an
accessible gathering place is a critical mission
for Swiftwater. The founders were
inspired by a concept in community building
called the third place and felt it was vital
to bring this type of neutral public space
to the South Wedge. – That concept of the
third place is that it’s not your work
and not your home it’s that communal
grounds where you can come and really establish culture. I really think this next
wave of craft beer culture is really more about
flavor and experience and so I really wanted
to build a place where people could come and
talk and exchange ideas but then also connect with
your neighbors as well. – [Matt] Talking with
some of the people who spend time at Swiftwater it’s clear they understand
what the brewery is trying to achieve and they’re
all in for the experience. – Something different to
me about going to a place. Being in good company. You know breweries are
completely different than bars to me. Like the vibe is different. People are more
engaged with each other and I think that’s
why I really like that social side of it. – The atmosphere
here is really open. I think a lot of people
who get into craft beer thinks it’s this cliquey niche but whether you’ve been
coming here for years or this is your first
time trying craft beer they definitely respect that and treat you with respect. It’s awesome. – We’re a big fan
of craft beers. We try to hit up all the
different places every month. Honestly I like Swiftwater
because they have so many options and they
change it up so often. – I have a coffee flavored beer a lime one one that’s just called beer and then a blonde one. So they’re all really delicious and they all have their
own unique flavor. – Creating a
welcoming atmosphere certainly draws a crowd
but what keeps customers coming back to Swiftwater
is their high quality beer and spirit of experimentation. Before I left I asked
brewer bartender Chris to walk me through some
of their favorite styles. So we have this coffee
infused Belgium triple beer. Which is high ABV,
Belgian style, – Yes, Sir. – And you’ve somehow
gotten coffee in there. – Yes, Sir. – And it’s not a dark beer. – It is not a dark beer. No, it’s, let’s
take a look at this. It’s very light in complexion which normally surprises
a lot of people but again you have the
unmistakable coffee
aroma and taste. – Oh, that is nice. I don’t get any of that
alcohol heat at all. What percentage is this? – 7.9% – [Matt] Wow. – So the coffee
will go a long way towards masking that. – So you’re known
for your IPA’s. So I would try to love one here. – Sure. – Yeah. – So, right up front
here we have our flagship IPA this was
the ninth recipe we tried this is the one that
sort of caught fire with our customer base the most. – Tell me what’s in this one. – So this is just New
York state base malt. It’s New York state oats. And New York state munic. The hop profile is mosaic,
simcoe, and cascade. – It just smells so good. I mean there’s big melon and definitely juicy dank hops coming out of that like crazy. – That’s what we were going for. And the mosaic gives
you sort of that sharp kind of really
citrusy or citrus rind kind of aroma and flavor
but the simcoe and cascade will sort of balance
that out a little bit. – That is very, very good. Well thank you so much
for your time here today. It’s been great to
learn about the brewery and taste the beer. – Oh, you’re more
than welcome, man. I had a blast doing it. – Cool. – There are many great
breweries in this town but that’s all the time
we have for this episode of Brewed in New York. – Visit our website
brewedinnewyorkshow.com
to learn more about the brewing
scene in Rochester. As well as beer tourism
throughout New York state. – Um, Matt. I’m gettin’ a little hungry. What food goes great
with beer in Rochester? – Have you ever heard
of a garbage plate? – I think I’m about to find out. (rock music)

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