On a Thursday night, it’s not hard to find a beer tasting room open for business.
“It’s just a a crazy explosion right now and I think people want quality and local,” said Chris Spinelli, co-owner of Roc Brewing Co.
“I think it’s great! I say the more, the merrier,” said Jon Mervine, co-owner of Roc Brewing Co.
Tourists flock to the Finger Lakes region for the wine.
Now they are flocking for the craft beer.
“You are looking at nine to twelve breweries by the end of the year in the greater Rochester area and if you spread to Finger Lakes you are pushing up into the fifties.”
This beer is brewed in small batches.
Many times local ingredients are used like hops.
“They are the personality behind every beer,” said Mervine.
They turn to farmers like the guys from Bluebell Hopyard in Victor.
“We grow a premium product, we hand touch every plant almost on a daily basis, we are out there literally talking to the plants so they are ready in the spring to grow,” said Kurt Charland, a partner in Bluebell Hopyard.
On nearly two acres of land, Bluebell Hopyard is growing several varieties of hops.
They plan to harvest their third season this summer.
“It seems like literally, every couple of weeks there is a new brewery opening up somewhere, do you have hops do you have hops form this year’s harvest,” said Fred Armstrong, a partner in Bluebell Hopyard.
Armstrong said many people don’t realize the rich history of hops in New York State.
Before prohibition, 85-percent of the nation’s hops were grown in New York.
New York is booming again with hops and beer.
This August the hope is that thousands will come to the Hopsfest in East Bloomfield at the new brewery, Nedloh Brewing Co.
“It allows the breweries to show their wares,” said Mervine.
More details about the Hopsfest will be unveiled Friday morning. The goal is to make it not just a beer festival, but an educational event on beer-making as well.