Peacemaker is back at it again
CANANDAIGUA — For years, Peacemaker Brewing Co. operated out of cramped quarters at its original location on Pleasant Street.
So even though owner Todd Reardon’s new, larger location at 39 Coach St. is open — mug club members last Friday marked the deliberately low-key occasion — spacing remains a concern, although for a different reason.
Peacemaker has a large outdoor area, which in time will turn out to be a great addition to the microbrewery — an oasis for the thirsty just off Canandaigua’s Main Street, if you will. But in these times of coronavirus pandemic, having a large outdoor area is vital for business and for folks to enjoy a night out while still keeping six feet apart from others.
“We were literally out here with a tape measure,” Reardon said. “I’ll be happy when the social distancing thing is done and we can go full capacity.”
Peacemaker's reopening comes after the closing of the original location last year.
After settling on this location, which at one time was a blacksmith shop — Reardon said piles of horseshoes were discovered during the renovation of the building — work took longer than expected.
The pandemic also led to delays in opening, which he had originally hoped would have been the end of last year or beginning of 2020.
Even now, Reardon is awaiting delivery of a seven-barrel brewing system with temperature control — much larger than the three-barrel operation at the former location.
The hope is to begin brewing here sometime in the fall. In the meantime, Peacemaker is brewing at Rock Brewing in Rochester and WeBe Brewing in Geneva.
“We’re actually there brewing it. We don’t want to just hand off the recipe and say, ‘Here’s our recipe, just brew it,’” Reardon said. “We’re looking at other options as well, just so we make sure we still have beer even though we don’t have a brewing system.”
Customers can enjoy favorites here like Moon Perfume, a double dry hopped IPA, and Fonder & Blonder ale as well as Thousand Yard Stare scotch ale and bourbon barrel scotch ale and Reckless Troubadour imperial stout. All Together is a collaboration with Twisted Rail — which originally operated at the Pleasant Street location — and WeBe Brewing. Selections from guest taps also are available.
Peacemaker's larger location also allows for a limited food menu of small items like pizza and pretzel bites.
Kathleen Starkweather, who liked to visit the quaint former location, said she also enjoys the atmosphere here.
“This is fabulous,” Starkweather said. “I love the decor and the beer is phenomenal. They’ve done a fabulous job.”
Peacemaker still plays the music and concert videos of Reardon’s favorite band, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, for which the craft brewery pays homage and songs and lyrics of which give the craft brews their names. In fact, Peacemaker will be carrying Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine tequila as well as local spirits.
Reardon helps bring the band to the city for concerts, but again, COVID-19 had other plans for everyone. Having originally scheduled the concert for late July, Reardon tried to reschedule for later on in the year but the Arizona-based band had to pull out after all of its East Coast gigs were canceled for the year.
“Which took the pressure off me, though,” Reardon said. “I didn’t want to cancel but I felt that was the best thing to do.”
Yes, Aaron Reardon may be biased, and no, Reardon’s son was not named after a Peacemakers song or lyric. But he said he is proud of his father for essentially building this place from the ground up.
“I’m super excited,” Aaron Reardon said.
The reopening provides a boost for the local economy, according to Mayor Bob Palumbo, who recently visited for a ceremonial ribbon cutting.
“I think it’s going to be really great for downtown,” Palumbo said.
While it’s not quite up and running at full capacity, Reardon said he is relieved to be able to concentrate on providing his craft beer to those who enjoy it.
“We’re happy to be open again,” Reardon said.
Peacemaker Brewing Co. is now open at its new location, 39 Coach St., Canandaigua. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, noon to 10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 7 p.m. Sundays.
Eat, Drink and Be Murphy
The Eat, Drink and Be Murphy column explores the region’s bounty of food and drink — and the people who bring it to you — soup to nuts, accentuated with a craft beer or Finger Lakes wine. After all, who doesn’t love to eat and drink? Email assistant editor Mike Murphy at email@example.com or call 585-337-4229 with ideas and suggestions.