The saga of the budding Fairport Brewing Company all began as a home brewing operation in a “man cave.”
“This all started out as a hobby and it sort of grew from there,” said co-founder Tim Garman.
He started making beer with buddy Tom Bullinger at Garman’s rental home in 2010. After obtaining their federal brewing license, they set up their brewery in a tiny back bedroom.
It didn’t take long before they needed more elbow room and space to store their barrels of brew. They then began looking for a commercial location to not only make beer, but sell it.
They signed the lease to rent space at CanalWorks, off Turk Hill Road, and began the lengthy process of getting their liquor license.
After months of waiting, the brewery officially opened for business in October 2012. Bullinger left to pursue other interests and Garman hired a small part-time staff to handle operations.
He describes the 870 square-foot facility on the second floor of a brick building as a step above a home brewery.
The walk-in cooler, for example, was made from scratch with four makeshift walls and a rewired air conditioning unit.
But despite its humble beginnings, Garman said so many people have pitched in to help that they’ve had to turn people away.
To counter the surplus of enthusiasm, they host a “Community Brew” night each month for home brewers or community members to come make a batch together and share their own samples and recipes with other hopheads.
“It’s like cooking for men,” said Paul Guarracini, director of operations.
There are currently six different beers on tap, and fresh beer sold on site. The process of making enough beer to sell is time consuming, and the men behind it have day jobs.
In many ways, Garman said the brewery is a playground where others like him can transition from work mode to leisure.
“It’s a very relaxing atmosphere that’s conducive to making and drinking beer,” he said.
But if the beer is king, Fairport is queen.
Eventually, they hope to supply local restaurants with the likes of Lift Bridge Lager, Perinton Porter, or Raiders Red.
“We want to be an institution in Fairport who gives back,” said Garman.