Rochester becoming microbrewer central

Al Rogers
• From the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

ROCHESTER, NY -- The first sip from a fresh pint of Rogers Pale Ale hits the back of the tongue with a strong, hoppy punch.
A beer aficionado working in sales for CAR Engineering and Manufacturing, a Victor tool and die company, Al Rogers (right) went into the beer business with his wife, Lauren, in late 2010. 

Their pale ale is permanently on tap at Lento Restaurant at Village Gate and has made rotations of taps at a variety of establishments around the Rochester region.

"I wanted my own business, and I love beer," said Rogers, 31, of Penfield.

And the Rochester region is seemingly learning to love local craft beers. Recent months have seen numerous locally made beer options bubble up -- from Three Heads Brewing of Brighton introducing its line of beers to various establishments in December around Rochester; to Ontario County microbrewery Naked Dove Brewing Co. and Steuben County microbrewery Finger Lakes Beer Co. both opening in November.
Another microbrewery, Roc Brewing Co. LLC, expects to start operation in Rochester later this year.

Those new offerings join what already had been a wide array of regional beers, including those made by Steuben County's Keuka Brewing Co., which opened in 2008; Ogden brewpub Rohrbach Brewing Co., which in 2008 expanded its capacity by moving its brewing operation to a building in northeast Rochester; and by microbrewery Custom Brewcrafters, which in 2008 opened its $1 million facility Honeoye Falls with a bottling line and more than double the brewing capacity of its previous facility.

And all of this is happening in the shadow of once-struggling Genesee Brewing Co., which has seen sizable investment and rebound since its 2009 purchase by private equity firm KPS Capital Partners.

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