Buffalo Beer Buzz: Brewed In NY Hits Buffalo, Borderland Fest Brewery Nights, BlackBird SummerFest VIII, Pumking Family Reunion

Watch Brewed in NY’s Buffalo Episode at Big Ditch Brewing

Brewed In NY, a 13-part beer tourism television series about the art of making beer in New York State, filmed an entire episode in Buffalo and you can watch its debut at Big Ditch Brewing on August 15 (7pm). The TVs will be tuned into WNED and playing the episode in its entirety and afterwards you can chat with the participants upstairs in the Brewers Lounge about how you thought it went and ask any questions you might have. In addition to the full slate of Big Ditch’s beers, Community Beer Works will take over a few taps as well.

Preview of Inaugural Borderland Music Festival Coming to Local Breweries

In advance of the inaugural Borderland Music and Arts Festival, which a two-day festival featuring over 20 bands, at Knox Farm State Park on September 22 and 23, special preview nights will be held all month long. The “Road to the Borderland” nights, which will feature local artisans, ticket giveaways, and the chance for fans to purchase tickets to the festival (without service fees), will take place Friday, August 17 at 42 North Brewing Company, Friday, August 24 at Big Ditch Brewing Company and Friday. August 31 at Community Beer Works. For more information on the Borderland Festival, visit www.borderlandfestival.com.

Summer Fest Returns to BlackBird Cider Works for Eighth Year

BlackBird Cider Works will celebrate the eighth annual Summer Cider and Craft Beer Festival on August 1 (1pm). Ciders from BlackBird and local beer from New York Beer Project, Woodcock Brothers, 12 Gates, Brickyard Brewing, 42 North, Community Beer Works and Big Ditch Brewing will be available for sampling. Food from Lloyds Taco Truck, Dirty Bird Chicken and Waffles, and Dragon Babbies Food Truck. Standard tickets ($15 presale/$18 at the door) include a BlackBird tasting glass and eight tasting tickets and Deluxe tickets ($25 presale/$28 door) include a glass, eight tickets, and two 12oz. draft cider tickets. Tickets at www.eventbrite.com.

Southern Tier Getting the Family Together for Pumking Family Reunion

Even though it seems that fall themed beers arrive earlier and earlier each year, Southern Tier Brewing are getting the family together on August 15 (4pm) for a Pumking Family Reunion, a full day of big beer featuring the entire lineup of Southern Tier’s beloved pumpkin themed beers. All of the brewery’s Pumking varieties will be available on tap at the Empty Pint in Lakewood, including Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Warlock Imperial Pumpkin Stout, Cold Press Coffee Pumking, Chai Tea Pumking and Rum Barrel Aged Pumking. The event will also take place simultaneously at Southern Tier’s Pittsburgh and Charlotte’s locations.

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 buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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A Buffalo Institution: Looking Back At Five Decades of Mr. Goodbar

Mr. Goodbar, the venerable Buffalo watering hole that stands at the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues, is set to turn 50 and will celebrate five decades of slinging suds at their 50th Anniversary Party on August 15 (6pm). The party will celebrate all of the Good Times with Good Friends at Goodbar from throughout the years, with food, live music and karaoke. The party will feature the release of a special collaboration beer from a number of Western New breweries, a double dry-hopped hazy IPA with Voss yeast. The beer should be punchy and loaded with citrus.

The party will feature two floors of entertainment throughout the night. On the first floor starting at 7pm, Kevin McCarthy, who started playing at Goodbar in the late 90’s and has been a huge part of Goodbar’s history, will perform, followed by Rust Belt Brigade at 10pm. On the second floor, Cooler hits the stage at 8pm before Karaoke hosted by DJ Danny D starts at 10pm (Cooler and Rust Belt Brigade play one Wednesday a month and DJ Danny D hosts karaoke every Wednesday night and the last Friday of every month).

“He doesn’t have a regular night anymore here but he still books all of our bands and continues to be a huge part of our success today!” owner Bobby Rabb says of McCarthy.

For food, Goodbar will offer pizza from Sports City and Goodbar wings along with Anniversary Cupcakes by Fairy Cakes Cupcakery. Former employees receive their first drink on the house and employee discounts all night.

“We will also have some faces from the past – the previous owner Dominic will be in with his family,” Rabb adds. “Also, former bouncer Ice Man will be in. Anyone that came in to the bar in the 90’s through the early 00’s will remember seeing him at the door. Along with many past and current staff members and regulars.”

