December 6, 2022

NYC has the Rockefeller Tree; Rochester has the Genesee Keg Tree

Tradition Pays Homage to New York’s Oldest Brewery

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester, New York’s Genesee Keg Tree lighting took place Friday night at 6:30 p.m., two days after the Rockefeller Tree lights up Midtown Manhattan. While not as traditional as the Rockefeller tree, the Genesee Keg Tree pays homage to the brewery and the 600-plus employees who work there. Built by brewery employees and retirees, the Keg Tree stands three stories high, consists of 532 kegs and has over 30,000 holiday lights. Thousands of people attended the lighting ceremony.

“There’s nothing more Rochester than thousands of people gathering to light up a keg tree and drink cold beer in December,” said Jaime Polisoto, brand director for Genesee. “The Genesee Keg Tree Lighting includes a huge party with beer trucks, food trucks and a tree that flashes along to holiday music. It has become a highly anticipated tradition that signals the start of the holiday season.”

Here you can find b-roll and photos from previou­­s Keg Trees.

Rockefeller Tree

Genesee Keg Tree

Location: Rockefeller Plaza, Manhattan

Number of kegs: 0

Number of beers served at tree lighting: Unknown

Lights: 50,000

Location: Rochester, NY

Number of kegs: 532

Number of beers expected at tree lighting: 10,000+

Lights: 30,000

About the Genesee Keg Tree Lighting

The Genesee Keg Tree lighting took place on Friday, December 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Genesee Brew House. Last held in 2019, 7,000 people attended the iconic Rochester holiday tradition and thousands more visited throughout the holiday season.

The brewery even released a festive spin on its flagship Cream Ale beer—a Cinnamon Cream Ale or “Keg Tree Ale”—just for the annual event. Visitors can also climb inside a giant, custom-designed wooden sled built by the Genesee carpentry team for photo opportunities.

About the Genesee Brewery

Established in 1878, the Genesee Brewery, New York state’s oldest brewery, makes the classic Genesee Heritage line of beers, Genesee Specialty, Brewers Series and Seagram’s Escapes. The Genesee Brewery also manufactures beer and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages under contracts on behalf of other companies. For more information, visit and on social media @GeneseeBrewery.

Always drink responsibly.

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