Craft beer lovers and history buffs alike are invited to follow the journey of hops, one of NY’s original cash crops, from field, to brewery, to pint glass at Genesee Country Village & Museum’s Hop Harvest Festival, coming up on Saturday, September 2 (10am – 4pm).
During this family-friendly celebration of all things beer and brewing, visitors are invited to tour a working 19th-century brewery, taste historical beers and local craft brews, learn about hop production and usage in 19th-century New York, enjoy live music and a Beer Garden, and more. Hop Harvest Festival is sponsored by C.P. Ward Inc. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.gcv.org/event/hop-harvest-festival-2.
Explore historical uses of beer and hops in the Historic Village
While adventuring through the 19th-century Historic Village, visitors to Hop Harvest Festival will explore history of beer and brewing in the Genesee Valley Region. Learn what role women and migrant workers played in the hop harvesting and drying process, explore the medicinal purposes of hops, savor the aromas of historic “receipts” (called recipes, today) cooking in historic kitchens, learn about the varieties of yeasts used to brew and bake, and more. Plus, join historian Jane Oakes for a talk “19th-Century Brewing in the Genesee Valley.” The discussion will cover NY State’s 19th-century hop production (some of the largest in the United States at the time), as well as touch on the growing of hops, the social aspect of hops, hop harvesting, how hops were used for brewing and medicine and the boom and bust of the local hops industry.
GCV&M is one of the only museums in the United States with a working 19th-century brewery. Grieve’s Brewery is a reconstruction of a c. 1803 brewery from Geneva, NY, with portions of Rochester’s Enright Brewery (closed in 1907) and an early timber-framed structure from West Bloomfield, N.Y. Brewing demonstrations rely on gravity during much of the process, with liquids pumped by hand or ladled into troughs throughout the building. Visitors are invited to tour through all three levels of the brewery and learn how in 1850, New York State became a leading producer of hops. Beside the brewery, visitors will find a Hop House (built c. 1870 in Greece, NY), surrounded by a small hop yard where hops will be harvested, processed, and dried by costumed historical interpreters.
Sample historic beers and regional craft brews
Visitors can enjoy two craft beers on tap at GCV&M, both brewed referencing historical beer recipes by Rohrbach Brewing Co.: Stocking Hill Ale, an American Wheat Ale, and Fat Ox Ale, an American-style brown ale. Visitors can enjoy a sample, purchase a pint, or bring home a growler of either of these historical brews. Guests can elevate their craft beverage experience by purchasing a ceramic pint glass, hand-crafted in the Historic Village by GCV&M potters. Local breweries, including Dublin Corners Farm Brewery and Talking Cursive Brewing Company, will be on-site pouring samples in the Beer Garden (the full list of participating breweries can be found here: https://www.gcv.org/event/hop-harvest-festival-2).
Live music, traditional dance, food specials, and a Beer Garden
Visitors can spend the afternoon in the Beer Garden (from 11am – 4pm) and enjoy beer tastings and pints from a variety of local breweries. Food specials will be available in GCV&M’s restaurant locations, plus visitors can enjoy a tea house experience in Historic Hosmer’s Inn, purchase a pretzel from “Pretzel Gretel” as she makes her way around the Historic Village, buy savory treats like steak and ale hand pies in the D.B. Munger & Co. Confectionery, and more. Live music in the Beer Garden will be provided by Rochester-area bands The Flowerhead Folks (11am – 12:30pm), and Stunt Double (1 – 4 pm). Visitors can also enjoy traditional dances in costume on the Carport Stage by the Heindengold German Dancers and alphorn music by The Swiss Alphorn Society of Western New York on the Whistlestop Stage.
Purchase tickets in advance and save
More information about Hop Harvest Festival and tickets can be found at https://www.gcv.org/event/hop-harvest-festival-2. All 21+ visitors who intend to consume alcohol at the event must show valid identification with proof of age and will be given a wristband at the Beer Garden. Advanced purchase tickets are $23 for adults; $20 for seniors (62+); $20 for students (13 – 18); $17 for youth (3 – 12); and free for children 2 and under. Pre-purchase is recommended, as there will be a small additional fee for tickets purchased day-of at the door.
GCV&M Member admission is FREE and guaranteed for this event, therefore reserved tickets are not required. Click here to learn more about becoming a Member.