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Congress Beer returning to Syracuse after more than 50 years

Ellen Abbott
Congress beer bottles on display at the Onondaga Historical Association in Syracuse

Congress Beer is coming back to Syracuse.

The Haeberle Congress Brewing Company brewed its last batch of Congress in Syracuse in 1962. It had been the longest continuous brewery in Syracuse, but brewing times changed according to Onondaga Historical Association Executive Director Greg Tripoli.

“The local brewers just couldn’t compete with big brewers with refrigerated trucks for shipping. So this was really the end of the small brewers at that time,” said Tripoli.

More than 50 years later, small craft breweries are the rage in central New York and across the state. So Tripoli said it was time to share the secret recipe for Congress Beer.

Enter small Willow Rock Craft Brewery of Syracuse.

“This is a little brewery bringing back a big brewery,” said brewer Rockney Roberts, who will spend the next several months creating a Congress beer using the original recipe with hopes Congress will be flowing in local taps by early fall.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.