Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Keg Tree lighting celebration returns to the Genesee Brewery

Keg Tree Gino-12-2-22.jpg
Gino Fanelli
WXXI/CITY Magazine
Thousands showed up for the annual Keg Tree lighting at the Genesee Brewery on Friday, 12/2/22.

Thousands of people crowded the parking lot of the Genesee Brew House on Friday night, returning for the lighting of the brewery’s Keg Tree.

That is a nearly three-story illuminated pyramid made up of 532 beer kegs and it’s become a Rochester tradition since the brewery introduced it in 2013.

Genesee installed and lit the Keg Tree in 2020 and 2021, but it was done with little fanfare due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genesee’s Brewmaster, Dean Jones, made note of that fact just before the lighting of the Keg Tree, when he said that, “Last year, you know what happened? We built a keg tree, we lit the keg tree, who was there to see it?”

Jones told the crowd that it was an incredibly humbling experience to realize that, “We do this for you. All of our Genesee fans, all of our Genesee employees, all their friends and family are so excited to get this off and have all of you back into the Genesee Brew House parking lot.”

The Keg Tree includes more than 30,000 lights, programmed to flash along to holiday songs. There’s a rotating Genesee sign at the top.

Genesee is also donating $1 for every Keg Tree Ale sold in December to help the Open Door Mission homeless shelter.

The tree will remain up through the beginning of January.

Gino Fanelli covers City Hall for CITY and WXXI News. He came to CITY as a reporter in 2019 by way of the Rochester Business Journal, and formerly served as a watchdog reporter for Gannett in Maryland and a stringer for the Associated Press.
Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.