Erie Canal playing integral role in Genesee Brewery upgrades

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. – For the Genesee Brewery, the path forward to a state-of-the-art facility is a step back to a mode of transportation popular two centuries ago.

Inside the brewery, all aspects of the job have eyes on the future. Inside the kettle floor, the new, computerized tanks for mixing barley, water, sugar and yeast are nearly installed and will be in use later this summer.

But when it comes to the new fermentation tanks, the 165-year-old brewery will rely on transportation older than itself – the Erie Canal.

“They’re really too big to travel over the road,” said Steve Kaplan of Genesee Brewing. “They’re over 60 feet long, 20 feet wide.”

Each one is capable of holding more than 2,000 barrels, or more than 661,000 cans of beer.

The journey began 6,000 miles away in China, then through the Panama Canal and onto New York Harbor. It will take four days by barge to get the tanks from Albany to Lee Road in Rochester.

Lyell Avenue will be partially closed for tanks to be trucked to St. Paul Street – two per night. Then, they will be carefully up-righted onto a concrete pad with the help of three massive cranes.

“Just get out there and see us as we go by,” said Kaplan. “We hope you toast the tanks and celebrate the new generation of brewing.”

You can join in the fun or follow the progress on social media with the hashtag #ToastTheTanks.

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