Big aLICe Brewing in Geneva is the Newest among Finger Lakes Breweries
April 26, 2021
On May 1st, the newest brewery in the Finger Lakes will open its doors to the public. That’s right, Big aLICe Brewing, the award-winning brewery from Long Island City, is opening its third location in Geneva, New York. It’s wonderful to see the region so famous for wine continue to grow the number of breweries in the area. Big aLICe Brewing in Geneva is the newest to join them. Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the soft opening to try the brews and chat with the owners.
Big aLICe is a New York State farm brewery. That means that at least 60% of the hops and 60% of the other ingredients must come from New York State. By adding the Finger Lakes location, Big aLICe is not only expanding their footprint across New York, but creating meaningful partnerships as well.
What’s the meaning behind the name Big aLICe?
If you are familiar with Long Island City in Queens, you’ll recognize the four large red and white towers of the generator that helps power the city. The community nicknamed the generator ‘Big Allis’ after the company who built it, Allis-Chambers. The brewery honors both the iconic Queens landmark and the location of their first location with the name Big aLICe.
Why did they choose Geneva?
The owners were already in the market for a third location to expand to last year. Their search was mostly based in the Hudson Valley, and at times they even thought that was too far from LIC. But after a vacation to the Finger Lakes with their wives (who are sisters), they discovered the property for sale.
The building used to be home to GAEL Brewing, who closed last year, in part due to the pandemic. It took Kyle and Scott less than a week to make a decision and put in an offer. In the blink of an eye, Geneva became the home for the newest location in the Big aLICe family. And people are excited! The owners were proud to tell me that “80 to 90 people RSVP’d to the friends and family soft opening. But 6 months ago we didn’t know anybody in the area!”
What Big aLICe beers will be available in the Finger Lakes?
In short, all of them! With the purchase of the building, Big aLICe also acquired the 15-barrel system on the premises. Therefore, they will be able to brew their signatures and new favorites. But don’t worry – everything you want will be available at any location. According to Kyle, “Everything brewed in Long Island City will be available in Geneva and [vice versa].”
The head brewer for the Big aLICe Geneva Location, Dominic Sims, is up for the challenge. Dom started as a beertender in the LIC location. He benefitted from being in the right place at the right time in order to learn how to brew from head brewer Jon Kielty. Previously he’d dabbled in homebrewing, but Jon was able to teach him all the Big aLICe secrets. So when it came time to find a brewer to lead the Geneva location, Dom was the perfect fit!
Big aLICe Beers
Big aLICe brewers don’t limit themselves to one or two particular styles. They have quite a variety to enjoy! IPAs, wits, sours, barrel-ages porters, you name it! Check out some of these from their soft opening:
Lemongrass Kolsch – The perfect summer beer. Light, crisp, and refreshing with a subtle lemongrass flavor.
NYS Pils – The ultimate New York State beer made with 100% NY ingredients, featuring notes of honey and graham cracker.
BQX – Brooklyn Queens Connector – A nod to their LIC origins, this imperial IPA is smooth and fruity without the bitterness of hops.
Jalapeno Rye – Surprisingly drinkable with all the flavors of jalapeno without overwhelming spice.
Sleep Now in the Fire – This smoked porter has been aged in Islay scotch barrels to give it a rich flavor that is perfect for drinking around a campfire.
Of course, these are just a few of the beers they have available. You can order a taster, glass, or flight at the taproom. In addition, there is a wide selection of cans and bottles available to purchase to go.
What can you expect at the Big aLICe Geneva location?
Well, it goes without saying that you’ll have a great time! The brewery and taproom have an urban vibe that they’ve brought up from the city. But the grounds are typical of the Finger Lakes region with rolling hills and beautiful scenery. There is both indoor and outdoor seating. If you opt to sit outside, you’ll enjoy true Upstate style with Adirondack chairs and fire pits.
Food trucks! To start off, the tap room will host rotating food trucks on site to offer a variety of changing options for the guests. Since there are so many great food trucks in the Finger Lakes region, you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Friendly staff! Everyone at Big aLICe is incredibly kind and inviting. The owners, Kyle and Scott, the brewer, Dom, and all of the beertenders are determined to provide a great experience for all of their customers.
Big aLICe opens May 1st, get ready!
You’re in for a treat when you visit Big aLICe! While you’re visiting, there are a few other breweries in Geneva also worth checking out (and stamping off on your New York State Brewers Association Passport). Make a point to visit Lake Drum Brewing, WeBe Brewing, and Twisted Rail while you’re in town!