Rabb is the sixth owner of Goodbar, assuming control of the bar in 2010. The Aliotta’s were the original owners (‘68-’87), before Art Ponto took over (‘87-’91). Then it was the owners of Mickey Rats, Gino Grasso and Richie Alberts, (‘91-’93), Chris and Molly Brinkworth (‘93-’95) and Dominic Massaro (‘95-2010).

“I believe Goodbar was originally called the Campus Lounge before the Aliotta’s,” Rabb says. “The son was the one that changed to name to Mister Goodbar in ‘68. People assume we have the name because of the movie, but that didn’t come out until almost 10 years later (1977’s Looking For Mr. Goodbar starring Diane Keaton and Richard Gere). During this 50-year span, owners tried changing the name to Campus Cafe and Mickey Rats for short periods. The details on all this are a little hazy talking with all of the regulars.”

Rabb worked as the Bar Manager for seven years under Massaro. “When it was his time to move on, he went above and beyond to give me an opportunity. He embraced his time as an owner and wanted to keep the integrity of Goodbar the same. He could move on, but take comfort that the bar, staff, and all the regulars would continue to on the way it had been for many years to come,” he says.

For me personally, Goodbar has meant an awful lot. I have been going there since I turned 21 (literally passed out there on a bar stool on my 21st birthday) and have so many wonderful memories. When I went to school at Buffalo State, Scott (Buffalo Beer League co-founder) and I used to spend our Bengal Pause (free time during our lunch period on Tuesday and Thursday) at what we called Professor Goodbar’s class (pints of Guinness and pool at noon), before heading back to the Buff State library to sleep it off. 25-cent draft night was a must every week (Rolling Rock all night long), smoking cigars on the patio while people watching, and lunch beers after a day of shopping for records at New World Record and Home of the Hits. Damn those were good times. Cask Fest, and the VIP Night the past few years, is one of, if not my, favorite beer events of the year and Goodbar has been good to the Buffalo Beer League since day one as well. We hosted one of our ‘Beer, Bands and BBL’ events there with PA Line.

One of my favorite memories from Goodbar was sitting at the far end of the bar, mixing Frank Pale Ale and Snow Imperial Stout together at Community Beer Works’ Third Anniversary Party. Goodbar was actually CBW’s first ever retail account, and a vital driving force behind their early success.

“Rudy [Watkins] and Ethan [Cox] were longtime friends and customers before starting CBW,” Rabb says. “I have had the pleasure of drinking Rudy’s beer long before CBW when he was home brewing. Ethan and Rudy were both Goodbar regulars and played a huge role in advocating for the bar, beer club, and all of our events. Ethan wrote for Buffalo Rising years ago and even did some video projects as well where Goodbar was a feature. I know they did a special release of their beer beforehand. Goodbar and Coles were where they chose to do the official launch party. I think Goodbar and Coles are unique in where you can get great beer at both places.”

When it comes to some of his favorite memories, Rabb says that it is nearly impossible to pinpoint any one particular moment, though the customers themselves have been the most memorable.

“I have so many memories. It’s really hard to put down anything specific. But just generally speaking, I used to love talking to customers that would tell me that their parents met at Goodbar or I’d meet an older couple that said they met at Goodbar years ago. Now since if been at the bar for 15 years, I actually know the customers when they were single, met at the bar, and are now married and are starting families! Seeing that come full circle is absolutely amazing!”

“Goodbar has been my life for the past 15 years. My wife, family, and friends have all embraced that with me. My co-workers, and customers throughout the years have been as big a part of my life as anything. I have had the privilege to own and keep the traditions alive that has made a place so special for so long.”

Goodbar isn’t just a sports bar, it isn’t just a comedy or music venue, it’s not just a neighborhood corner or dive bar, it’s actually all of those things. A copper bar top that never changes, dart boards, pool tables, stages upstairs and down, an underrated patio with some of the city’s best people watching, a picture of Tom Brady in the urinal trough in the men’s room to relieve yourself on, a killer tap list with regular cask offerings, these are all things Goodbar has, but it is so much more than that. Hell, even Rancid played at Goodbar in 1994 and Rusted Root hit the stage in 2010, so that’s really saying something.

“We have stayed true to who we are,” Rabb says. “Some people will call us a dive bar. Some people will call us a college bar. I don’t like to put any label on us. To me, we are a neighborhood establishment with regulars that are as close as family. We are also in an area that is a destination for people from all over the city and suburbs. I have always believed Goodbar to be an alternative bar. Not only because of the music we promote, but also because we are unique enough to be an alternative to any other option. We have a very eclectic crowd. From college kids, to old professionals. Our staff embraces it and our customer base does too.”

