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Brewer's Blog

February 2, 2017

Brunch and Pretzels


Serving brunch on Sundays has been something we have wanted to do for a while.  Now, with the passing of
“The Brunch Bill” by Governor Cuomo on September 7, 2016, and the completion of our new room, we can go a step further with the vision of the brewery. Coco’s Cafés has been working with us since our first summer.  

Coco and her crew have been hard at work in all kinds of weather and cooking up some delicious meals. Her first brunch menu offerings are delicious.  I tried her Eggs Benedict served with Steuben Club Stout.  The eggs were poached perfectly, the hollandaise was decadent, and the potatoes were just how I like them. Reviews have been outstanding.  

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We’ve been hard at work trying to develop an atmosphere at the brewery where people are comfortable and engaged with beer, music, food, and the social scene. Our new addition has helped us accomplish this task, and the build out of the deck this spring will further enhance the experience. There is a lot more to come from the production side and customer experience.

Jim Zimar has joined our team full time and brings a wealth of knowledge from his 30 plus years of experience as a winemaker and vineyard manager in the Finger Lakes.

Jim’s involvement will help expand our beer offerings, packaging capabilities (More news on packaging later!), and will help ease production constraints as we continue to grow.  Although he has already had a presence at the brewery, welcome him aboard when you see him.

best beer taste glassware Steuben Brewing Company

This week we will be getting a large shipment of new glassware.  Why is this news, and why am I writing about it? Because our philosophy is to provide the best beer experience possible for our customers without compromising all of the work and creativity it took to get the beer in the glass.  To me, this is exciting because you get a better representation of the art and science of beer making. Think of it this way: it is glassware tailored to the beer you drink.  It is more work for the servers and more expensive, but it will be a better experience for the customer.  The traditional pint glass, which is actually a shaker glass designed for mixed drinks, will be used sparingly. The shaker works, but it does not provide the best experience.  The optimum aromatic and flavor profile is what we are shooting for.

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September 20, 2016

A word on our 2nd year

When our first-year celebration ended, I reflected on the previous year being a Finger Lakes Brewery. A couple things were a given: our customers are great, and I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.  Now, as I reflect on 2016, I have the same feelings. The 2016 winter at the brewery was one of the highlights of the year.  Coco’s was our resident food truck for the winter. Collette and her staff braved some cold winter evenings keeping everyone’s belly full!  It was exciting to see so many locals out and about in the finger lakes during the winter and everyone having such a fun time. We had many local musicians play some outstanding music in our packed taproom, and they provided some very memorable nights.  Aaron Lipp, Owen Eichensehr and Alex Myth, Not From Wisconsin, The Zydeco Trail Ryders, The Ampersand Project, and Jackson Cavalier are some high points.

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After a great first full year of brewing, we came to the conclusion that a bigger fermenter and a refrigerated brite tank will give us more options and flexibility, but more importantly…the ability to brew more beer!  At one point last year, we came close to running completely out of beer. We only had three fermenters that were being filled and emptied as quickly as possible.

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Unloading 15 barrel fermentation tank

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When I began considering the idea of opening a brewery in the Finger Lakes with my family, we got word of the New York State Farm Brewery Law, which requires farm brewers to use NYS grown hops, malt, and other ingredients in their product (excluding water). Until 2019, at least 20% of the ingredients used to make our beer has to be grown in NYS. In 2019, the percentage jumps to 60%, and then to 90% by 2024. The Farm Brewery Law mimics the state’s Farm Winery Law, which helped grow the state’s wine industry to where it is today. The opportunity to create a beer using, for the first time, only NYS ingredients was what pushed us to pursue a farm brewery. It felt exciting to be part of an effort that supports local farmers, malting houses, hop growers, and small business owners. There was also historic significance, as we joined the resurgence of the NYS hop industry, which was once the world’s largest hop producer.

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We are excited to share the launch of our new brewery website! As we head into our second year, we thought it was time to freshen up our site and expand our communication with current and future customers. We hope you like the new look, which was designed by Jessica Confer, owner of Tin Can Creative Co. in Ithaca, NY. Jessica and SBC Head Brewer Chad Zimar worked together over the winter and spring to come up with a site that better represents who we are and the direction we are going. Over the past year and a half, we’ve had great feedback from our customers who enjoy coming to the brewery because of its warm, inviting atmosphere and great beer. We wanted that same feeling to come through in our website.

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