Recently, I sat down with Chris Spinelli, the founder of Roc Brewing Co.
First impressions are key, and let me tell you, this brewery and the staff will make your visit worthwhile. The beer is fantastic and there is a style for everybody.
Roc Brewing got its start in 2009 when it was just Chris and his friends, who were beer lovers, began to home brew. The company was officially formed in 2010 and opened its doors in 2011. With the help of “Brewing the American Dream,” a contest for breweries to get started with funding from Jim Koch and his company Samuel Adams, Roc Brewing was able to get on its feet with new equipment and guidance from Koch.
The process of making their beers varies. All beers they produce are different and it takes valuable time to make sure they are done to a certain standard. Chris stated that a lot goes into making a beer, but to be successful, you need a killer IPA (India Pale Ale), since “the beer scene is dominated by hop heads.”
For those of you who are not familiar with hops, they are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart bitter, zesty, or citric flavors. So, for Roc Brewing Co. it was their goal to showcase a great IPA. Chris and his staff have just taken the next step in the brewing process. Their go-to IPA, Double Whoopass (8% ABV), has just been canned and is now available to the general public. (It can be found in six packs generally ranging from $9.99-$12 at AJ’s Beer Warehouse, Wegmans, and at Roc Brewing).
As for Chris’s favorite style at the brewery right now, his favorite beer depends on the season of the year. Right now, it’s Roc Brewing’s Lagerithm Lager, “a smooth, complex, well-balanced German Lager with New Zealand Hops brewed in Rochester.” So for all you mathematicians, this one might be for you! (Jim Koch gave his blessings to Roc Brewing when he tried the beer and said it was well done.)
For first timers, Chris suggests you buy a flight, which consists of four 6 oz. tastings of the beers on tap. This will allow you to explore your palate and find the beer you enjoy most.
“Don’t be afraid to try something out of your comfort zone,” he said. Roc Brewing also has a Mug Club, which can be purchased for $100 and comes with yearly benefits: $1 off ever beer you order, quarterly brunches, $5 growler fills on every second Saturday of the month – and you can keep the mug at the end of the year.
Check out Roc Brewing Co. on social media: Roc Brewing (Facebook), @Rocbrewingco (Instagram/Twitter). The brewery is located on 56 South Union St. in downtown Rochester, and parking is available out front or in the parking lot on the right side of the building.
Go give them a visit and enjoy great beer. Cheers!