WXXI AM News

Genesee Brewery

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

The Genesee Brewery  in Rochester does this a couple of times a year…they will close all of the shifts at the facility in High Falls, and more than 300 employee volunteers will then work on various community revitalization projects, everything from planting new trees to picking up trash.

That’s what Carlos Rojas was doing when I saw him with his orange plastic bag, using some long tongs to pick up debris along the Genesee Riverway Trail.

And Rojas isn’t exactly part of the rank and file at the brewery. He is Chief Financial Officer for Florida Ice & Farm Company, also known as FIFCO. It is the Costa Rican-based corporation that owns North American Breweries, the parent company of the Genesee Brewery.  He says these types of community activities are very important to the company’s overall corporate philosophy.

Tianna Manon / WXXI News

Major changes are slated for the Genesee Riverway and one of them is the upgrade of the High Falls Terrace Park. Located right next to the Genesee Brewery, the park includes a walking path that connects to the Pont de Rennes Bridge and an observation deck closer to the waterfall.

On Friday, Mayor Lovely Warren announced ROC the FALLS, a new festival scheduled for the evening of September 7.  She says the festival will feature music, live interactive art and food trucks. The goal is to recognize changes to the area and build on the growing momentum surrounding ROC the Riverway.  

North American Breweries

North American Breweries, which operates the Genesee Brewery in Rochester, is announcing a new CEO.

The announcement from the parent company, Florida Ice and Farm Company (FIFCO), says that after four years at North American Breweries, Kris Sirchio is stepping down as FIFCO implements a new business model.

According to a statement from the company, “the model will draw on FIFCO’s total company size, scale and beer industry experience to grow the U.S. business in an increasingly competitive and changing industry.”

Genesee Brewery Parent Company Sold For $338 Million

Oct 26, 2012

North American Breweries, parent company to Rochester's Genesee Brewery, has been sold to Cerveceria Costa Rica, S.A. for $338 million. A 6:30 p.m. press conference is scheduled at the Genesee Brew House to announce the sale.

Cerveceria is a subsidiary of Florida Ice & Farm Company, S.A., and brews the Imperial brand of beer.

Officials have cut the ribbon on the new Genesee Brew House -- with its museum, pilot brewery, pub and gift shop.
Rich Lozyniak (LOHZ-nee-ack) is CEO of North American Breweries, Genesee's parent company.
He says they're extremely excited to finally be able open the Brew House to the public September 8th.
Lozyniak says the new Brew House should transform the neighborhood, and give people another reason to come to downtown Rochester.
He says this project should attract Rochesterians and out-of-towners alike.
The Brew House opens to the public September 8th.

Brew House Construction Begins

Apr 26, 2012

North American Breweries has begun construction on its $2.6 million Brew House Project.

Company engineer Mark Minunni says workers knocked out windows and removed wooden planks from the ceiling and floor of 25 Cataract Street.

The work is in preparation for a museum, microbrewery, restaurant and souvenir shop.

Thirteen Cataract Street is currently undergoing asbestos removal before being torn down.

Earlier this month, the City Planning Commission rejected requests by preservation groups to designate the building as a landmark. 

Neighborhood Groups Voice Support for Brewery's Plan

Apr 2, 2012

Some Northeast Neighborhood residents say the Genesee Brewery’s planned Brew House and visitor center is an opportunity to revitalize a blighted area.

Group 14621 Community Association and the Northeast Area Development Group supports the plan even though it involves tearing down a historic structure at 13 Cataract Street.

Genesee Brewing says it's rethinking its plans to construct a new alehouse and museum on Cataract Street in High Falls.

This after the city's Preservation Board last night voted to nominate properties there for landmark designation.

North American Breweries CEO Rich Lozyniak says they're disappointed the Board’s decision compromises an important project.

He says his company is now evaluating if the proposed Genesee Brew House project is economically viable, because of the time and resources needed to fight those who oppose it.

Area preservation advocates are sharing their concerns over Genesee Brewery's plans to tear down a 19th-century building. Genesee Brewery says rehabilitation of the 122-year-old structure would be too costly.

The move comes after Genesee announced plans last month to create a new brew pub. The plan includes transforming an old packaging plant near the brewhouse into a bar and visitor center.

Thursday, preservationists attended a hearing held by the city's Zoning Board of Appeals, which must approve the demolition.