Thousands of people braved the cold and snow on Friday to watch the lighting of the Genesee Keg Tree. Crowds gathered at the Genesee Brew House to see the three-story tree twinkle with more than 30,000 lights while enjoying Christmas music, local food trucks and, of course, Genesee beer.

“Our fans showed up in a big way for this year’s Keg Tree lighting,” said Jaime Polisoto, Genesee brand director. “From our biggest fans to Keg Tree newbies, you could feel the excitement in the crowd. I think every year it gets a little more magical.”

The lighting also kicked off Genesee’s charitable campaign to support the Open Door Mission, an organization that provides shelter, food and essentials to Rochester’s most vulnerable. The brewery will donate $1 from every Keg Tree Ale sold throughout December to the mission and encourage Brew House patrons to join the effort by donating through a QR code. The Open Door Mission will be featured throughout the Brew House on posters, table tents and coasters to remind everyone to support those in need in our community during the holiday season.

The Genesee Brew House is also bringing local businesses into the spotlight with a Holiday Shopping Popup in December. Beginning on Monday, Dec. 5 and for three weeks leading up to Christmas, local artists and vendors will be selling gift items within the Brew House shop.

The vendors will be selling candles, jewelry, ceramics, holiday treats and more each Monday through Thursday starting around 5 p.m. from December 5 through 21. Featured vendors include: Caps for Camp, Bix DeBaise Artwork, Art of Recovery, The Beaded Roc,  Good Knots 585, Figgy Pudding Art,  Forever Spring Studio, Susan Weiner Ceramics,  Off the Leash Barkery,  Paradise Sugar Shoppe and Greentopia.

An estimated 5,000 people gathered to watch the Keg Tree Lighting at Genesee Brew House on Friday night. This year’s tree consists of 532 empty kegs stacked nearly three stories high with more than 30,000 lights. The lights are programmed to flash along to holiday songs each night after dark and atop the tree sits a neon rotating Genesee sign. Visitors can see the Keg Tree light up the Genesee Brew House Beer Garden every night through the beginning of January.

“Where else can you get Christmas lights, holiday shopping, a delicious meal and beer all in one place?” Polisoto said. “Bring your family, your friends and soak in this great Genesee tradition all month long!”

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