You know I have fun wherever I go and I love a good adventure! But, today raised the bar and was really special! Just think……the Genesee Brewery and the High Falls on the Genesee River have been there all these years and I’ve never realized it would be such a cool place to go until now! What a treat it was!
My old school chum, Russ, was in town for a visit, so we made plans to get together and do something. I used to go to Utica for the Utica Club Brewery tour a lot back in the day and it has been on my Adventure Bucket List since I’ve been back home. But, it is quite a drive and I wasn’t sure if I could talk anyone into going with me. So, I thought maybe this might be something nice to do with Russ…….but, when I was searching for information and directions about it, I also saw the Genesee Brewery come up on the search! Curious, I checked it out! WOW – here is what looked like a really cool place much closer to us! Why not? So, we agreed that would be where we would go – a place neither of us had ever been to, before!
The directions seemed simple – even though it was right downtown Rochester and we had to do the Inner Loop mess, it looked pretty straight forward……besides, I have Gabby – how could we go wrong? Well……there was a lot of construction and detours right where we needed to be! Gabby was telling me we were just two left hand turns from our destination, but we couldn’t make those turns! She kept recalculating and trying to circle us back around to the spot she wanted us to turn, but it wasn’t working out! Finally, we got beyond where she wanted us to turn and tricked her into recalculating another way around the mess and we got there! WHEW! Getting back on 490 to go home was WAY easier! But, we got there and it was sooooooo worth the extra effort and a little frustration!
They do tours every hour and we arrived just after 12:00, so we decided to have lunch, first. They have a nice menu of sandwiches, appetizers, and a few entrees – everything sounded really good! We both remembered someone had told us to definitely get the pretzels, so we did……SCORE – they were amazing!!! HUGE, THICK pretzel sticks – wish I had taken a photo – that reminded me of the big joint that Cheech and Chong smoke in their movie from back in the 70s! Hahahaha! And it came with two dipping sauces – a cheese sauce and a spicy mustard sauce…..but, they didn’t really need any sauce! AWESOME!!! Russ had one of the burgers and said it was very good and I had the Beef on Weck – delicious! I had pretty much filled up on the pretzels, though, and could only eat about 1/2 the sandwich and brought the rest home for supper!
We ate out on the balcony that overlooks the High Falls on the Genesee River……what a view!!!! It was VERY nice!!!
See that empty table to the far left in the corner? That was our table!
And…..THIS was our view!!! So beautiful!!!
We got done with lunch just a tad after 1:00, so we missed the next tour time! So, we decided to walk out on the walking bridge that goes over the Genesee River for a better view of the falls! That was so nice! It was a perfect day, the falls was gorgeous, and there was a beautiful sky and breeze blowing across the bridge…….I was in heaven!!! We spent quite a bit of time on the bridge, enjoying the views and reading the info boards. If I worked near here, I could see myself walking here to eat my lunch on one of these benches and enjoying the views!
I was in total awe that here we were in the midst of the downtown area of a big, industrial city like Rochester and here is all this peaceful beauty to enjoy!!!
Then, we headed back so we wouldn’t miss the next tour time. We killed a little more time looking through the gift shop before we started the tour.
As we walked across the parking lot from the bridge, I noticed what looked like a horse on the roof of a building across the street……I got closer and – YES – there is a horse on the roof!!! You know me…..I can’t resist a painted horse or cow!!!
This lady is posed in the window as we entered the building – fish net stockings and all!!!
The whole building is cool, but I did enjoy the gift shop area! LOTS of Genny beer memorabilia, gifts, and information!
My brother used to LOVE Genny Cream Ale – we’d take him cases of it when we visited him in the Navy!
I just noticed looking at this photo that it is a PHOTO BOOTH!!! DANG!!!! Wish I had seen that while we were there – that would have been a fun thing for us to do to remember our day!!!
There was a lot of stuff about Prohibition…..this brewery was originally the Standard Brewing Company and closed during Prohibition!
This is a photo of US Marshals padlocking the Exchange St Hotel in Rochester for violating the Prohibition Act in 1926.
A scale model display of the original buildings and what is now the walking bridge I posted pics of above
The tour was really good…..and FREE!!! Our tour guide, Ian, was amazing!!! He was very knowledgeable of the process and answered all our questions……after having worked in the Pharmaceutical field for 24 years, I understand the fermentation process and this aspect of it and the use of the process for making beer was just fascinating to me!!! The tour was of the Pilot Brewery – everything made in this building stays in this building for the tasting bar and the Brew House Restaurant.
Our tour guide, Ian, is not only an employee here, he is a home brewer, as well!
After Ian finished explaining the whole process to us and telling us everything we didn’t even know we wanted to know about beer, we went to the tasting bar. There, you can get a “Flight” – four samples of your choice – for only $2.00 and the proceeds go to local charities! Russ and I both picked out four samples and Ian came by before we were done and talked to us more about the beers we chose…..he even gave us a small taste of another one that we didn’t choose that he thought we might like……and we DID – actually it was the best of the tastings!!!
The tasting bartender……he told us his name, but I don’t remember it! boo…..bad blogger!!!
These look like regular size pilsner glasses, but they aren’t (look at the bartender, again, and note the size of the glasses in his hand) – I didn’t drink four full glasses of beer and drive home! In fact, I told him to not fill mine, cause I would only waste it!
I can say I’ve never been a fan of Genny Beer……but two of the four I chose (the two darker ones) I really liked – I didn’t care for the two lighter ones, in fact, I didn’t take more than two sips of the one on the far left – didn’t like it at all and didn’t drink much of the other light one, either. But, the two I liked were really very good!!! And, the “bonus” taste Ian gave us – Dundee Porter – was extremely good – I am going to have to remember it for when I may want to buy some beer to have in the fridge!!! So, I guess you might say I’m a Genny-convert!!!
When we left, we drove around the back of the building past the offices on St. Paul and found their fermentation farm where they store the full size batches made in the main brewery during the lengthy (~2 weeks or so) fermentation process! That was cool, too! The ones facing the street are made to look like giant size cans of their original beers – Genny Light, Genny, and Genny Cream!
And……there on top of their office building was another painted horse – this one holding a foamy mug of beer!!! YAY!!!
So……..an adventure that was added to my Adventure Bucket List cause I stumbled onto it while looking up something else already on the list……and knocked off during an amazing day with a good friend!!! Life sure is good, isn’t it?
Click here to visit their website and learn more about the brewery, the Brew House, and check out their menu!!!