Genesee Country Village & Museum, located in Mumford, N.Y., is teaming up with Rohrbach Brewing Co. to produce the museum’s historical beers, which can be found on tap at Genesee Country Village & Museum’s multiple restaurants and Freight House Pub, part of an 1849 railroad complex.
Genesee Country Village & Museum’s Stocking Hill Ale (American Wheat Ale) and Fat Ox Ale (American-Style Brown Ale) connect modern lovers of craft beer to the history of brewing in New York State. Found on tap at various locations around the museum grounds, both beers are brewed referencing historical recipes from New York State in the 19th century. Rohrbach’s, one of Rochester’s original craft breweries, has locations in downtown Rochester on Railroad Street and on Buffalo Road and will take over brewing the museum’s historical recipes and providing beer to the organization for the 2022 season and beyond. On some occasions, the beers may also be found on tap at Rohrbach’s locations.
Stocking Hill Ale is an American Wheat Ale with ginger — it pours a light hazy gold color with wheaty aromas and a bittersweet ginger-y finish. Fat Ox Ale boasts notes of dark chocolate and coffee, the aromas derived from roasted malts. In addition to Stocking Hill Ale and Fat Ox Ale, museum visitors will also find seasonal Genesee Brewing Co. beers on tap, such as the Ruby Red Kolsch in the spring and summer, as well as hard ciders by OSB Ciderworks.
Ties to the craft beer community
Genesee Country Village & Museum has a historical connection with Rochester’s rich brewing scene. Its founder, John L. “Jack” Wehle, also served as chairman of the family business, the Genesee Brewing Co. in Rochester, N.Y., which his father Louis Wehle purchased in 1932. Today, the museum’s President and CEO is Becky Wehle, granddaughter of Jack Wehle.
Museum visitors interested in learning more about the history of brewing in the region can visit Grieve’s Brewery on the museum grounds, a reconstruction of a c. 1803 Geneva, N.Y., brewery. Genesee Country Village & Museum is the only museum in the United States to showcase a working 19th-century brewery. The 1803-themed brewing demonstrations rely on gravity during much of the process, with liquids either pumped by hand or ladled into troughs throughout the building. Portions of Rochester’s old Enright Brewery (closed in 1907) and an early timber-framed structure near West Bloomfield, N.Y., were merged to form the present building. Beside the brewery, visitors will find a Hop House (built c. 1870 in Greece, N.Y.), surrounded by a small hop yard. Hops grown at the museum are harvested in the late summer during the annual Hop Harvest Festival, a celebration of craft beer and the history of brewing in the region.
Where to try the beers
Craft beer lovers looking to sample Stocking Hill Ale and Fat Ox Ale can find the brews on tap this season at Genesee Country Village & Museum in the Freight House Pub, Depot Restaurant, and Pavilion Garden Restaurant. Visitors can bring home filled growlers and find branded craft beer merchandise in the museum’s Flint Hill Store. For those looking to enjoy Rohrbach’s beers prior to the season’s opening on Saturday, May 7, the museum’s annual Maple Sugar Festival & Pancake Breakfast (March 19, 20, 26 and 27) will feature Rohrbach’s popular griddle cakes, a blueberry maple wheat ale made with real maple syrup, available on tap and in cans.
Several events throughout the year at GCV&M highlight craft beer and the history of brewing — namely, History on Tap (June 3), and the Hop Harvest Festival (September 10). Details for all upcoming events can be found at www.gcv.org.