Genesee Brewing Company
445 St. Paul Street
Rochester, New York







The Genesee Brewing Company was founded in 1878.  In 1889, it merged with a number of other local Rochester brewers to become part of the Bartholomay Brewing Company, which lasted until Prohibition.  After Repeal, Genesse was reopened again as an independent brewer, one of only five brewers in Rochester to reopen.

Genesee's trademark brew for many years was its 12 Horse Ale, with a team of 12 horses pulling a beer wagon as its logo. (As I understand it from a past visitor to this page, the horses that appeared on photos of the Genesee team and wagon from those days were roan Belgian horses.)  In the 1960s and 70s, Genesee Cream Ale became quite popular, as did Fyfe & Drum, a lower calorie beer.

In the 1980s and up to the present, Genesee took a shot at the upscale craft brew market, with their Michael Shea and J.W. Dundee brands.  Individual brews included a Honey Brown Lager, a Black and Tan, an Irish Amber, and a Blonde Lager.  Unfortunately, they seemed to meet with limited success.

Genesee had long been a family-owned company but, after a number of years of operating in the red, Genesee was sold in December 2000 to an investor group who renamed the brewery the Highs Falls Brewery.  At this writing, High Falls is operating under its new  ownership and is producing a brew under the 12 Horse Ale logo as well as the Michael Shea and J.W. Dundee brands. 

Use the links along the left border to view some of the breweriana from the Genesee Brewing Company.

Copyright 2000 - J. Anthony Pompa
Last Revised - 01 February 2001