2023 is coming to an end and 2024 is just around the corner, but the shock of the impending sale of Canandaigua’s favorite stock, Young Lion Brewing Company, hasn’t worn off yet.
That means by the time Another Half Brewing Company warms up to the idea of taking over Young Lion’s brewing operations and tasting room on Lakeshore Drive in Canandaigua after the sale is completed in 2024, the I.P.A. It might take one or three.
That’s not to disrespect the other half. The beer produced by the Brooklyn-based brewery, which took over the former Nedro location in East Bloomfield a few years ago, is top-notch.
This is something of a tribute to Jennifer Newman, co-owner of Young Lion, a Canandaigua brewery that is well-received by fellow craft brewers and customers alike.
Indeed, making craft beer is a business. But during their all-too-brief six-year run, Newman and her staff, who were named Minority- or Women-Owned Business of the Year by the Ontario County Chamber of Commerce, enjoyed their work while helping others have fun. It seems so. Collaboration wasn’t just a buzzword. That was standard operating procedure.
Of course, the women-owned brewery was going to participate in a project that brought together other women in the craft beer industry to brew beer. This year, they created Raise Up, a tangerine cream ale with proceeds benefiting the Willow Center for Domestic Violence and Women Elevating Women. Young Lion helped facilitate the coordination of barrel tree lighting events among Canandaigua’s craft breweries, with the second event held on December 2nd.
One Easter season, the Young Lion made an ale using Peeps candy. Remember when bears were frequently sighted around the cities and towns of Canandaigua? Young Lion created Honey Bear IPA as a tribute.
The other half will be welcome, but the Young Lion will be missed.
Of course, the Canandaigua and Finger Lakes food and beverage scene saw other changes and significant events in 2023.
Wing tip to Canandaigua birdcage
As a disgruntled Canandaigua community waited years for the opening of the Hotel Canandaigua on Canandaigua Lake, the building’s shell became known by a variety of names. The nickname “Birdcage” stuck.
Finally, this year, a hotel opened on Canandaigua Lake. And the hotel’s owners stuck to that nickname, naming their tiki bar with a stunning view of the lake “The Birdcage.”
It was worth the wait. The Birdcage is now part of the lakeside dining establishment and is proving to be a real hit.
Arrival at Downtown Canandaigua
Canandaigua’s Main Street saw some new faces in 2023.
Paul and Ann Piorkowski opened Resilience Bakery at 86 S. Main Street in September.
Chris Ventura and Wendy Loveless reopened Il Posto Italian Bistro at 127 S. Main St. in September.
And while MighTea Boba has been open in Canandaigua for six years, Carol and Trevor Glover opened the bubble tea and ice cream shop’s new location at 116 S. Main St. in May.
More Canandaigua coffee and beer please
Emily Macomber opened Next Door Coffee at 1880 Rochester Road (Route 332) in Canandaigua in August with her parents, Joe and Heidi Macomber.
Robert Payne, brother-in-law Richard Rennie, and business partners Tim Sauerbier and Steve Crowley opened Rebel Sailor Brewing Company and Kitchen at 1715 State Route 21 in Shortville in March. did.
Ken and Lisa Greenwood’s Watershed Brewing Co. opened in July at 3542 E. Lake Road in Geneva.
work went well
Garrett Gray, who came here from Florida, is the new executive chef at Lake House in Canandaigua.
Everyone seemed to have something kind to say about Frank Pontera, who sold Canandaigua’s Niagara Restaurant after 42 years.
Mike Darling and his family celebrated Crafty Ales & Lagers’ 10th anniversary at Phelps in June. Slainte!
Nearly 18 months after a devastating fire, Hollerhorn Distillery owners Carl and Melissa Neubauer reopened their popular Finger Lakes destination business at 8443 Spirit Run in Naples in October .
A pleasant farewell
One of the saddest food stories of the year was when the New Hall Diner closed. Owner Tamary Cataldo’s quirky little small town restaurant will be remembered for years to come as a place of acceptance, good times and delicious food.
Mike Murphy covers Canandaigua and other communities in Ontario County and writes a food and drink column called “Eat, Drink, Be Murphy.” Follow @MPN_MikeMurphy on X.