4 Great Craft Breweries in Rochester

4 Great Craft Breweries in Rochester

I went to Sperry High School in Henrietta outside of Rochester New York. Like a lot of kids in small towns across America, I couldn’t wait to leave. Now that I’m grown I look forward to coming to visit and seeing all the changes. One huge change is the craft beer scene. They are doing some great things in 585. Here are 4 places to get a great craft beer in Rochester you should definitely check out.

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The 24th annual Flour City Brewers Fest returns August 17, 2018. Check out the site for breweries, vendors, and receive exciting updates via our mailing list.


4 Great Breweries in Rochester

Craft Beer in Rochester New York



Now is the best time in U.S. history to be a craft beer lover. As a nation, the U.S. now has more beer styles (150+) and brands (20,000+) to choose from than any other market in the world. Every time I come home to visit, we discover new breweries in the area. During this trip, we discovered the explosion of breweries in Upstate New York.



What is Craft Beer?



You guys know I don’t like beer. I like wine, my hubby likes beer. But I like my hubby and he loves to visit craft breweries. Craft beer is made in a traditional or non-mechanized way by small batches. Batches are small and range in style depending on the brewer, ingredients, region, and brewing method. Beer tasting mirrors wine tasting in many ways. Craft beer drinkers look at color, sweetness, bitterness, alcohol content, and additional flavors like coffee and fruits. It is the mastery of all the above that craft brew drinkers like my husband look for while searching for 5 Great Breweries in Rochester this past week.



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1. Genesee Brewhouse, Rochester



Genesee Brewery is not known for its craft beer in Rochester. But things have changed. And if there is one thing Rochesterarians are proud of, it’s Genesee Beer. The upstate brewery has more than 140 years of history in Rochester. Genesee Beer is the oldest brewery in New York state. And as of 2012, the brewhouse has been serving up delicious beer, wine, and food overlooking the High Falls. The large warehouse space has three floors. The first floor has a small museum. The second-floor restaurant has a big patio with amazing views of high falls. And the third floor is an open deck, also with great views of the falls and pedestrian walk across the Genesee River.

Steven and my mom ordered flights. Again, I ordered the local Riesling. It was the best glass of wine I’d ordered at a brewery so far. So, I got another.

We ordered appetizers: wings and fried pickles. For lunch, we ordered the Reuben, a black and bleu burger, and the fish tacos. Everything was delicious and the views made everything even better. A few things… there is a note on the table that says tables are reserved for two hours. In addition, the waiter was excessively attentive. He stopped by the table far too much, cutting off our conversations. I have to admit I was a little annoyed. My mom hadn’t had a Genny in a while and she loved the original. My hubs choice: the Simcoe S.M.A.S.H Pale Ale from the Genesee Brew House Pilot Batch Series.



25 Cataract St. Rochester, NY, 14605 585-263-9200


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2. Lock 32 Brew Company, Pittsford



We visited Lock 32 about a year ago when we visited Rochester. We came back because the beer is really good, according to my hubby. They also have local wine. A year later and the brewery has made a few changes. And Lock 32 is one of the best places to get a craft beer in Rochester.

First of all, the brewery had grown in size. It’s twice as big as it was when we last visited.

Second of all, the brewery is opening another location on the canal in Bushnell’s Basin. The vibe is going to be completely different, says Casey. We are going to have all new rotating beers taps, food trucks, and a second-story deck. The new space is in a converted art gallery space and will have an Adirondack feel with outdoor space and fire pits off the canal. My hubs choice: Doc Gabs Red Ale.



10 Schoen Place, Pittsford, NY 14534. (585) 500-8844



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Mark and his daughter Ashley.



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3. Wood Kettle Brewery, Greece



We stumbled on Wood Kettle Brewery by accident or fate– whichever you prefer. Mark and Sherry sat across from us at Locke 32 one Monday afternoon. We ended up talking about travel, music, and their brand 24-hr old grandbaby, Markland. The latter of which the two were celebrating.

In the midst of conversation they mentioned their craft beer brewery, so a few days later, we checked it out. Low and behold, it’s a really nice place sitting on an amazing piece of real estate on the edge of Greece and Hilton.

WKB opened last December after a few major setbacks. Most notably the death of their business partner. But family stepped up and now, both daughters and their families are mining the store. And all but two of the 15 beers on tap were brewed on site. The brewery also serves local wines from the Finger Lakes Wine Trail. Wood Kettle has a full kitchen that serves popular pub fare like soft Bavarian pretzels, brats, wraps, and very popular fish tacos with homemade mango salsa. They also serve a small selection of local wines.

We sat next to Doug, a WKB regular. Turned out You and I went to school together but hadn’t met. This is my favorite place for a beer. He chuckled that he was 98th on the waiting list for a coveted mug– beer club member status. I’ll write a check right now, he told Mark. Unfortunately, Mark doesn’t have the mugs or hanging space to accommodate more than 20 new members right now.

Their biggest seller, Blondshell is a blonde pale ale named after Sherry. My hubs choice: the Red Pale Ale and the Pour Man’s Porter.


1192 Manitou Rd, Hilton, NY 14468. (585) 366-4183.


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4. K2 Brothers Brewery, Penfield



Brad and Kyle started brewing beer at home 15 gallons at a time. Today Brad, the eldest by 3 years, was brewing 250 gallons of their Double IPA in their Penfield brewery. K2 made the list for a few reasons. First, they have good beer. In addition, they have a variety of other drinks– something sure to please everybody. The brewery serves NYS wines, distilled spirits, ciders, and colas. You can sample the latter three in a four-selection flight.

I definitely suggest sitting on the bar side because the atmosphere and conversation are great. Or enjoy something from the kitchen in the newly renovated beer garden in the back. “We love collaborating with other brewers in the 585”, says Brad. They’ve worked with Knucklehead, the other Penfield Brewery already. K2 opened up last December and has 100 loyal members and 180 more waiting for a coveted club membership mug.


1221 Empire Blvd, Rochester, NY 14609. (585) 413-1997



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