Beer barge continues Erie Canal trek

SCOTIA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Barges carrying giant beer tanks continue the slow trek across the historic Erie Canal.

The massive tanks are headed west to Rochester. The tanks left Waterford four days ago, but only left Scotia Tuesday morning.

Quite a few people came out to watch these tanks float through the lock.

Some to see history in the making, others say they’re just happy to see the locks being used for commerce again.

Terri Staulters didn’t have to be to work until 10 a.m. Tuesday morning so she tells me she wanted to come down and check it out.

“We got up early this morning to see what was happening, so it’s just very exciting,” Staulters said.

She and her husband Bill live just down the street and say they stopped by the lock last night and had a chance to talk to the captain and his deckhands.

The four of them sleep right on the tug boat for the entire journey.

“We talked to the crew last night very informative.”

They learned these tanks can each hold 2,000 barrels of beer, that’s 63,000 gallons and far too big to travel by train or truck.

“We offered to get them coffee for the morning and they said no no we got all that.”

As of Tuesday morning, these piggy back barges had only covered 18 of their 225-mile journey.

There’s still two more trailing behind.

Each barge can carry three of the 60 by 20 feet tanks and there are twelve tanks altogether.

To haul this special cargo is a slow and steady process — traveling at just 10 knots.

Just to lift and lower the 14-foot lock takes at least a half hour and must be done one at a time.

There’s still 27 locks separating them from Rochester’s Genesee Brewery. The goal is to transform it into one of the most advanced brewing systems in the world.

In order to bring that to fruition or fermentation, if you will, the installation of these giant tanks is essential.

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