North American Breweries recently celebrated the grand opening of its $48.5 million investment to modernize Genesee Brewery in Rochester.
The new brewery provides more flexibility to make a wider variety of beer styles at the highest quality standards in the industry. The project unlocks the brewery’s full potential while creating a more efficient and competitive brewery that is positioned for the future and built with opportunities for expansion.
Ramon Mendiola, CEO of FIFCO, parent company of North American Breweries, said this project secures the future of Genesee Brewery in Rochester and positions it for growth.
“Over the last couple of years, we have worked very hard to refresh our brewery, bring new innovation to the forefront and connect with new consumers,” he said. “To do that, we’ve adopted a new business model, brought in world-class talent and invested in a new brewery. We have a renewed sense of pride, optimism and aspirations to grow in new geographies, channels and segments in the beer industry.”
Genesee Brewery’s modernization enhancements include a new brewhouse, mash filter, fermentation tanks, automated system, dry hopping system and cold block.
Brewery personnel transitioned to the new brewing system over the last few months, testing recipes and processes to ensure top quality. The optimization of this equipment and processes will continue over the next six to eight months.
“It’s been an intense, three-year-long labor of love to create a world-class brewery,” said Steve Kaplan, brewmaster. “Our modern equipment improves quality and allows our brewers to focus on the beer and brewing process. Beer brewed on our new system tastes great, and Genesee’s ability to make beer including craft styles just got even better. Every beer that you drink from our brewery will taste fresher, longer. We hope to use this advantage to win over more drinkers locally, regionally and nationally. We want to brew a lot more beer in Rochester.”
North American Breweries invested $48.5 million for the three-year project.
“We worked with leading beer consultants from all over the world, and we purchased the best equipment available to achieve our goals,” said Adrian Lachowski, CEO of North American Breweries. “This is a long-term investment in our workforce and brewery that unlocks our future. We’ve also invested heavily in our commercial business by hiring top industry talent and opening up 35 sales positions across the country. With improvements in our supply chain and commercial business, the Genesee Brewery has potential to grow regionally and nationally.”
Genesee Brew House, which helped to spur Genesee’s rebirth, is a major tourist attraction in Rochester with about 400,000 annual visitors. As a second phase to the brewery modernization, Empire State Development committed Upstate Revitalization Initiative funding to support an expansion of Genesee Brew House.
“New York state has been a great partner,” Mendiola said. “Reconstructing the heart of our brewery is the single largest project that we’ve ever done in the U.S. We’ve accomplished our No. 1 goal of creating one of the most advanced brewing systems in the world. This makes us very proud. As our investment begins to take hold, we intend to continue to work closely with New York state to begin planning for the future.”