John Urlaub graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 1981. He started with the Eastman Kodak Company right after graduation, beginning in finance and relocating to Los Angeles. His Kodak career evolved from finance to sales and marketing and involved several relocations–from LA to Chicago to New York City and eventually to Rohrbach, Germany before moving back to his home town of Rochester, NY.
After returning to Rochester, plans were set to open the city’s first craft brewery. In the spring of 1992, the Rohrbach Brewing Company brewed its first ale and opened its doors to the public in the Historic German House in the South Wedge section of the city. In 1995 John opened his second brewpub on the city’s westside. The business had both a retail restaurant component and a wholesale beer manufacturing element. In 2008, the company’s first standalone craft beer manufacturing and tasting room opened in the city’s Public Market neighborhood. In addition, the Rohrbach Brewing Company continues to host the area’s oldest and largest craft beer festival – the Flour City Brewer’s Fest.
John is an active member of the NYS Restaurant Association, having served as Chapter President and Chairman of the Board. John continues his involvement in both the industry and local community, including the South Avenue Business Association, Market District Business Association, and the Visit Rochester organization.
John focuses on giving back to the community that has supported the growth of Rohrbach Brewing Co. In 2019, he and his wife Patty sat as Co-event Chairs for the Ronald McDonald House annual fundraiser. He is involved with Holiday Outreach and other charitable entities in Rochester, New York.