Genesee Brewery is going retro. The Rochester beer maker rolled out a limited edition Heritage Collection that features three classic beers; Genesee, Cream Ale and back by popular demand 12 Horse Ale.
12 Horse was once a mainstay in Genesee's line-up but hasn't been available for years.
"We haven't brewed 12 Horse in over eight years,” said brand manager Janine Schoos. “Today when we bring it back it's going to don the original label from the 1970s and in our classic stubby bottle or glass can as we hear the consumers call it."
When originally introduced in 1933, 12 Horse and other Genesee Brewery products were delivered in horse drawn wagons. That's the way the new heritage pack was delivered on Wednesday.
The 12 Horse Ale on the market today is brewed the same as it was nearly 80 years ago.
"It's a unique product and it's certainly more flavorful than a lot of the beer out there and a lot of the ales,” explained John Fischer, Genesee’s brewmaster. “We're hoping it does very well for us."
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que received the first delivery of 12 horse and the other classic brews.
Bar manager Julie Doyle says 12 Horse is a product that is often requested but hasn't been available until now.
"We get a lot of guests that come in from out of town, a lot of international travelers and they ask for a local brew,” Doyle said. “So we have something extra to offer now."
The return of 12 Horse Ale is just another step in the resurgence of Genesee Brewery. It expanded its production output last year with the introduction of 24 ounce cans. That and the reintroduction of 12 Horse has been good for the local economy.
"We've hired a bunch of people over the last year, 150, 200 people,” Fischer said. “It's been a really, really good story."
12 Horse may only be back for a limited time, but brewery officials say that may change.
“If consumers really do love 12 Horse like we hear that they do we may consider bringing it back in the future."
For now, it is available in local restaurants and bars. It is also available at retail outlets, but only in the Heritage Collection 24 pack.