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Forager Brewery opens to the public — here's what you need to know

Forager Brewery opens to the public — here's what you need to know

It won't be long until Forager Brewery becomes one of the most talked about places in Rochester. The brewpub, located in the old People's Food Co-op building, opened to the public for the first time Monday evening.

This morning, I sat down with co-owners Annie Henderson and Sean Allen to discuss the Kutzky Market project, which also includes a restaurant incubator, coffee shop and space for local vendors to sell their goods. Here are a couple things that stood out from our conversation:

Photo: Sean Allen and Annie Henderson / The Med City Beat

Photo: Sean Allen and Annie Henderson / The Med City Beat

Local first

From the reclaimed wood on the walls to the herbs growing right outside the building, Forager's emphasis is always on using local products and ingredients.

Just take the materials used to renovate the building, many of which were preserved by local historian and antique shop owner John Kruesel. Items include everything from a stove once used by Charles and Edith Mayo to windows from the former St. Marys Auditorium.

"It's critically important that we value who we are, " Allen said. "This a community of people who live here, grew up here and will grow up here. This isn't just a place where people come stay for a few years, then leave."

Local artists will have a space in the market to sell their jewelry, photos and paintings. The local art cooperative Gallery 24 has been tasked with displaying new artwork each month at an exhibition space inside the taproom.

Photo: Food preps / The Med City Beat

Photo: Food preps / The Med City Beat

Restaurant incubator

Kutzky Market will offer a space where entrepreneurs can test out a restaurant concept prior to making a large investment. 

The restaurant incubator, the first of its kind in Rochester, will allow prospective restaurateurs to rent out a kitchen for a night and host up to 40 guests. Henderson said she recommends trying it consistently once a week to see if the business catches on.

"This idea is your wildly successful for 12 weeks here; it costs you very little to try your concept; and then you work on getting your own place," she said. 

Chefs and bakers who rent out the space will also be able to sell their items in the in-house coffee shop for free. 

Photo: Coffee shop / The Med City Beat

Photo: Coffee shop / The Med City Beat

Final notes:

  • Forager will start off with a limited menu, featuring their specialty wood-fired pizzas.
  • While the brewery and coffee shop are now open, other parts of the market will remain under construction for the next few weeks.
  • The business is quite active on social media, so make sure to give Forager and Kutzky Market a follow on Facebook.

Finally, on a personal note, I can say I've tried most of the beer at Forager, and it's quite good. But my favorite part of this entire project is the outdoor patio, which used to be a parking lot. The green area was home to the Med City's Beat launch party in July, and every person I spoke with was blown away by the space. There's nothing quite like it in Rochester.

Photo: July launch party / The Med City Beat

Photo: July launch party / The Med City Beat


About Sean Baker: Sean is the founder and editor of the Med City Beat. Under his direction, the site has transitioned from a small news blog to one of the most widely-read publications in the city. Prior to launching the site in 2014, Sean spent about two years producing television news in Green Bay and Rochester. His office is above a brewery, so please excuse any typos. Twitter.


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(Cover photo: The Med City Beat)

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