After a two-year hiatus, the Genesee Keg Tree Lighting Event is back and scheduled for Friday, December 2 (5pm) at the Genesee Brew House. The iconic Rochester holiday tradition will include an exciting countdown and lighting at 6:30 p.m., along with local food trucks, two beer trucks and plenty of holiday cheer. Last held in 2019, nearly 7,000 people attended the Genesee Keg Tree Lighting event and thousands more visited throughout the holiday season.

“What’s more Rochester than hanging out with thousands of people outside in December and drinking cold beer around a Genesee Keg Tree?” said Jaime Polisoto, Genesee brand director. “This year’s event will be bigger and better than ever!”

Keg Tree Construction

Mike Gaesser, the original Keg Tree creator who retired from Genesee last year, is returning with his team of Keg Tree Elves to lead construction for its big return.

“What started out as a fun construction project for our team has turned into a Genesee tradition,” said Gaesser. “It’s great to be back.”

Weather-dependent, Keg Tree construction will begin in mid-November using cranes and lifts. A team of seven Keg Tree elves will stack 532 empty Genesee kegs nearly three stories high before adding more than 30,000 lights programmed to flash along to holiday songs. Once lit in early December, the Keg Tree will light up the Genesee Brew House Beer Garden every night through the beginning of January.

About the Keg Tree Lighting Event

This year’s Keg Tree lighting event will feature plenty of exciting additions and old favorites, including food trucks Bay Vista Taqueria, ROC City Sammich, Pop Up and Eats, Travelin‘ Tom’s Coffee Truck and Rochester Kettle Corn, a special-release Keg Tree Ale and a charitable campaign to support Open Door Mission. The Brew House will also host a holiday shopping popup featuring small businesses, beginning the week of December 5.

“The Genesee Keg Tree is a fun tradition that helps bring excitement and energy into downtown Rochester,” said Erik Kulleseid, commissioner of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “I’m looking forward to being a part of even more downtown traditions and celebrations as we advance plans for ROC the Riverway and High Falls State Park. Happy holidays to all.”

“I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season than experiencing the spectacular Keg Tree display at the Genesee Brew House,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “The Genesee Brewery is a fixture of this community, and I encourage all who are able to head to the Keg Tree to commemorate its return to the Rochester skyline.”


Genesee Brew House Brewmaster Dean Jones is bringing back a festive brew for this year’s Keg Tree lighting—the Cinnamon Cream Ale. Genesee drinkers can expect the same smooth character and remarkably creamy white head they know and love from the original Cream Ale, with the addition of a delicious cinnamon flavor. The Keg Tree Ale will debut on December 2 and be available on draft and in growlers and crowlers at the Brew House while supplies last.

NEW THIS YEAR: Buy a Keg Tree Ale and Support Open Door Mission

Genesee will donate $1 from every Keg Tree Ale purchased to Open Door Mission throughout the month of December. Genesee will also encourage Brew House patrons to join Genesee in supporting the mission by donating through a QR code on your mobile phone. The Open Door Mission will be featured throughout the Brew House on posters, table tents and coasters to remind everyone to support our community’s most vulnerable during the holiday season.

“This year has been difficult for many people in our community,” Polisoto said. “As we celebrate the holidays, we also want to remember and support those who are less fortunate. And we’re calling on our fans to join us in supporting this worthy cause.”

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