'Eco-brewery district' part of Genesee expansion

Drawing of part of the project
Drawing shows part of project
Fans of the Genesee Brewery in Rochester -- and there must be many since it has been around for 138 years -- undoubtedly will like the company's announcement of a $49.1 million to expand the facility and to create an "Eco-Brewery District."

North American Breweries, owner of the state's oldest brewery and currently employer of 592 people there, and the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo jointly announced the project, which will be partially paid for by the state's taxpayers.

Specifically, the state's Empire State Development (ESD) arm will provide up to $4.5 million in performance-based "Excelsior Jobs Program" tax credits in return for the company’s commitment to create 128 jobs overall; through the "Upstate Revitalization Initiative" ESD will provide a $5 million capital grant; and, another $3 million of the capital grant is tied to the company hiring 64 persons deemed to have been impacted by poverty.

“The expansion of the Genesee Brewery is a symbol of the economic renaissance unfolding throughout the Finger Lakes and an important example of how we are leveraging the region’s resources to generate growth and opportunity,” Cuomo said.

The project includes installation of what is termed "one of the most advanced brewing systems in the world," expansion of the Genesee Brew House restaurant and tasting room; improvements and expansion for the pilot brewery, and a new event space, for a total expansion of 18,000 square feet.

The announcement says, "The multi-phase project will culminate in the creation of an 'Eco-Brewery District' that will provide a sustainable destination for brewing, tasting and learning about beer in Rochester. The designation of 'Eco-Brewery' aligns with the company’s philosophy of helping to sustain its neighborhood and beer and brewing community while reducing its environmental footprint."

Working in collaboration with the local Monroe Community College, the district also is intended to support workforce development for the beer industry. In addition, the district would be marketed as a tourist attraction that aligns with the High Falls Gorge nearby the low-income Northeast neighborhood.

“Over the past six years, North American Breweries has invested $70 million in Genesee, creating 250 new jobs in the beer industry. Genesee has been a big part of the brewing renaissance in Rochester,” said company CEO Kris Sirchio, "[and] has a great opportunity to help Rochester become a premier destination for beer and brewing."

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