Stoneyard Brewing Company has enjoyed great success in its Brockport location, where the downstairs pub is the home to a very popular brewery limited only by the capacity of the available space. Ground was broken last year on a new brewery located nearby, and the owners also opened up the Stoneyard Breakfast Company as another extension of their wildly popular food and drink. Following the owners’ guiding principle “We Don’t Do Small,” Stoneyard has made the leap to Rochester’s east side, opening Stoneyard American Craft Beer Hall & Grill on the Penfieldy part of Webster off Empire Boulevard.
The official grand opening was on Saturday, July 16, but some friends and I couldn’t resist the call when we saw a Facebook post announcing a soft open on Thursday. We headed over to explore the new space, which was previously home to Capaldo’s Recovery Room, and before that it was Sanibel Cottage. Immediately we were blown away by the size of the new location. If Bottomless Brewing in Geneva is a cathedral of beer, then SACBH&G is a labyrinth.
Entry is through the side door, which gives your first hint at the size of this place. The main dining hall is the largest, with a long bar along one side with 28 taps, and tables that can be pulled together for communal beer hall style seating. A smaller bar with eight taps is located off the main entrance (the lighted Rheingold Beer sign is on loan from yours truly). There’s also a separate dining room for those looking for a quieter dining experience.
You may be lucky to catch a Stoneyard beer on tap, but until the new brewery comes on line next year you’ll just have to enjoy any number of quality drafts and bottles on the menu. A small batch brewery is also planned to open at the Beer Hall next year, which is sure to keep The Great and Powerful Brewmaster Oz (Jeffrey Osborne) busy.
The atmosphere in the main hall was comfortable and lively. Many television screens surrounding the space ensure you will not miss your favorite game. The three of us enjoyed our food and drinks, though we experienced minor hiccups that should be expected with any new location training dozens of new staff. We noticed there was a “cast of hundreds” working that night, ranging from friends pitching in to help to new waitstaff learning the ropes.
We also attended Saturday’s grand opening festivities, which was marked by the overflow of parked cars lining both sides of Empire Boulevard. We didn’t have to park too far away, though we were a bit too late to take advantage of the beer samples offered by Founders, Oskar Blues, and Troegs out on the front lawn. We met up with some other friends and took advantage of the warm weather to enjoy our beers out on the patio. While the beer hall was packed, we didn’t have to wait too long to order beers (or get food delivered to the outside). The atmosphere was like an awesome party that you and 300 of your closest friends who also love good food and drink were all invited to. I’m pretty sure I caught sight of partner Jay Nichols smiling ear to ear and accepting a few well-deserved back slaps.
Stoneyard American Craft Beer Hall & Grill is located at 1517 Empire Boulevard, in Webster. Follow them on Facebook.