May 5, 2017
Genesee County will be getting a craft brewery in the near future.
Buffalo's Resurgence Brewing announced plans Thursday to open a sour-only production brewery and taproom on Ellicott Street in Batavia.
Pending state grants and other funding, Resurgence owner Jeff Ware said construction could begin later this summer with a tentative opening date in early 2018.
"We like Batavia a lot," Ware said. "We've been looking at Batavia for quite some time. We named the brewery 'Resurgence' because part of our culture and what we're all about is redevelopment and being a part of that. There's a good opportunity in Batavia for us to do that."
(Batavia Brewing Company is planning to open on Main Street this fall, according to its Facebook page.)
Resurgence would become western New York's first facility devoted to the production of sour and wild ales. Many well-known breweries such as Indiana's Upland and California's The Bruery devote different facilities to sour production, since the process is so different and there is the risk of contamination.
Brothers Chris and Jeff Ware started Resurgence, which opened its current 15-barrel Buffalo brewery on Niagara Street in west Buffalo in June 2013.
The sour-only Resurgence production facility is part of a larger mixed-used development project called Ellicott Station along the edge of downtown Batavia. The project is being spearheaded by Buffalo developer Sam Savarino.
“It’s a really cool old building and it’s been vacant for a long time," Ware said. "We’re not going to be pumping out huge volumes of beer there. It’s going to be all about making small batch sours and wood-aged beers. It’s going to be our bug (wild yeast) place.”
Ware said the project is currently seeking state funding from "Homes and Community Renewal, a subset of the Community Block Development Grant money program." He said funding is being sought from several different sources and funding is expected to come through in July.
Plans and renderings are still being finalized. Ware said he is hoping to hire a brewer with commercial sour brewing experience.
With its close proximity to both Buffalo and Rochester, Ware said the location is perfect for a sour-only brewery. He envisions obtaining many of the fruits and other ingredients from local farms.
"It's an agricultural center," Ware said. "That's why I loved it for sour beer production. Batavia is surrounded by farms. Not only can we source a lot of stuff there, but there's a lot of yeast flying around. It's a great place for a sour brewery."
By Will Cleveland, Democrat & Chronicle