Rebel Sailor Brewing anchors in Shortsville 

click to enlarge Robert Payne, second from left, and the team at Rebel Sailor.


Robert Payne, second from left, and the team at Rebel Sailor.

Robert Payne has been homebrewing beer for 12 years, but for the last 18 months he’s worked to share his acumen with the public.

Rebel Sailor in Shortsville is the fruit of that labor. The small craft brewery is housed in the former Mark’s Pizzeria on Route 21 and serves an eclectic mix of beers made in its modest 3.5-barrel brew house.

Rebel Sailor had its soft opening last Friday, and plans to operate on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the near future.

“It’s relieving,” Payne said. “We thought 100 times we’d be open sooner, but between all of the red tape and all of the other stuff, and then my cooler, which we built ourselves…there were a lot of bits and pieces.”

Payne, a logistics coordinator for Progressive Machine and Design in Victor, views the brewery as a side gig to his day job and a means of getting his beers out into the world.

On its opening weekend, Rebel Sailor offered a healthy lineup of clean beers, largely in traditional styles, done with impressive attention to detail. The oatmeal stout offered a near-flawless balance of hearty roasted malt, subdued sweetness, and faint cocoa finish. The West Coast IPA was crisp, clean, and sufficiently bitter while showcasing the resinous notes of Centennial and Columbus hops.
click to enlarge Rebel Sailor Brewing in Shortsville. - PHOTO BY GINO FANELLI
  • Rebel Sailor Brewing in Shortsville.
The star of the show was the red ale, a beer Payne doted over and prided himself on. It’s a delicate and nuanced beer tinged with caramel notes that offers a refreshing take on a well-traveled style. Beneath its very minimalist exterior, notes of roasted barley and tropical fruit, attributable to the activity of Norwegian Kveik yeast, waft on the tail end.

“I love my Kveik red, it’s done really well for me, of all the things I’ve ever done,” Payne said.

The brewery also features guest taps from Hammondsport’s Brewery of Broken Dreams, a connection made after Payne’s wife, Malina, visited the brewery.

“That was a girls’ weekend, and I loved the beer,” Malina Payne said. “It’s such a cute little cobblestone building, and the people are really nice.”

Payne said George Aldrich, owner of Reinvention Brewing in nearby Manchester has been very supportive as he’s worked to get his brewery off the ground.

Rebel Sailor, which got its name from a term Payne heard on a Viking history program, is still planning on holding a grand opening. Due to the small size of the space, Payne wants to wait for the weather to turn so the outside patio space can be put to use.

“We haven’t really set a date yet, but we’ll probably have our real grand opening party on the first nice weekend of the year,” Payne said.

Gino Fanelli is a CITY staff writer. He can be reached at (585) 775-9692 or [email protected].
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