When our first-year celebration ended, I reflected on the previous year being a Finger Lakes Brewery. A couple things were a given: our customers are great, and I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring. Now, as I reflect on 2016, I have the same feelings. The 2016 winter at the brewery was one of the highlights of the year. Coco’s was our resident food truck for the winter. Collette and her staff braved some cold winter evenings keeping everyone’s belly full! It was exciting to see so many locals out and about in the finger lakes during the winter and everyone having such a fun time. We had many local musicians play some outstanding music in our packed taproom, and they provided some very memorable nights. Aaron Lipp, Owen Eichensehr and Alex Myth, Not From Wisconsin, The Zydeco Trail Ryders, The Ampersand Project, and Jackson Cavalier are some high points.
Our Steuben Club meetings were fun and well attended! Club members experienced many new beers and food pairings. As a Finger Lakes Brewery, we are excited to start brewing test batches this coming fall, winter, and spring when the weather is cool enough to ferment them. (Our small, one-barrel test fermenter is not refrigerated). The Belgian Blonde Ale and Double IPA were the most popular choices among club members.
In April, we won the John Calen Award for Best Brown Ale in NYS, and The Golden One (a pale lager) won silver at TAP NY.
Our tank capacity increased significantly with an addition of a 15-barrel (465 gallons) fermenter and three new brite tanks. The additional fermenter will free up some tank space for new, creative beers.
What will our 3rd year bring?
There will be continued improvements in customer experience, beer, atmosphere, and careful, methodical growth without compromise! Our taproom will be expanded this fall allowing more space for our customers and an overall better atmosphere. Several new beers are in the works, not just club member beers, but also some new pale ales brewed with hops we have contracted for the next couple of years! I believe our beer tastes better than ever, but I can’t wait to continue to improve our processes and experiment with new varieties of hops and malt.
Bottling? We get this question all of the time…Yes! We just received label approvals from the state, so we can begin releasing small-run, limited beers. Cans are possible too!
Food Trucks/Food: Coco’s food truck will be our resident food truck again this winter. We also look forward to continuing to work with Milliner’s Southern Smoke, Anita Pizza, The Lost Taco Stand, Triple J’s, and other food vendors. I am also working on establishing some brewer dinners at the brewery!
Steuben Club: Meetings will start back up this fall and will continue throughout the spring. We have some cool plans for our future meetings…more announcements to come. A new custom shelving unit made out of walnut will be installed to accommodate all of our member glasses.
Thank you to everyone for a great year! We hope to see you at our two-year anniversary event on Saturday, Sept. 24. We don’t just make the brewery fun and inviting; Our customers do too!