|A vintage print ad.
ROCHESTER — The Genesee Brewing Company has a long and storied history. It also has received a $20 million investment in upgrades over the past two years by its comparatively new owner, North American Breweries.
So, what next? How about a place to dine?
The company, established in 1878, has decided to convert one unused building on its manufacturing to a two-story bar/restaurant and visitors center to be called the Genesee Brew House.
The $2.6 million project would also see demolition of a cluster of two other unused buildings at the St. Paul Street site, according to a report from WHEC-TV.
Rich Lozyniak, CEO of North American Breweries, said that while North American has invested heavily in the once-struggling brewery, that spending has largely been on efficiency and product quality upgrades and the Genesee Brew House project would be the first “serious investment in connection with our consumers.”
Under North American, Genesee has returned to its roots with its iconic “glass can,” the stubby bottle it made famous decades ago.
It recently released the Genesee Heritage Collection, a limited-edition pack featuring Genesee Beer, Genesee Cream Ale and 12 Horse Ale. The latter is the brewery’s most requested legacy beer. It was first brewed in 1933 after the repeal of Prohibition. It has not been brewed for years.
“We’re seeing all generations responding to the nostalgia and tradition,” said Janine Schoos, brand manager. “Genesee is taking off all over the country. We hope to be where we were back in the ‘80s when we were synonymous with good times and great American traditions.”
Genesee Cream Ale, also in the Heritage Collection, was first brewed in 1960 and has won numerous awards, including two gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival. All three beers in the Heritage Collection are embossed with a signature letter “G” for Genesee, and adorned with classic labels reminiscent of the packaging used at the height of the beers’ popularity.
The Genesee family of beers has the highest growth rate among the Top 10 selling brand families in its category between 2010 and 2011.
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