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With a nod to city's past, new brewery to open in Batavia

The Eli Fish Brewing Company is under construction in the former JJ Newberry Building at 109 Main Street. (Photo: Eli Fish Brewing Company)

BATAVIA, N.Y. (WHAM) - A new brewery is being built up in downtown Batavia with a name that conjures up images of the city's past.

The Eli Fish Brewing Company is under construction in the former JJ Newberry Building at 109 Main Street. The name of the brewery pays homage to the man behind Fish's Malt House, a brewery in Batavia at Elm and Main Streets back in the 19th century.

The owner of the locally-renowned restaurant Alex's Place, Matthew Gray, is one of three Batavia natives behind the project. Jon Mager and Matthew Boyd, who are behind Buffalo Brothers Pizza and Wing Co. and involved in Alex's Place, are also in on the brewery.

“Eli Fish was a renaissance man who played an important role in the development and growth of early Batavia, and his entrepreneurial and rebuilding spirit really spoke to us,” Mager said.

Once open, Eli Fish Brewing will have 20 beers on tap - ten of which will be brewed in house and ten rotating beers from around New York State. Craft cocktails and wines from New York State wineries and distilleries will also be available.

The brewery is part of a $2.8 million mixed-use renovation; a restaurant incubator, known as FreshLAB, will share the first floor space with the brewery, with apartments planned for the second and third floors.

The FreshLAB restaurant incubator will have three commercial kitchens. One is slated to be used by Eli Fish Brewing; the other two will be available for use by start-up restaurateurs to develop more dining options within Genesee County.

The partners’ development vision for the Newberry building is being supported by the City of Batavia, Batavia Development Corp., Genesee County Economic Development Corporation, USDA Rural Development, National Grid and New York Main Street.

The brewery is expected to open by the end of the year.

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