Roc-ing & Rolling; It’s How a Brewery is Born

Back in September, I blogged about Roc Brewing Co., a brand new Rochester NY microbrewery that was in its very earliest stages.

Roc Brewing Co.
Chris Spinelli (left) and Jonathan Mervine (right) stand in the spot
that will soon occupy their tasting bar.

Over the weekend, I caught up with the beer-making entrepreneurs again and I got to see just how far they’ve come. Their building, a former VFW Post located right in the heart of the city, is revamped and looking good. After a guided tour of the unfinished facility and a sneak-peak at the floor plans, I was able to envision just how well everything will come together. The paint hits the walls this week and by mid-April, the custom built tasting bar will be installed and ready for action. They’re on target to open the doors in May or June, just in time for summer.

Roc Brewing Co. blueprints

Although their facility is not yet ready for brewing, business partners Chris Spinelli and Jonathan Mervine have been working around the clock to get their beer and their name out to the community. They continue to make small batches of homebrew for tastings, events and festivals and they’ve certainly seen a noticeable increase in both interest and demand.

Completely renovating and remodeling an old building into a functioning brewery, perfecting original recipes, marketing their brand new company and obtaining all of the necessary State and Federal licensing takes up most of their time yet with some help from their families and friends, they’re also custom designing and manufacturing the bar and all of their tap handles.

Roc Brewing Co. kegs

It’s crazy to think that by the time they’re able to sell their first pint, they will have already have invested more than a year of planning, copious amounts of hard work and a whole lot of money. Then again, I guess that’s what opening your own business is all about. Some future customers/craft beer enthusiasts have left comments on their Facebook page saying that these guys are “living the American dream” and I think I have to agree. Although it’s apparent that opening a brewery is no cakewalk, it’s really refreshing to see normal, everyday guys turn their passion into a business that can allow them to earn a living doing what they love and also contribute to something bigger, like the craft beer movement.

With that in mind, make sure you continue to support your own small local brewers. There’s a whole lot of love and effort put into each and every can, bottle or keg. If that doesn’t leave a good taste in your mouth, what will?


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