“I think we give people a place to enjoy beer on all levels,” Rabb adds of Goodbar’s lasting appeal. “We offer weekly free tastings, a monthly beer club, and a number of events throughout the year. We pride ourselves in offering a wide selection and keeping up with the current brewing trends. We also offer a relaxing, unpretentious atmosphere, where friends can get together, watch a game, listen to a band, play darts or pool, or just kick back on the patio.”

And as for the future? Rabb says that Goodbar is going “to continue to do what we do. And hopefully for another 50 years! We will continue to help grow the craft beer scene in Buffalo. We are proud to be a staple on Elmwood and look forward to the evolution of not only our neighborhood but the entire city of Buffalo.”

50 years, that’s two years before the Buffalo Sabres were formed. What an accomplishment. And if you’re curious, the traditional 50th anniversary gift is gold, which is fitting for Mr. Goodbar, a hallowed local institution that is nothing short.

For more information about Mr. Goodbar’s 50th Anniversary Party, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/196906610803714/.

**Special thank you to Buffalo State College for providing the archival photographs**

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 buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Goodbar 50th Anniversary, Rusty Nickel’s Slice O’Havens Day, Dude Hates Cancer fundraiser, 42 North/Borderland Fest cans

Mr. Goodbar to Commemorate 50 Years of Good Times with Good Friends

After first opening their doors back in 1968, Mr. Goodbar has become one of this city’s most vaunted watering holes and will celebrate five decades in business on August 15 (6pm). The party will feature live music upstairs and down from Kevin McCarthy, Cooler and Rust Belt Brigade, Karaoke with DJ Danny D, complimentary food, drink specials and a special collaboration beer from a number of Western New breweries, a double dry-hopped hazy IPA with Voss yeast. The beer should be punchy and loaded with citrus. Former employees receive their first drink on the house and employee discounts all night.

Rusty Nickel Brewing Celebrate Slice O’ Havens Day

Rusty Nickel Brewing are dedicating an entire day, which also just so happens to be National Creamsicle Day, to one of their flagship brews, Slice O’ Havens Imperial Cream Ale, which resembles the taste of a creamscile, on August 14 (5pm). The beer, which took home a Silver medal in the Fruit and Spice Beer – over 6.0 ABV category at the second annual New York State Craft Beer Competition, will be celebrated all day long with new and exciting mixologies (drinks made with beer and spirits) with various Slice O’ Havens creations featuring plenty of those orange and vanilla treats.

The Dude Hates Cancer, Resurgence Present Homebrew for a Good Cause

The Dude Hates Cancer and Resurgence Brewing are teaming up to present the 5th Annual The Dude’s Charity Homebrew Competition on August 11 at 12pm. For a $25 donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (100% of which goes to the charity), you can sample beers from 20+ homebrewers and cast your vote to help to pick a winner. Since its inception, The Dude Hates Cancer has raised over $295,000 for LLS. The campaign currently runs in two cities, Philadelphia (where it was founded in 2006) and Buffalo (where the founder is from and lives). For more information, visit http://buffalo.thedudehatescancer.com/.

42 North Rolls Out Special Borderland Festival IPA Cans

In honor of next month’s Borderland Music and Arts Festival coming to East Aurora, 42 North Brewing has released a special edition, limited run Borderland IPA can. The limited edition 16oz can integrates the festival’s branding and features the line-up for the inaugural festival. Cans will see limited distribution throughout WNY, and, at select retailers, consumers will have the opportunity to win a 2-Day Weekend Pass to Borderland Festival. Look for the Borderland Festival display at retailers Brewed and Bottled, Aurora Brew Works, Hamm and Fattey’s and Village Beer Merchant for your chance to win. No purchase necessary to enter.

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 buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Behind the Green Door: A Retrospective of My Time at Community Beer Works’ Lafayette Home

As 80’s hair metal merchants Cinderella famously sang, you don’t know what you got till it’s gone, and while what we had was six wonderfully long years with Community Beer Works’ quaint, understated home at 15 Lafayette Avenue, it still doesn’t seem like enough. I’m as excited as the next guy, actually I’m probably more excited than most, for what lies ahead as CBW moves into their spacious new digs at 520 7th Street on a full time basis, I won’t soon forget all of the memories and all of the friends I’ve made after walking through that green door.

It has been fun while it has lasted, and, as they say, nothing lasts forever and nothing gold can stay. So as CBW moves forward, I wanted to look back at some of my favorite memories from all of my time spent at 15 Lafayette Ave. And just as important as the memories are the people who helped create them, past and present employees of CBW, some of who have become very close friends of mine.

