CB Craft Brewers, Honeoye Falls, NY

My hometown of Rochester, NY is blessed with four local breweries, with even more on the way. While I have been to them all numerous times, this blog gives me the opportunity to re-visit each one with a fresh perspective. CB Craft Brewers in Honeoye Falls, NY is one of the original craft brewers in the Rochester area, with a vast selection of beer, sure to please very palate.

CB Craft Brewers has grown a lot since it opened up back in 1997. Originally named Custom Brewcrafters, the brewery focused on creating custom beers for local restaurants like Beale Street and Hogan’s Hideaway. Two of their original recipes were an English Pale Ale and a Golden Lager. As business grew, the brewery also expanded their line-up of non-custom beers intended for sale at local retailers and bars. Business was doing well and in 2008 they moved from a 1,500 square foot to a larger 10,000 square foot facility, still within Honeoye Falls. Just a few years later in 2011, a brew pub was integrated into the brewery called The Pint and Goblet Tavern. Finally, in 2013 the brewery re-branded and started calling themselves CB Craft Brewers. This move was designed to reflect the increasing importance of the CB line-up of craft beers, and not just the one’s made for other locations. CB Craft Brewers also contract brews the beer for Three Heads Brewing, Roger’s Beer, and  Keuka Brewing Company.

The  brewery is easy to spot from afar as it is a huge red barn surrounded on all sides by fields. Walking into the tasting room, a huge U-shaped bar with taps on every side greets you. After paying for the tasting, a very reasonable $4.00 or $6.00 with a glass to take home, be prepared to have lots of choices when deciding what to try! On this particular visit our “pour advisor” Steve, generously spent a lot of time with us and answered many questions about the past, present and future of the brewery. Here are the beers we were able to try while here today. It certainly helps to go with a friend and split tastings so you can try more of their variety!

3 Heads “Bromigo” Smoked Maple Porter
  • 6.5% ABV
  • Smoked Maple Amber Ale
  • Subtle use of maple and smoke. A nice sweet finish.
Stone Yard Rock Hard IPA
  • 5.8% ABV
  • India Pale Ale
  • Bright, with classic clean hop characteristics.
Arbor Hill Gully Washer IPA
  • 6.0% ABV
  • India Pale Ale
  • 2-Row base malt, CaraMunich malt. Hopped with American Millenium, Nugget, Liberty, and Crystal hops.
  • Creamy smooth taste, very mellow hops.
War Horse American Black Lager
  • 5% ABV
  • Schwarzbier
  • Dark and rich roasted, toasted notes. Complex flavor profile.
Buffalo Tap Room Winter Wheat
  • 5% ABV
  • Wheat Beer
  • Good malt aroma and flavor. Nutty, slightly sweet finish.
Flaherty’s Rye IPA
  • 6.5% ABV
  • India Pale Ale
  • Bright and clean, nice use of rye giving it a complex, spicy flavor.
CB Sweet 16 Mango Wheat
  • 7.5% ABV
  • Flavored Wheat Ale
  • Brewed with Pilsner, Carapils, and White Wheat malt. Also uses six different hops.
  • Sweet mango in aroma and flavor. Heavy with tropical notes.
CB Oktoberfest Lager
  • 6.2% ABV
  • Marzen
  • Very reserved hop and malt aroma, clean and crisp finish, fairly full bodied.

CB Night Owl
  • 5% ABV
  • Porter
  • Nice rich dark chocolate porter. Roasted flavors intermingle with some sweetness at the end.
CB Harvest Jack Pumpkin
  • 5.5% ABV
  • Pumpkin Ale
  • Pumpkin pie spices in the aroma; fairly well balanced in the mouth with cinnamon being the dominant spice.
Gabriel’s Brown Ale
  • 5% ABV
  • English Nut Brown Ale
  • Brewed with roasted malts and English Ale yeast.
  • Rich, very nutty flavor from the roasted malts.

CB Joe Latte Vanilla Coffee Stout
  • 5.5% ABV
  • Vanilla Coffee Stout
  • Milk stout brewed with Pilsner, Dark Crystal, Carafa, and Flaked Oat malts.
  • Uses English Fuggle hops exclusively.
  • Also contains Finger Lakes Coffee Roaster’s Joe Latte Special Blend Coffee, Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, and Lactose.
  • Lots of coffee in the aroma and taste. A bit of green pepper too. Excellent finish, very well made.
Iron Fireman Root Beer
  • One of their original concoctions, dating back to 1997.
  • Dark and very, very sweet. A bit cloying.

As you can see, the sheer amount of variety they have is astounding. The day we visited, they had 25 different taps to choose from. The tasting fee will reimburse you two dollars on a growler fill so be sure to bring one with you. If you do not have your own, growlers are available for purchase there, as well as individual bottles of some of their beers. While enjoying the tasting, there is a lot to look at all around. The gift area is quite large and offers lots of CB related clothing, glassware, and more.  The Pint and Goblet Tavern carries a decent assortment of sandwiches, wraps, and burgers, all with reasonable prices. It also serves wine, though sadly enough, most is not from the Finger Lakes region.

CB Craft Brewers has one main brewmaster, JP, as well as head brewer Alex. Both have been with CBs for over three years. With about one hundred different beers in production, they are never bored. The brewery plans on adding two more 60 barrel fermenters to their already sizable operation. There is also a small bottling line that they plan on upgrading as well. “Small Batches, Big Taste”, the breweries motto, fits well with many of the current CB beers out there as the brewers are trying to do some unique things even though they brew on such a large scale. The coffee stout is an excellent example of this as it has incredible flavor, and unfortunately, will only be available for a short time. What really impresses me most, is that all the recipes for contract brews are designed in house. Some of the wineries that “produce” beer as well, actually have it custom created for them right here at CB’s and give suggestions on what kind of beer they would like to have available to their customers.

There is no shortage of work for the folks at CB Craft Brewers. Their largest contract is with Three Heads who now have a huge distribution within New York and beyond. In fact, CB’s only distributes within New York itself as it helps keep the beer fresh and properly made. CB’s biggest custom customer is the Buffalo Tap Room. As for what people like most, trends are leaning towards IPAs right now. Caged Alpha Monkey, an American IPA that has lots of grapefruit and pine characteristics, is CB Craft Brewers most popular beer as of this write-up.

The brewers also try to use local ingredients when possible, i.e. Mabel, was made with local maple syrup. The hops used in Flaherty’s Hop Harvest came from Gro-Moore Farms in Henrietta, NY and the brewery also produced a Wet Hop beer with hops from Bluebell Hopyard. Finally, we can’t forget the coffee from Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters used in Joe Latte! Other local ingredients they have used in the past include black currants, and raspberries.

CB Craft Brewers is a great brewery to visit while in the area, with a huge selection of beers to try and reasonable prices. The folks behind the bar are extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the products and the history of the brewery. New releases come out quite often with special launch parties announced on Facebook. In fact, their Facebook page is an excellent resource to learn the latest going on at the brewery.

While in Honeoye Falls, be sure to walk around and explore Main Street. The waterfalls along Honeoye Creek are beautiful and the historic buildings have great architectural appeal. Stop at The Lower Mill and check out the art galleries and The Rabbit Room restaurant.

CB Craft Brewers

www.cbcraftbrewers.com

CB Craft Brewer’s Facebook Page

300 Village Square Blvd, Honeoye Falls, NY 14472

Visited October 20, 2013

Blog post written by Thomas Andersen.

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