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E-Malt.com News article: USA, NY: Other Half Brewing opens East Bloomfield location
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Other Half Brewing's Ontario location is finally a reality. The Brooklyn-based brewery opened its East Bloomfield location on April 27, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.

And in true Other Half fashion, the brewery will christen the space with a mobile can release. But this time, you can stay and enjoy a beer on draft. There will be 20 options to chose from.

Other Half, which has gained international attention for its hazy IPAs, dessert-like imperial stouts, and creative sours, purchased the former home on Nedloh Brewing, 6621 State Routes 5 And 20, last July. Nedloh abruptly closed in October 2017.

The brewery instantly brings national attention to a burgeoning Rochester beer scene.

"This feels awesome," Other Half co-founder and head brewer Sam Richardson said. "Never in a million years did I think any of this would happen. Having our second location being an almost complete polar opposite is really nice. I'm sitting here on the property right now, taking in the surroundings, and it's pretty nice. We got lucky with this space."

OH will be open seven days a week. Patrons can expect frequent visits from local food trucks.

The brewery, which opened in 2014, sits on eight acres and will add increased outdoor seating and potentially a pavilion in the future. There are also dreams of adding a second building on the property for the brewery's fledgling wild and barrel-aged beer program. Former New Belgium brewer Eric Salazar has been hired to oversee that program.

Until the second building is completed, Other Half has secured warehouse space in Victor, Richardson said. Richardson hopes the East Bloomfield location offers a place for people to enjoy the surroundings.

"People identify us with our urban-ness, but ultimately it's just more about the customer experience," Richardson said. "The experience you will have in Brooklyn is hard to re-create most other places. It's just so urban and the volume of people. But having a space like where we can program the outdoor space, as well as the indoor space, and have a place to hang out, that's important to us."

Other Half has already garnered a rabid local following as it has held weekly can releases at the property since late November. The interior of the former Nedloh property has been completely transformed. Crews ripped out the offices on the second floor and then repositioned the bar along the western wall. That allows patrons to fully take in the breadth of the property through massive window.

At first, Richardson admitted, the space will be "spare, because we just want to get open." More landscaping and outdoor seating will be added in the near future. OH will have to build a coolship (or koelschip) house to hold the traditional fermentation vessel used to produce wild beers. It will become the first brewery in western New York to utilize a coolship. Richarson hopes that happens by fall.

Felipe Higgins, who worked as an assistant brewer in Brooklyn, has been tapped to lead production in East Bloomfield.

Originally, Other Half was eyeing the Rochester market for a "branch office," basically a space for a tasting room, can storage and a retail outlet. But plans changed once brewery owners learned about the Nedloh space.

Brewery co-founder Matt Monahan said last July that OH wants to bring "good vibes" to Rochester. To accomplish that, the brewery co-founders have made it their mission to meet as many people in the Rochester beer scene as possible.

OH already provided the area with a jolt with the release of its Genesee Brewery collaboration. More than 500 people waited in line on March 18 for the Genesee Dream Ale. Expect more local collaborations in the future. And don't be surprised to see other well-known breweries coming to East Bloomfield to brew collaborative beers.

OH has collaborated with breweries from all over the world, including heavyweights like Trillium, Monkish, Great Notion, Omnipollo, Bellwoods, and Cloudwater.

"We're trying to create a culture of creativity and inclusiveness," Richardson said. "As a company policy, everything we do, it's about the sharing of information. Camaraderie is super important. Trying to move your business forward by being defensive and protective is not necessary. We gain a lot and the people we work with gain a lot and I think the customer gains a lot. There's no need to be competitive in a way that's not inclusive."

28 April, 2019

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