Posts Written ByMark Tichenor

Genesee Brewing Company Tap House Now Open in Rochester

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For most of its 234 year history, the Genesee Brewing Company remained a closed book to the people of Rochester, New York — an imposing, mostly corrugated metal structure on St. Paul Street from which trucks laden with beer would issue forth, but into which only brewery workers would go. No tours, no brewery store,  just a Wonka-esque factory on the hill. The brewery’s recent purchaser, venture capital firm KPS, saw value in issuing golden tickets. They tore down the dilapidated original brewhouse and renovated an adjoining building into The Tap House visitors’ center, complete with small-batch brewery, museum and…

Spider Bite Brewing wins Tap NYs ‘Best New Brewery 2012′

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On the way to his next-door neighbor’s house, Larry Goldstein felt a pinch . On his arm he saw a raised welt with two red marks characteristic of a spider’s fangs. Unfortunately, the bite didn’t endow him with super powers, but it did give him a name for his brewery, which is getting a lot of attention from across New York State. That’s what winning “Best New Brewery” at the annual TapNY beer festival will do. “I thought some of our beers had a chance to win an award in a style category,” says the former chiropractor turned brewer, “But I never…

Massachusetts-Based Shelton Brothers Slams a Door on New York Breweries

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Venerable import and distribution company Shelton Brothers, of  of Belchertown, Massachusetts, has been invaluable to beer lovers across the United States. They have been visionary in their quest to bring us the finest beers from Belgium since way before Belgian was cool. If you’ve enjoyed a Cantillon, Dieu du Ciel or Mikkeler and you don’t have a passport, you have the Sheltons to thank. Now, Shelton Brothers can claim yet another accolade: stalwart defenders of the New York State Constitution. We New York residents are thankful that, in 2006, upon being refused State Liquor Authority approval to distribute six English…

3 Heads “The Common Man”

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Craft breweries make their bones by marketing big, unique beers to big, unique individuals. High alcohol levels, forceful flavors and innovative ingredients put many great brews on the map, but remain the characteristics of a niche product. Most of the “great” American beers are a bit much for the casual beer drinker  to have out on the porch with the sun beating down. Conversely, most “mainstream” craft beer styles, brown and pale ales come to mind, bore hardcore beer lovers to death. It’s hard for a brewer to win. Three Heads Brewing, however, thinks they’ve found the perfect formula, and…

2011 Beer of the Year: CB’s Brewing Company Krysztoff Baltic Porter

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Some breweries just don’t get a lot of respect. Then again, some breweries haven’t always taken the steps to earn it. For most of its history, Custom Brewcrafters subordinated the desire to make truly world-class beers and clung to their original business model, making small-batch, neutral, house-label beers for Rochester area bars and restaurants. You could see that mentality start to shift a few years ago with the launch of the CB’s line of signature beers launched by then-brewmaster Jason Fox and continued by Bruce Lish, the current head of brewing. These beers marked a turnaround for the brewery, which…

Naked Dove Brewing Company Helles

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By Mark Tichenor, Rochester Beer Correspondent Color matters in the beer world. It’s a disappointing truth, but some people make snap judgments about, and shy away from, some styles just because of the color of the brew. It’s ironic because of the inherent self-deprivation; tragic because some drinkers who turn up their nose at all liquids not obsidian black would miss out on as wonderul a beer as Naked Dove Brewing Company Helles. Helles is the iconic golden lager style of Munich. It’s the rejuvenator you get a liter of when you drag your jet-lagged tourist butt into the Hofbräuhaus.…

Naked Dove Oktoberfest is Shoe-Slappin’ good

By Mark Tichenor, Rochester Beer Correspondent It’s still a bit confusing to everybody, even the Germans. Oktoberfest is named for October, but takes place in mid-September. And craft breweries usually have their Oktoberfest-style beers ready by the beginning of August. Canandaigua New York’s Naked Dove Brewing Company is blithely tardy, waiting until the end of beer-tent season to release their Oktoberfest. It’s a crafty move for a beer that deserves to be enjoyed apart from the pack. Oktoberfest beers are as subtle as a kick in the Lederhosen: heavy, strong lagers with negligible hop character and a sweet punch that…

McBane’s Unfiltered Expo Pils: An Elusive and Rustic Pils in Rochester

By Mark Tichenor, Beer Correspondent American beer fans are fortunate; the best and most famous craft brews are available from coast to coast. Still, it's a pleasure to find excellent beers brewed and served on a small scale, with a local ethic. Some of the finest are only available at a singular time and place. That's the case with McBane's Unfiltered Expo Pils, brewed as a collaboration between Joe McBane, owner of Rochester's Tap and Mallet gastropub, and Bruce Lish, brewer at Custom Brewcrafters of Honeoye Falls, New York. Brewed to coincide with the Tap and Mallet's recent Real Beer…