Brewing in the FLX: Square Knot Brewing

Get to know more about their Caiolann’s Irish Red Ale, a celebration of family and heritage.

By David Diehl

Canandaigua literally translates to the ‘Chosen Spot,’ we are not sure that the Iroquois had beer in mind when constructing that moniker. But these days, it seems like an apt crown. 

Watching the growth of the craft beer scene in Canandaigua has been a delight and just as it seems to have cemented a strong layout – more news of progress comes to the surface.

Founded by two Canandaigua firefighters and friends, Paul Newhook and Nate Crane, Square Knot Brewing Company is one of the newer additions to the landscape – being just over a year old – but they have just announced that they are moving forward on an expansion and relocation. 

Currently located with a small brewhouse at 20 Pleasant Street by the railroad tracks, Crane explained that a spark in demand has kept Square Knot looking for a bigger space.

“We hadn’t expected the amount of growth that we saw in year one, especially with all of the added pressures that were introduced with the pandemic. We definitely didn’t predict that we’d be looking at expansion,” says Crane. “That to me means that we have made a product that speaks for itself and created an atmosphere that people enjoy. We have had a lot of support from the community.”

Square Knot will be teaming up with Twisted Guys Grill and taking over 401 Lakeshore Drive which will provide the brewers more space, add an elevated, locally sourced, and creative kitchen, and generate a lot more foot traffic. 

All things that they will need, especially after their recent achievements. They even grabbed some hardware for one of their favorite recipes.

“We started homebrewing this recipe years ago. Caiolann’s Irish Red Ale is named after my oldest daughter and was one that we wanted to promote when we first opened,” Crane describes. “It spoke to us because of our Irish heritage and it’s a style that we both enjoy. It’s an easy drinker. It’s well-balanced. You’ll be looking for some toffee, caramel and more on the malty side. It’s true to the style. We brought this beer in to the U.S. Open Beer Championship and won the gold in the Irish Red Category. That exceeded all expectations.”

With Square Knot’s momentum and enthusiasm, we are looking forward to the new location they chose and how they will continue to add to Canandaigua’s beer scene.

Square Knot Brew Pub; 20 Pleasant St, Canandaigua, NY 14424

It was always a goal for David Diehl to return to the Finger Lakes and make an imprint on the beer culture of the region. A Hobart & William Smith Colleges graduate, Diehl spent over a decade in Brooklyn and is excited to be back and taking on Finger Lakes craft beer reviews and commentaries for  He has also been published in Inked Magazine, YRB Magazine,, and The Finger Lakes Times. You can follow his work at

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