As some of us hit snooze on our alarm clocks before braving the icy cold to descend upon office buildings around Western New York to return to the grind of another work week, we’re still buzzing from the 5th Annual Buffalo On Tap festival, which took place this past Saturday at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
Suffice to say, it was a blast – catching up with old friends and making new ones while enjoying dozens of beers, both old and new alike. As expected, the beer was the highlight of the night (though the after party at Thin Man Brewery was pretty lit), so we took it upon ourselves to compile a list of a dozen of the best beers Buffalo On Tap had to offer (FYI: doesn’t include VIP and we attended the night session), a list that includes plenty of local offerings for you to seek out if you have not already.
Victory Brewing Blackboard Series #4 Oatmeal Porter with Hazelnut – The second beer we had at the event. It had notes of rich chocolate and candied sweetness, though the hazelnut character was fairly faint.
New York Beer Project White The F White IPA – Bright and citrusy hops dominated the palette. It was clean and refreshing and one of the best IPAs of the night.
Big Ditch NoNang Pale Ale – Another solid pale ale from Big Ditch. Nice hints of citrus and pineapple. Silky hops made for another easy drinker.
Thin Man Hop Pants #1 – A very solid IPA with a nice balance between juice and subtle pine. It was wonderfully smooth. We spent a lot of time at the Thin Man booth thanks to this beer.
Saranac Strawberry Tart Kettle Sour – Very reminiscent of a strawberry kiwi Capri Sun. Somewhat tart fruit juice. A nice surprise. We’re happy this one is getting bottled this year.
Saranac Super-Funk IPA – Thankfully the Brett bite was subtle. Light on the funk and it still possessed some tropical fruit notes.
Shipyard Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Scottish Ale – Clove and pepper lead the way with some sweet, earthy oak notes. A sipper at 11.6%.
Muskoka Moonlight Kettle: Bierbuik (Belgian Dark Strong Ale) – Ripe dark fruits like raisin, plum and fig. Malty and a bit dry with some caramel notes.
Shiner Birthday Beer 108 – Cold Brew Coffee Ale – Fresh black cold brew coffee dominates. Surprisingly refreshing. Another easy drinker, which meant we had to have seconds.
Uinta Flamingose – Light tartness. Big grapefruit and pineapple. Went down so easy that it was like drinking fruit juice. Not overly acidic either.
Three Heads Brewing Tropical Kind Double IPA – It’s effervescent. Mango, passionfruit and pineapple make this one deadly drinkable.
42 North Brewing 2017 Red Army – The perfect nightcap. Velvety smooth and deeply rich. Big and boozy with big notes of dark chocolate.
Do you agree or disagree with our list? Do you think we missed a beer or two? If so, let us know by dropping us an email at email@example.com or tweet us at @buffbeerleague. We’d love to hear from you.
And if you missed Buffalo On Tap, the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association will have plenty of events throughout 2017 where you’ll be able to imbibe on great beer, so stay tuned for more details as we have them.
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.