A long time ago I heard a phrase that I found to be particularly potent and I have subsequently lived by it. ‘Think global, drink local” is a personal favorite of mine and I try to follow it as closely as possible, especially the latter part. I’ve found that local drinks and drinking customs are far more entertaining and enlightening than any tourist crap you can do if you visit somewhere.

Rochester is no exception to this. Over the weekend I managed to make my second sojourn to my favorite brewery in the Rochester area: Custom Brewcrafters. Yet again I managed to snag brewery tour tickets sponsored by the senior class and it was, yet again, a ridiculously good deal for only $5.

Seriously, if they ever sponsor another one of these things ‘booze cruises,” chances are you will see me on the tour. It’s not like I spend a whole lot of Flex as it is. Anyway, let’s chat about Custom Brewcrafters.

Located in Honeoye Falls (my favorite town to try and spell while drunk), the old yellow bus rumbled up to the gigantic barn on a rather warm November Saturday. Upon entering the building, all visitors are greeted by a sight that would warm the heart of any Grinch. As you open the door, three walls of taps greet you, glistening clean and inviting, ready to dispense liquid joy. These walls are capped off with Ben Franklin’s famous quote, tying it all together.

As several of my friends noted, they had never seen me this giddy before. We were given a special card that allowed us to sample six beers and were encouraged to snag something to wet our whistle before going on the tour. I nabbed one of their super-hopped IPAs which was an excellent accompaniment to the tour.

Our tour guide was exceptionally well-versed in the brewing arts. Whether it was because he’d been doing it forever (I think he worked at the original brewery, located on Paper Street) or that he just knew a lot, he knew what to say and how to say it so that it was informative and intriguing, rather than dull and boring. We managed to taste a bunch of the different malts in their pre-beer state, which was really awesome, and a bunch of hop varieties were passed around for all to smell.

Overall, the tour itself was excellent. After the tour, we moved on to what seemed to be everyone’s favorite part: the tasting.

The tasting was, in short, awesome. There were about 20 different taps, with some repeat taps on each side of the tasting area. The tasting area was separated into three portions: the German-style beers, the hoppy IPA section and the general section in front. I tried a wide variety of beers, all of them solid brews and some exceptionally good.

My favorite of the bunch was a contract brew for the Buffalo Tap Room. It is an unfiltered rye beer that was absolutely delicious. It was malty with a pleasant hop balance and it necessitated the purchase of a growler. For those who have never purchased beer from the tap, a growler is a refillable half-gallon glass jug that is filled to the brim with sweet, delicious beer.

So, you should probably get a designated driver and a bunch of friends and head out to Custom Brewcrafters one weekend. It’s an excellent trip and is both informative and absolutely delicious. But, as Levar Burton would say in Reading Rainbow, you don’t have to take my word for it.

As per usual, e-mail is at the bottom. I’d like to get some more suggestions and comments and I have figured out how to entice you to e-mail me. The person with the best comment and/or recommendation wins a Custom Brewcrafters pint glass, courtesy of me.

Spolverino is a member of the class of 2010.
His e-mail address is scott.spolverino@rochester.edu.

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