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The Little Theatre marks its 90th with a special beer

Scott Pukos


The Little Theatre on East Avenue in Rochester kicked off a year-long celebration of its 90th birthday  Thursday night with cake of course, but also with beer….and it was a special beer created by Rohrbach Brewing with the help of staffers at The Little.

It’s called the House of Silent Shadows Prohibition Porter, and the theater’s publicity coordinator, Scott Pukos, says it hearkens back to the prohibition era which was going on when The Little opened in 1929.

“It grew to have this moniker the House of Silent Shadows, which is mysterious, alluring, I really like the name; so we decided to make a beer with that same name, we teamed up with Rohrbach who is the oldest craft brewery here in Rochester,” Pukos said.

The beer, by the way, has a mix of flavors including chocolate, coconut and almond; it’s sort of based on one of the more popular snacks at The Little’s concession counter, the Nanaimo Bar.

“It’s real chocolatey, it’s got some coconut and cream,” said Rohrbach Brewery owner John Urlaub. “We just felt because that was kind of a signature dessert here, that it would be perfect for a little bit heavier beer for the fall, so it’s a porter style beer and really, it’s funny, we have to make the batches in fairly big sizes, it’s not like we can do lots of tests, so we were winging it to some extent, it came out really good,” Rohrbach said. 

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News
Little Theatre publicity coordinator Scott Pukos (L), and Rohrbach Brewing owner John Urlaub.

The beer will be available for a limited time at both The Little Theatre and at Rohrbach’s.

Pukos says the 90th anniversary celebration also coincides with the renovations going on at The Little's historic theater 1. 

"Last year in 2018 we renovated the auditorium part so we got new seats, a new stage, and what’s going on right now is they are renovating the concession stand area, the lobby, our offices upstairs, the basement area, so we’re looking to reopen Little theatre 1 in the fall," Pukos said.

The Little Theatre is operated by WXXI.