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E-Malt.com News article: USA, NY: Other Half Brewing opening a second brewery in Rochester
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One of the most lauded breweries in the country is opening a second brewery in the Rochester area, both brewery and town officials confirm, the Democrat & Chronicle reported on July 24.

Brooklyn-based Other Half Brewing closed on the former Nedloh Brewing building last week and confirmed plans to own and operate a facility at 6621 Routes 5 and 20 in the town of East Bloomfield in Ontario County.

Other Half Brewing CEO Matt Monahan said the rabid nature of the Rochester beer market makes this move a no-brainer.

"Because of the mobile can sales (both held at Tap & Mallet) and the first-hand witnessing of the energy and enthusiasm in Rochester, it was feverish the way it is here in Brooklyn and it's a section of the state that we're super excited about," Monahan said. "We see Yeaa lot of promise in Rochester. Because of that reception, it's another outlet for us to get our beers directly to the people who support us."

"Other Half Brewing expects to hire up to 35 employees at the location over the next five years," Empire State Development said in a release. Empire State Development is offering to aid the project. The state has offered "up to $400,000 in performance-based Excelsior Tax Credits, which are directly tied to job creation commitments," it announced in a release.

The state said Other Half is investing $1.8 million in the space. Other Half paid $660,000 for the property, which includes 4 acres. Monahan said the brewery is working with the former property owners to purchase 4 adjoining acres.

The production space is 3,500 square feet, while the existing building is 8,000 square feet. Monahan said Other Half will update and upgrade the existing building. It will then construct two more buildings in the next 18 months or so.

One of the new buildings will focus on wild ales and barrel-aging. Tentative plans call for 12 oak foeders, ranging from 25 to 50 hectoliters. The third will be a pavilion/event space that will allow for people to enjoy the area, Monahan said.

"We don't have a timeline yet (for opening)," Monahan said. "It's just dependent on (state and federal) processes. We're applying for another microbrewery/farm license, plus a full on-premise, so we're able to serve our beer, beer from our friends, beer from other local breweries, and anything we collaborate on. We want to bring beers from around the globe home to people who seem to like the same things we do."

Other Half opening in the Rochester area gives this area a nationally recognized brewery. It creates the type of buzz and jolt this emerging beer market hasn't experienced up until now.

Other Half Brewing is one of the finest producers of hazy New England-style India pale ales. But it will produce beers across a wider portfolio at the new Nedloh facility, including wild ales and barrel-aged beers.

Itís known for its colorful, cheeky label art, collaborations with some of the most well-known craft breweries in the world, a wide range of New England-style IPAs, and weekly can releases at its Brooklyn location. OH was named one of Rate Beer's 10 best breweries in the world in 2017.

In the past few months, the brewery has held two mobile cans releases at Tap & Mallet in Rochester's South Wedge. That allowed the brewery owners to witness the rabid nature of the Rochester beer market, especially when it comes to hazy IPAs.

The first can release attracted more than 400 people. Those gathered starting lining up more than five hours before cans went on sale and the line stretched down Gregory Street and snaked across South Clinton Avenue. Expect more can releases and collaborations in Ontario County.

Expanding fresh beer production and storage are the two first tasks, Monahan said. They also want to add more wastewater capacity, "so that we can up production and utilize the space to its fullest."

Other Half has already hired a head brewer for the Rochester project.

At first, Other Half will utilize Nedloh's existing 10-barrel brewhouse. But once a new 30-barrel brewhouse is installed this fall in Brooklyn, Other Half will bring the Brooklyn equipment to East Bloomfield. Brooklyn operates on a 15-barrel brewing system. Monahan said all the fermenters and Brite tanks will be replaced in Ontario County.

They hope to eventually replace the 15-barrel system with a 30-barrel brewhouse (which is roughly the same size as Young Lion in Canandaigua and Three Heads in Rochester).

The current retail space is undersized, Monahan said. "We want to accommodate more people for more of a year-round experience," he said.

OH will re-landscape the outside, add fire pits, add picnic tables to add places to sit. "We want people to come here and spend the day," he said. "We're looking for good food partners who want to set up food trucks."

East Bloomfield Supervisor Fred Wille said local officials started hearing rumblings about Other Half a few weeks ago.

He then took to the internet, where he said he read Other Half's entire website and anything else he could find about the brewery. (And there was plenty on the internet to keep him busy.)

"We are absolutely thrilled," Wille said. "We are very, very excited. We have no direct experience with the Other Half Brewing Company, but from everything we've heard, they will be great for this area.

"A hugely successful company coming to town, we couldn't be more thrilled."

Wille said town officials haven't had any formal discussions about the future of the property yet. But it is already zoned for a brewery project. Wille said he spoke with the Ontario County Clerk's Office last week, but hasn't yet spoken to anyone from the brewery.

Originally, Monahan said Other Half was eyeing the Rochester market for a "branch office," basically a space for a tasting room, can storage, and retail outlet. But plans changed,

"The feedback, the energy, and the volume of product moved through Rochester was sort of unparalleled," Monahan said. "So we thought a branch office was a great idea. There would have been an on-premise component and a take-home component.

"All you have to do is run the numbers. Looking at a branch office compared to owning a facility up there, we can turn on and manufacture and more honestly serve that area. That's the way to go. We went through a major corporate restructuring here that allowed us to borrow money from banks. We were unable to do that before. So now we can expand in ways we've been wanting to."

Nedloh Brewing, which opened in late 2014, closed its doors in October 2017.

Nedloh had gained national attention with a bronze medal for its 5&20 IPA in the American-Belgo (Belgian) Ale category at the Great American Beer Festival, the country's most prestigious beer competition.

Nedloh's two-story brewhouse and tasting room stands as one of the most striking in the Finger Lakes region. The brewhouse occupies much of the first floor, while the tasting room features huge windows that look out into the brewery's hop bines.

Local officials are excited about the project.

"Not only will this brewery bring jobs to the county but will occupy a building that has been vacant for over a year while providing another venue for craft beverage lovers to sample and purchase locally made products," Ontario County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Victor Supervisor Jack Marren said in a release.

And this could just be the beginning for Other Half.

"This is happening," Monahan said. "We're super excited. It's nerve-racking. That's been our motto since the beginning, 'Don't screw it up.' We've been fortunate enough to have these opportunities and seize on them when they've been presented to us. We just want to bring good vibes to Rochester and have this facility be everything we want it to be."

24 July, 2018

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