Good Bye Baseball, Nice to Meet You Eli Fish
Rochester, NY – Labor Day signifies a lot of things; time to go back to school for kids and teachers, leaves begin to hit the ground, Oktoberfest beer is now in supply, Bills Season is upon us and local minor league baseball winds down.
The wife has really developed a love for baseball upon turing 40. So after a fun family weekend in Cleveland seeing the Indians and Devil Rays on back-to-back nights (got to see Cy Young candidate Corey Kluber pitch), Mrs. UBT and I woke up on Labor Day morning with no work and no kids. So the urge was there to get in one last baseball game for the summer. With Drew Cerza hosting his 17th Annual National Buffalo Wing Festival at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, that meant no Triple A Buffalo Bisons…no problem! It had been about 13-14 years since we had made the pilgrimage from Buffalo to Frontier Field in Rochester. Where in those days our close friend Don Goller was a Triple A umpire and crew chief in the International League where we’d go and watch him work the plate.
We rolled up to Frontier Field in 90 degree temperatures after paying $6 to park…cheap. As we walked into line to purchase tickets at the box office, we were approached by a very pleasant local woman who asked if we needed tickets. She generously handed us two and told us to enjoy the game. The seats put us eight rows up from third base. Great spot.
Labor Day would be the season finale for the Red Wings who are an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. Their opponent, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Philadelphia Phillies). It was also fan appreciate day, or for the vernacular, “Swag Day” as I think the goal of the day for the Red Wing Promotions Department was to clean out all the remaining merchandise in house as Swag was flying around the stadium in mass quantity.
I was really impressed by Rochester’s passion for baseball and the community’s love for their Red Wings. It was also good to see a familiar name and face in Joel Skinner, Manager for the Red Wings. If you’re my age and followed the Buffalo Bisons in the 1980s and more currently, you’ll remember Skinner as a catcher in the White Sox and Indians organizations while playing in Buffalo for the Bisons. He also managed the Bisons in 2000 taking them to the Governor’s Cup Final.
Red Wings Manager Joel Skinner Coaching Third Base
View From The Third Base Line at Frontier Field
Rohrbach Brewing Company at Frontier Field
What’s baseball without peanuts and beer? Rohrbach, one of Rochester’s signature craft breweries was the featured craft beer at Frontier Field. With 90 degree temps, I opted for the Red Wing Red Ale (didn’t want to over hop it) 4.5% ABV, nice sweet and clean finish. Went down fast.
The Trek West Home Through Batavia
Eli Fish Brewing Company in Batavia has been on Mrs. UBT’s radar since its recent launch this past spring, so stopping on the way back to Buffalo from Rochester seemed the opportune time. I’ll admit, I did make a point to get some preliminary intel on the brew pub before the stop to learn more. The space is home of the former J.J. Newberry department store right on the main drag in Batavia which has been met with much fan fare.
Upon entering the bright and open mammoth space, we opted for a seat at the bar which offered plenty of seating and attentive service. Our timing was good as a handful of fellow baseball fans filled the bar shortly there after following the Batavia Muckdogs game.
A Simple Theme – Only NYS Produced Products
As usual, we opted to share a flight as the Mrs. and I entertain opposite pallets. The offering at Eli Fish is extensive with 20 beers on tap. That day, Eli Fish only had three of its own craft brews to serve. Which is pretty standard as their brewing capabilities continue evolve. So the remaining offerings consisted of the likes of EBC, Resurgence, Rohrbach and Empire. While the wine list was heavily represented by Finger Lakes vineyards and the spirits New York State produced as well.
Our flight went as follows
Eli Fish Harvester Wheat – 6.3% A classic summer wheat beer, packed full of local wheat and hopped with Tettnang hops.
Eli Fish Talking Walls IPA – 6% Floral with notes of citrus.
Eli Fish Mocha Stout (Nitro) – 7.5% Made with Oliver’s chocolate & coffee; deliciously rich and sooth.
Ithaca Brewing Apricot Wheat – 4.9% Smooth wheat beer with apricot finish.
The Talking Walls IPA rang my bell as I found it the perfect combination of hops and citrus with neither over done. So good I went back for another 8.5 oz.
After dining on ball park food for three days, we went with the Banana Pepper Pierogi, and it was a home run as the banana pepper cheese filled pierogi was topped with a smoked brisket and a balsamic BBQ sauce. We went healthy and teamed it up with some grilled asparagus.
A Little Something For Everyone
Eli Fish is a vibrant and spacious brew pub that offers a little something for everyone. In addition to the ample sized and comfortable bar and large selection of New York State craft beer, Eli Fish brings a solid food offering for a family dinner or special occasion, local wine for those who aren’t craft beer drinkers and an alluring cocktail menu. Upfront you’ll find a lounge chair and couch set-up if you’re looking for a little quiet to just converse over a pint of local craft. In back….Bocce Courts! Entertainment…that too! On Friday nights during the summer Batavia hosts its Friday night concert series in Jackson Square, directly behind Eli Fish.
So if you’re a Buffalonian or Rochesterian making the I90 shuffle, a little stop in Batavia will break up your drive quite nicely.
Eli Fish Brewing Co.
109 Main St.
Batavia, NY 14020
Open 7 Days a Week:
Monday-Saturday Open at 11am
Sundays Open at 12pm
Labor Day Bocce Game at Eli Fish