Cheers to new beers. LTS Brewing opened July 24 after a prolonged construction, and Rochester’s newest brewery was excited to be pouring their beers to the public for the first time.
The name is an acronym for “Life’s Too Short,” in reference to the beer lover’s proverb, “Life’s too short to drink bad beer.” With a lineup that pulls from European tradition and American craft beer innovation, LTS is hitting the ground running, with seven taps flowing for their grand opening and room for up to 12 different beers total. Co-owners Brandon Schulz and Jeff Werning share a background in computer engineering and they’ve started the new business as they continue with their day jobs.
“I like to brew beers that are inspired by traditional Belgian and German styles,” Schulz said, citing examples like saisons, Trappist styles, Kolsch, altbier, and weizens, but he also makes more American-influenced IPAs and pale ales.
With his IPA, Schulz strives for aromatics without the bitterness, and LTS pale ales will be designed to showcase specific ingredients.
“I’m trying to introduce people to different craft beer styles and flavors they may not have had before, without blowing them away with all of the extremes you see on the market today,” he said, which was well exemplified in their opening night lineup that featured more common styles like the IPA and porter, but also a saison, Belgian blond, golden ale, and a nitro-tap oatmeal stout.
In addition to regular and rotating beers, they also have housemade sodas. While there will not be any cask-conditioned beer yet for the grand opening, the brewery is planning to regularly feature the style with special cask nights in the future.
The taproom is described as an “industrial craftsman feel,” with wood, steel, and cement structures that emphasize the industrial business in a comfortable setting. Seating about 75 customers, it will be a room for beer fans to gather and for curious locals to try something new in a relaxed setting. The taproom’s focus is on beer and conversation, and elements like live music and food trucks will be complementary and reserved for special occasions. Windows separate the taproom from the brewhouse behind the bar.
“Part of the reason I started a brewery is to build the community around it,” said Schulz, who cut his chops as a home-brewer. He’s specifically excited to hear feedback from that community and to implement that influence into LTS at large.
While the focus today is on tapping those first kegs, LTS has more in store. They would like to open a kitchen onsite and, once they increase their brewing capacity, Schulz would like to add lagers to the line-up. LTS will sell growlers on location and plans to distribute kegs to nearby bars and restaurants.