Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that North American Breweries, Inc. will invest $49.1 million to create a world-class brewery and beer destination at its Genesee Brewery in Rochester.

The investment will create 128 jobs, and is expected to spur development in Northeast Rochester and draw hundreds of thousands of tourists to the area.

The Governor made the announcement at the Genesee Brew House in Rochester, where he signed legislation to modernize New York’s 80-year-old Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.

“The expansion of the Genesee Brewery is a symbol of the economic renaissance unfolding throughout the Finger Lakes and an important example of how we are leveraging the region’s resources to generate growth and opportunity,” Governor Cuomo said. “We will continue to investing in New York’s burgeoning beverage industry to raise the profile of New York’s unparalleled products, create jobs and unleash potential for future economic growth.”

The project includes the installation of one of the most advanced brewing systems in the world; expansion of the Genesee Brew House restaurant and tasting room; improvements to and an expansion of the pilot brewery; and a new event space.

The multi-phase project will culminate in the creation of an “Eco-Brewery District” that will provide a sustainable destination for brewing, tasting and learning about beer in Rochester.

Genesee currently employs 592 people in Rochester and will create 128 jobs as a result of the project – 64 of which will be set aside for people affected by poverty.

The Eco-Brewery District and expansion project was identified in Finger Lakes Forward, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative Plan, as a highlighted Year One initiative.

Empire State Development will provide up to $4.5 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits in return for North American Breweries’ job creation commitments.

Through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, ESD will also provide a $5 million capital grant. Up to $3 million of the URI capital grant is tied to North American Breweries hiring 64 persons impacted by poverty.

The FLREDC identified poverty reduction as a primary goal in its URI strategic plan, in partnership with the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative.

The Eco-Brewery district project includes an 18,000-square-foot expansion and the demolition, construction and purchase of new tanks and brewing equipment.

Working in collaboration with Monroe Community College, the district would also support workforce development for the beer industry.

In addition, the district would be marketed as a tourist attraction that aligns with the High Falls Gorge nearby the low-income Northeast neighborhood.

“Over the past six years, North American Breweries has invested $70 million in Genesee, creating 250 new jobs in the beer industry. Genesee has been a big part of the brewing renaissance in Rochester,” said North American Breweries CEO Kris Sirchio. “As the oldest brewery in New York State, Genesee has a great opportunity to help Rochester become a premier destination for beer and brewing. With all the great breweries in Western New York, there is no better time than now to create an Eco-Brewery District that will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year while generating new jobs and investment in the Northeast district of Rochester. “

Established in 1878, The Genesee Brewery is New York State’s oldest brewery and one of the oldest continually operating breweries in the United States.