The beer is a big part, obviously, as CBW are responsible for two of my all-time favorite Buffalo beers – Mr. Superfantastisch Berliner Weisse and Rutherford Brett Haze. Frank, Whale, Heatrays, the Singularity IPA series, and De Maas – if I were to sit here and list out every memorable beer I’ve ever had at CBW, I’d get carpal tunnel. Seriously, there are a lot.

Onto the memories. Oh man, the memories. I almost feel bad, because I don’t exactly remember them all, and I feel terrible leaving some out. The Friends of Frank fundraisers were always awe-inspiring; watching CBW raise thousands of dollars for local causes with just one beer is truly something to behold. The Raid on Black Rock with Resurgence Brewing, Heatrays verticals, Snow verticals, singing 80’s power ballads with Justin at the Power Ballad DIPA release, jamming to Gravy at The Stouting, drinking through the draft board with our friends from Henderson Brewing in Toronto, the third and fourth anniversary parties at the brewery, the That IPA can release, lunch beers on the weekends, CBW Book Club (seriously, can we bring this back?), game nights (still undefeated at Connect Four), Snow Day 2015 (pretty sure I still have a bottle of Snow 2012), and so many more that it’s literally hurting my brain right now straining to think of them all.

In addition to being a rad space with killer beer, CBW has also meant a lot to me professionally. They were one of the first breweries to support the Buffalo Beer League years ago and have been big supporters ever since. It’s hard to imagine where the BBL would be if not for them. Ethan [Cox] and Chris [Smith] and the rest of the team have been so good to me both personally and professionally that it’s really hard to put into exact words. Now if you’ll excuse me, I seem to have something in my eye.

I know it’s not goodbye forever, it’s goodbye for now, or as CBW puts it – embeer you later, but this is still a bitter pill for me. I’ve made so many memories at 15 Lafayette, but now it’s time to head a few miles up the road and start making some new ones at 520 7th Street.

My only regret is that we never got Joe Biden in town to claim his free drink…

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 buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Borderland Festival to Host Brewery Nights Throughout WNY

The inaugural Borderland Music and Arts Festival will be hosted at Knox Farm State Park on September 22nd and 23rd. The inaugural fest will feature more than 20 bands throughout the two-day festival and highlight the renaissance of the region, including it’s growing craft beer industry. Participating breweries include 42 North, Community Beer Works, Resurgence Brewing Company, Big Ditch Brewing, Ithaca Brewing Company, Blackbird Cider, and Hamilton, Ontario’s Collective Arts.

To provide a preview of the festival, Borderland will host “Road to the Borderland” nights at regional breweries. In addition to Buffalo-brewed craft beer, the “Road to the Borderland” nights will feature local artisans, ticket giveaways, and the chance for fans to purchase tickets to the festival (without service fees).

WHEN: 5pm until 8pm

WHERE:

Friday, August 3 – Resurgence Brewing Company
Friday, August 17 – 42 North Brewing Company
Friday, August 24 – Big Ditch Brewing Company
Friday. August 31 – Community Beer Works

For more information on the Borderland Music and Arts Festival, log onto www.borderlandfestival.com.

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Buffalo Brewpub, 12 Gates Brew Up Something Special for Man’s Best Friend

One of the best qualities of craft beer is its ability to foster positive change with each fill of the glass. Buffalo Brewpub is putting their locally created suds to work at Paws at the Pub on August 5 (12-5pm), a fundraiser for the SPCA Serving Erie County to support homeless pets in need.

The pet-free event (rain or shine) will feature fun music, tasty food, great drinks, basket raffles, a silent auction, 50/50 and door prizes. But most importantly, the event is designed to raise money to support the SPCA and every single one of man’s best friends. And Buffalo Brewpub are doing their part to make this year by partnering with 12 Gates Brewing on a special beer for the occasion, a Passionfruit Mango Kolsch.

The Brewpub’s Chris Townsell and 12 Gates’ Scott Shuler partnered up for the brew at the Brewpub, and debuted it a short while back at the Buffalo Brewers Festival. Townsell says that in the weeks since the fest (June 23), the beer has changed as it has been filtered and the beer ratio has been tweaked. Townsell adds that it was Shuler’s idea for the fruit concoction.

“It was Scott’s idea to do the Passionfruit Mango,” he says. “We wanted to make a beer that would be approachable to a wider group (versus an IPA or Stout). It’s a malty kolsch with lots of infused fruit, which made it a dark for being a kolsch. It’s very refreshing – a perfect summer beer, we think.”

Shuler adds that he and Townsell were looking to brew a nice summer beer and figured out how to make it after a trip to the grocery store.

