Whether the pint glass is filled with an IPA, a sour or a stout, there are plenty of places to find a cold, frosty beer in the Flower City.
Or maybe Rochester should consider a name change to Hop City: A new report ranks Rochester 21st in the nation when it comes to craft breweries per capita.
"Since we've opened, there are now 11 breweries in downtown Rochester with the newest just opening up a month ago,” said Chris Spinelli of Roc Brewing Co. “It's a great culture, it's a great community that we're very lucky to have the community that we do."
"What's nice is everyone is doing something a little bit different so you're not boring,” said Geoff Dale of Three Heads Brewing. “Everything is a little bit funkier, some have a little bit more food options, some are more of a coffee club, some are more, like with us we have music Thursday, Friday, Saturday, we're more of an event space and we like to throw down."
With six breweries for every 50,000 people, Rochester was the only city in New York to make the top 25.
"Six months out of the year, if you don't ski there's not much else to do so you're going to drink beer and I think people just enjoy having a good beer,” Dale said. “When it's sort of ingrained in your culture by having a giant in your back yard it starts from there."
"If you look at the support locally, too, of Wegmans or your other beer stores like Beers of the World, AJ's Beer Warehouse, it's helped create a very diverse beer community,” Spinelli added. “Unlike, say, Buffalo, which is blowing up too, or Syracuse, which has a long history, we continue to have the history plus the support of the retailers."
It's a case where more competition is actually a good thing. More breweries in a neighborhood encourage walking and, in the warmer months, pedal tours.
"I think people expect us to be like rivals and we're not,” Dale said. “We do a lot of events where we get together and we do a lot of collaborations together. If people run out of ingredients they go to another brewery, when we had issues with some of our equipment we went to Genesee. We've gone to Lost Borough and we're like, 'hey can you help us out?' and vice versa."
"We get together, we drink, we share ingredients, we have a yeast sharing program with a number of breweries and we do as much as we can together,” Spinelli said. “Where we're unique is that we really do care about each other, we're all very tight knit and close friends."