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Governor Hochul Announces $50 Million Modernization Project at 146-Year-Old Genesee Brewery in Rochester

State Funding Will Support Project Upgrades to Create a World Class Packaging Facility in Rochester, Retaining 500 Jobs and Creating up to 57 New Jobs
Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – the Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a major revitalization project for the storied Genesee Brewery in the City of Rochester. The 146-year-old facility will undergo a $50 million renovation to transform the building into a world-class packaging facility, increasing the building’s manufacturing capacity and allowing for greater efficiency at the site. The company is planning to create up to 57 new jobs at the facility over the next two years in addition to retaining more than 500 workers in Rochester, and will use the facility to supplement the Canadian production and shipment of its renowned Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light lines of beer – making this the first facility to produce these lines in the United States. New York State has offered a $7 million capital grant to Genesee’s parent company, FIFCO USA, to assist with the modernization upgrades.

“The Genesee Brewery has been a trusted employer in the Rochester community for well over a century, and this transformative investment will help to keep them in New York State for generations to come,” Governor Hochul said. “New York is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance, with millions of dollars in investment and countless, good-paying jobs coming to our state, and my administration is committed to helping businesses like the Genesee Brewery expand their presence in New York and help move our economy forward.”

This project will increase the brewery’s capacity with the installation of new tanks and equipment, following a $50 million Phase One investment in the Rochester facility in 2018. The company opened the Genesee Brew House in 2012, which features an on-site museum, restaurant and pilot brewery that last year attracted more than 400,000 people to the location along the beautiful Genesee River in Downtown Rochester. Genesee Brew House also received three awards in the New York State Craft Beer Competition in 2023 with their Helles beer, a traditional light lager taking the best in show Governor’s Excelsior Craft Beer Cup award.

Established in 1878, the Genesee Brewery is New York State’s oldest brewery and one of the oldest continually operating breweries in the United States. The Brewery makes the classic line of Genesee beers, as well as the popular Seagram’s Escapes line, Lipton Hard Iced Tea and several brands for large alcoholic beverage companies across the country.

FIFCO USA CEO Piotr Jurjewicz said, “Governor Hochul’s commitment to our brewery helped to cement the decision to invest $50 million to modernize and expand our capabilities for future generations of local employees. In collaboration with our Canadian brewer, we are brewing Labatt with the exact same recipe and quality ingredients that give Labatt Blue and Blue Light the great taste and quality people expect. Our hundreds of New York state employees are excited to help meet the growing demand for Labatt while we also develop our capabilities to attract new contract brewing partners across the country.”

In an ongoing effort to benefit the state’s dynamic ecosystem of brewers, vintners and distillers, Governor Hochul’s administration has worked collaboratively with the industry to support a craft beverage renaissance throughout New York. The recently enacted FY 2025 Budget includes a five-year extension of the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages at restaurants and bars, and in October of 2023, the Governor signed a package of legislation to improve New York's laws related to alcoholic beverages in an effort to expand options for consumers and support New York's small businesses in the alcoholic beverage sector.

New York ranks among the top five states for the number of breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries. Its roster of craft beverage manufacturers includes more than 450 wineries, 500 breweries, 200 distilleries and 100 cideries and meaderies. Overall, New York is home to 527 craft and 11 large breweries and the total economic impact of the state’s beer industry has been placed at $5.4 billion.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight said, “New York State’s beverage industry is bubbling and thriving thanks to companies like FIFCO and The Genesee Brewing Company. Cheers as well to the Governor’s unwavering commitment, which is a key ingredient in supporting beverage producers across the state as they grow their workforces and fuel economic opportunities.”

State Senator Jeremy Cooney said, “The history of the Genesee Brewery is intertwined with the history of our city, and with this modernization project, New York State is guaranteeing that they’ll continue to play an integral part in Rochester’s future. I want to thank Governor Hochul and Empire State Development for making this investment that will support new jobs, new opportunities for downtown, and continued success for one of Rochester’s most iconic companies.”

Assemblymember Demond Meeks said, “I am proud to see such a substantial financial commitment being made towards improving Rochester's historic Genesee Brewery. This investment will help improve operations while allowing this iconic business to uphold its status as a landmark destination across Western New York. This significant expansion will also provide for additional employment opportunities to support our residents and families. As we take steps towards revitalizing our city, it is important that we remain intentional in supporting local businesses throughout our community. We are grateful for the support of Governor Hochul and FIFCO in leading this $50 million project for the beloved Genesee Brewery.”

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “As Genesee Brewery grows, so does our local workforce and reputation as a leader in the modern food and beverage industry. Today’s milestone announcement boosts our economic landscape and continues a tradition of excellence that dates back nearly 150 years. Thank you to FIFCO USA for recognizing that Monroe County is a great place to expand their business and thank you to Empire State Development and Gov. Kathy Hochul for your continued investments in our community’s future. I look forward to the new opportunities this project will brew for our community.”

City of Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans said, “FIFCO USA, CEO Piotr Jurjewicz, and the entire team at the Genesee Brewery have consistently demonstrated their strong commitment to Rochester, and the investment in this substantial expansion is proof of that. Genesee is one of Rochester’s most iconic brands, and FIFCO USA is one of our most important employers and valued corporate citizens. I want to thank them, along with Governor Kathy Hochul and Empire State Development for their tremendous support of this project through Finger Lakes Forward. We are all working together to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester by inspiring hope and delivering opportunity for everyone.”

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President & CEO and Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Bob Duffy said, “We extend our gratitude to Governor Hochul and FIFCO for their support and visionary leadership in spearheading this $50 million modernization project for the iconic Genesee Brewery. With their commitment, we are not only enhancing our facility's capabilities and creating jobs but making history. This strategic investment will bolster Rochester's standing in the global brewing arena and create new opportunities for economic growth and innovation in our community.”

Greater Rochester Enterprise President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said, “FIFCO USA’s decision to expand its presence in the Greater Rochester, NY region is due to the exceptional, collaborative nature of the beverage manufacturing industry that is thriving here, supported by talented people with beverage processing and packaging expertise. We appreciate the outstanding response to this opportunity from New York State, Monroe County, City of Rochester, and RG&E economic development partners who coordinated an effective approach to support this expansion. I am confident these assets will help FIFCO achieve its long-term growth plans.”

New York State Brewers Association Executive Director Paul Leone said, “As the oldest brewery in New York, Genesee Brewery continues to be an anchor for the entire brewing industry in the state. Investment in this facility by both FIFCO USA and the State of New York means there will be more beer and more jobs made in upstate New York. This investment will help to keep the state’s craft brewing industry one of the strongest in the country.”

For additional information about Genesee Brewery, visit:

For additional information about FIFCO USA, visit:

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. More information is available here.

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY” the state’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit and


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