GENESEE BREWING COMPANY LIEBOTSCHANER BEER
Founded in 1878, the Genesee Brewing Company, based in Rochester, New York, is one of the largest and oldest continually operating breweries in the United States. While the brewing of beer in Rochester can trace its roots to the 1819 opening of the Aqueduct Spring Brewery, The Genesee Brewery came into existence with the purchase of the Reisky & Spies Brewery (formerly the Rau & Reisky Brewery) by Mathius Kondolf in 1878.
Kondolf would hire Louis A. Wehle, who became the youngest brewmaster in New York State in 1916. In 1917, Wehle would move to Buffalo to become head brewmaster at the Lang Brewery, but with the passage of the 18th amendment that closed all of America’s breweries, Louis would establish the Wehle Baking Company and pioneer the home delivery of fresh baked goods.
In 1929, in anticipation of the repeal of Prohibition, Wehle sold his bakery business and used the proceeds to purchase the former Genesee brewery, incorporating the “new” Genesee Brewing Company in July of 1932. By 1933, Wehle’s operation was producing 150,000 barrels of beer and, that same year, Genesee’s Liebotschaner Beer was honored as the best of Rochester’s post-repeal brews.
Liebotschaner was one of the dozen or so imported German or Austro-Hungarian beer types that had gained popularity in late 19th century America. Genesee launched its Liebotschaner as an all-malt beer - “a very happy medium between pale, tasteless, cheap beer and the darker, heavier brands.” Unfortunately, with changing Post-Prohibition taste and trends, Louis Wehle’s all-malt Liebotschaner Beer did not survive past 1939.