| Hello From Upstate NY!
by Ellie J. Adams
Hello Bob - first let me say how much I enjoy reading your column
each month. It's always different and informative. I especially like it
when people write in from different parts of the country to explain
something going on in their area. That inspired me to write about
something going on in my neck of the woods which is upstate New
York. Up here the big beer related story has to do with Genesse
Brewing's planned expansion. Seems their having a few problems
thanks to Mother Nature.
Twelve giant - and I mean giant- Genesee Brewery tanks continue to
sit in a Hudson River port near Albany, waiting for water levels in the
New York Canal System to recede. The massive tanks, part of a $49
million upgrade to one of the country's and definitely the state's
oldest brewery, could begin their trek via barge to Rochester
whenever the canal level drops but no one is sure when that will
happen. The Erie Canal water levels are so high due to the recent
heavy rains and storms across all of Upstate New York.
The tanks -- 60 feet tall and 20 feet wide -- are too large to travel by
truck across the state. The 225-mile barge trip through the canal
system, (aka the Erie Canal), will take six or seven days. The barges
will unload the tanks near Rochester (where I live), and they will then
make their way by truck to the big brewery at the end of town.
Genesee's parent company, North American Breweries, is spending
$40 million of its own money on the modernization project, which will
expand the brewery's footprint, reduce its environmental impact and
create what the company calls an "Eco Brewery District." Future
phases of the project will add event space and expand the Genesee
Brewhouse, the small pilot brewery, restaurant and visitors center
adjacent to the main brewery. Those of us in the area see all that
as bringing in jobs and more beer tourists. And maybe Genesse
will even begin to make some good craft beer too.
Some of your readers might not be familiar with Genesse so let me
tell you about it. The Genesee Brewing Company, was established in
1878 and has continually been operating since then.. It is truly an
important part of the history of beer in my state and the entire
nation. Also, of note is that Genesee Brewing is part of North
American Breweries, the largest independently owned beer company
in the United States.
I have to admit that Genesee's line of beers are not really craft
-Dundee Ales, Genesee Lager, Genny Light, and the famous - at
least around here - Genesee Cream Ale. But they are distributed in
41 states which is a testament to their popularity.
In a way, Gennesee is related to craft in that North American
Breweies, based in Rochester, owns craft breweries like Magic Hat in
Vermont, Pyramid in Washington state, and McTarnahans in
Oregon. And for the record Genessee Cream won a gold medal at
the GABF a few years ago as did several others including the new
Genessee Red in the Vienna-style Lager category.
Here's a really short youtube video I found that show the tanks in the
Erie canal. I think it will show you exactly why around here we've
been fascinated by their historic journey -
Well, that's it. Hope you enjoyed my report.
Many thanks Ellie for sending me your article. I too enjoy it when
readers send in articles about their local areas with news that in a way is
also national and historic in scope. Your obvious affection of one of
America's oldest breweries is well placed. Special thanks for the video
link. It certainly put some excellent pictures to your words.
Great job! Please write again.
I'd like to invite everyone to send me their own columns about
anything related to beer in any way just as Ellie did. I select
the best and publish them here. So join in and get writing!
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