Genesee Brewery Introduces New Craft Beer Brand to Retail Channels

Genesee Brewery Introduces New Craft Beer Brand to Retail Channels

New product development based on customer demand at Genesee Brew House

Rochester, NY – The Genesee Brewery recently rolled out new Genesee Brew House Pilot Batch series beers to retailers across the Northeast. Available in six-pack bottles, the new craft beer was developed after repeated requests from customers to package the craft beers that were only available on draft at the Genesee Brew House in Rochester, New York. The beers include a Genesee Brew House Pilot Batch Series Imperial Black IPA and Scotch Ale. Both are Brew House favorites that are now made at The Genesee Brewery.

According to Genesee Brew House Brewmaster Dean Jones, each beer was carefully crafted on a 20-barrel pilot system, and then exactly reproduced in larger batches at The Genesee Brewery. “The beers were already developed but it took some time to take into account all the different efficiencies, operations and complexities of producing these all malt beers in much larger batches. The Imperial Black IPA has 100 IBUs. Anyone who knows about brewing beer, understands that this level of hoppiness has to be balanced carefully. I worked in collaboration with our Head Brewmaster Mike Mueller and his team at the Brewery to make sure these first batches were spot on.” 

The Genesee Brew House Pilot Batch series are available at Rochester-area retailers including Wegmans, Beers of the World and AJ’s Warehouse.

“We love the final product and Rochester beer drinkers do too,” said Carrie Duggan, brand manager for Genesee. “According to local retailers, the Imperial Black IPA and Scotch Ale flew off shelves over Memorial Day weekend. We’ve also seen positive social media chatter from customers who were excited to discover the six-pack bottles in stores.”     

Demand for Craft from Genesee

When Genesee hired Brewmaster Dean Jones for the 20-barrel Pilot Brewery in 2012, the goal was to creatively experiment with new original recipes using the smaller system. The larger brewery output makes innovation difficult with large test batches.  At the same time, demand for craft beer on draft at the Genesee Brew House grew. Then new innovation batches were used to create a community-based social investment program called Tap it Forward. The small batch beers were sent to select craft beer bars and restaurants throughout Rochester in limited amounts. Proceeds were invested in important community projects. For the first time, people could order a Genesee Brew House beer at their favorite craft beer bar. Some batches sold out in a matter of hours causing online beer communities to post about where they could find the Genesee Brew House beers.

With the success of the Genesee Brew House and the customer demand at craft beer bars, the brewers at Genesee decided to flex their craft beer muscles again by introducing the first bottled Genesee branded Pilot Batch Series made by the 137-year-old brewery. Genesee also made the Pilot Batch Series beers more widely available at Rochester bars on draught. Passionate fans can now enjoy Genesee Brew House beers at home and their favorite local craft beer bar.   

“Beer appreciation groups like Flour City Beer, the local bars who carried our small batch Tap It Forward beers as well as the our customers, really helped us make the decision to introduce this line of craft beers,” said Duggan. “Seeing people rave about our beers online and seek them out helped us come to a conclusion that there is a market for Genesee Brew House beers.”

“When you combine the heritage of New York State’s oldest brewery with a new 20-barrel pilot system, you get an excellent product,” said Duggan.

Brewmaster Jones agrees. “At the Pilot Brewery, I’ve been lucky to be able to brew beer with the highest quality ingredients that I want to drink. Having a test brewery means I can put my own twist on traditional styles,” he said.

About Dean Jones

Dean Jones brings 23 years of experience to his role as Brewmaster of the Pilot Batch System in the Genesee Brew House. He has been recognized at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup with several awards.  An active member of the Rochester brewing community, he is currently the President of the Master Brewers Association of America- District Western New York, as well as, a member of Upstate New York Homebrewers Association (UNYHA) Home Brew Club. He enjoys collaborating with fellow Rochester artisans from Climbing Bines Hop Farm, Evening Star Coffee Roasters and Hedonist Artisan Chocolates.

About the Beers

Genesee Brew House Pilot Batch Series Scotch Ale: Available year round, this is a rich and malty, deep-garnet colored ale with a surprisingly smooth body. To mimic the soft water from Edinburgh, Scotland that brewers would traditionally use for this style of beer, Genesee sourced local water from Rochester’s Hemlock Lake which is similarly soft.  “We are taking one of my absolute favorite beers to full production, and I couldn’t be prouder. This beer is so smooth and deceptively strong,” describes Jones.  

Genesee Brew House Pilot Batch Series Imperial Black IPA: Seasonal availability. Heavy in caramel, roasted and black malts, this brew is balanced with an intense bitterness from East Kent Goldings hops. “This beer is huge. It’s intense and smooth with rich roasted characteristics. I’m totally geeking out over this beer,” exclaims Jones.

About the Genesee Brew House

Once a century-old packaging center, The Genesee Brew House has transformed the 9,200 square-foot space into a beer destination for upstate New York and beyond. The first floor of the Brew House features interactive exhibits, multi-media content, a retail shop and a pilot brewery complete with a tasting bar. Upstairs, there is a pub-style restaurant with a 41-foot bar (hand-crafted out of old, wooden Genesee brewing tanks), outdoor terrace seating and a rooftop patio.

The Genesee Brew House tells a story of the Genesee Brewing Company that dates back to 1878. The brewery lays claim to being one of the oldest and longest continually operating breweries in the United States. By using an eclectic mix of vintage barrels, reclaimed wood, exposed ceiling, neon signs, new technology and modern exhibits, The Brew House will bring Genesee’s story alive for generations to come.

About The Genesee Brewery

The Genesee Brewery, based in Rochester, is the oldest brewery in New York state, and is part of North American Breweries. In 2010, the Genesee Brewery earned AIB Certification, a nationally recognized industry designation for quality excellence in food, beverage, and brewing manufacturing practices and product safety. The brewery makes the classic Genesee line of beers, the Original Honey Brown Lager, the Dundee Ales & Lagers family of craft beers, as well as Seagram's Escapes. The Genesee Brewery also manufactures beer and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages under contracts on behalf of other companies. More information: Genesee Brewery Newsroom.

Always drink responsibly.