City Brewing acquires Genesee

Historic Rochester brewery will continue to produce beer

Dec 16, 1999 - City Brewing Co. of La Crosse, Wis., has reached an agreement to acquire virtually all the assets of Genesee Brewing Co.


Genesee Corp. did not reveal what it sold the brewing operation for. City Brewing, a closely held firm that is part of the New York investment company Platinum Holdings, will take ownership of all the Genesee brands and operating assets, including the 3.3-million-barrel brewery in Rochester, N.Y.

City Brewing will continue to produce the Genesee and HighFalls brands at the Rochester plant, It expects the brewery will continue contract brewing for Boston Beer Co., maker of Samuel Adams beers. City Brewing may move part of the production of some of Genesee's beers to its Wisconsin plant to minimize shipping costs in the West and Midwest.

City Brewing is investigating the possibility of adding ethanol production capability to the Rochester brewery.

Genesee, the nation's fifth largest brewer, produced 1.6 million barrels of beer in its fiscal year that ended May 1, 1999. Its brands include the Genesee line of regional beers, such as Genesee Beer, Genny Light and Genny Cream Ale, and a line of specialty beers including JW Dundee's Honey Brown Lager and Michael Shea's Irish Amber.

Genesee Brewing Company was established in 1878 and was one of the first brewers in Upstate New York to resume production following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933.

Platinum Holdings just 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.

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