Investment group may buy Genesee

Firm reportedly ready to pick up second historic regional brewery

Dec 3, 1999 - The same group that bought the former Heileman brewery in LaCrosse, Wis., reportedly is negotiating a deal to acquire Genesee Brewing, which has operated in Rochester, N.Y., since 1878.


Platinum Holdings -- which bought the Heileman plant from Stroh Brewery earlier this year -- would use the Rochester brewery to produce both beer and ethanol, according to industry sources.

Neither company would confirm or deny that a deal is in the works.

Reports are that if the sale goes through, Platinum Holdings would move some production of some of Genesee's beers, such as J.W. Dundee Honey Brown Lager, to the Wisconsin plant to minimize shipping costs in the West and Midwest. Genesee's core brands, including Genesee Beer and Genny Light, would still be brewed in Rochester as well as J.W. Dundee for the East Coast.

Platinum completed its $10.5 million purchase of the former G. Heileman Brewing Co. plant from Stroh Brewery Co. in November. Platinum renamed it the City Brewery, has hired 50 employees so far and expects to have its City Lager and City Light brands at retail outlets by Christmas. Platinum also plans to produce two other brands -- La Crosse Lager and La Crosse Light -- and to make beer and soda for other companies under contract.

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