“Chris and I talked about a nice summer beer that was both approachable and fun,” he says. “We kicked around a few ideas that work brew well on Chris’ 10bbl brewhouse and decided on a summer kolsch.  But we also wanted to make is special so we decided on blending the beer on some exotic and tropical fruit. After roaming around the grocery store we decided that mango and passionfruit would compliment the beer really well. We anticipate and expect a nice crisp and clean kolsch base and soft tropical aromas and flavors and around 5% alcohol. And I am hoping I can talk Chris into wearing a hula skirt for the event to serve the beer.”

While at Paws at the Pub, you can also learn about Paws in the Park, the SPCA’s signature event. Learn more the event, grab posters, lawn signs and fundraising materials and get $5 off by pre-registering that day. Paws in the Park invites people to come with (or without) their dog for a scenic two-mile walk at Beaver Island State Park and will be held on September 22.

This is a free event and open to all ages. For more information, please visit http://yourspca.org/paws-at-the-pub, visit the Buffalo Brewpub or call 716-875-7360 ext. 243. The Buffalo Brewpub is located at 6861 Main Street, Williamsville, NY 14221.

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 buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Buffalo Beer Scores Big at 2nd Annual NY Craft Beer Competition

Buffalo beer was well represented on the medal podium at the second annual New York State Craft Beer Competition, quadrupling the total medal count from last year’s competition. This year, seven local breweries took home a whopping 12 medals in nine different categories, running the gamut of beer styles. Last year, only three breweries were awarded three medals.

Big Ditch were the big winners locally, tallying four medals, one of only two breweries to do so (the other being Peekskill Brewing from Peekskill, NY). Big Ditch built upon their lone medal win from last year by taking home four bronze medals – Deep Cut Double IPA in American DIPA, Hayburner in American IPA, Cinnamon Apple Amber Ale in Fruit and Spice Beer – over 6.0ABV and Towpath in Imperial Stout and Porter.

“Congratulations to our team of brewers who work hard every day to bring our region the highest quality of beers we are capable of,” Big Ditch said of the news.

Resurgence Brewing and Community Beer Works each took home a pair of medals. Resurgence won Silver in the American DIPA category for their Head in the Clouds DIPA and Silver in Imperial Stout and Porter for their Imperial Sponge Candy Milk Stout. CBW meanwhile won Silver in American IPA for That IPA and Silver in Brown Ale (American, British) for The Whale.

Elsewhere, Hamburg Brewing won Bronze in the Experimental category for Blackberry Sauce Imperial Blackberry Gose, Rusty Nickel Brewing took home Silver in Fruit and Spice Beer – over 6.0ABV for Slice O’ Havens, New York Beer Project repeated as medal winners with a Silver in Golden/Blonde Ale (American, Kolsch, Cream Ale) for Walter Kohlsch and 12 Gates Brewing got a Bronze in Light Lagers for their Festbier.

The statewide competition, now in its second year, featured 420 breweries and 642 beers entered, 45 medal-winning breweries with 72 total medals awarded, 24 style categories judged, plus Governor’s Excelsior Cup by 43 judges from across NYS, and out of the 642 entries, 264 entries qualified as NYS labeled beer under the current law of at least 20% NYS hops and 20% NYS malt.

For the second straight year, the Governor’s Excelsior Cup was awarded to Threes Brewing (Brooklyn), this time for their Passing Time Grisette. The brewery also took home the top prize in 2017 for their Vliet Pilsner.

Last year, Big Ditch, New York Beer Project and Thin Man Brewery all won medals at the first ever New York Craft Beer Competition, the second largest statewide competition in the country with 707 entries. Big Ditch was awarded Bronze in the American DIPA category for Deep Cut, Thin Man won Silver for Hyperballad in Belgian Other (Trappist, Strong, Etc.) and New York Beer Project was awarded Silver in Light Lager for their Lockport Lager.

The competition was organized by the New York State Brewers Association and Raise A Glass Foundation. The competition was held July 28 at the Radisson Hotel in Henrietta.

There’s something special brewing here in the Buffalo-Niagara region, and you don’t have to take my word for it. The proof is clearly in the pudding and people are starting to take notice.

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 buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Community Beer Works to Close Lafayette, Paws at the Pub, Booze & Brews, Pressure Drop Collabs

One Last Hurrah at Community Beer Works Lafayette Location

As Community Beer Works turns the page to their new, much larger location at 520 7th Street, they are set to close the book on their Lafayette Avenue brewery, which has served as their home for the past six years, but not before one last party on August 4 (12pm). The party goes until 7pm before shifting down the road to 7th Street for a preview of their new taproom and brewing facility. Shuttles will be provided. “It’s not goodbye forever,” CBW says. “Our Lafayette location will reopen sometime in 2019, but for now we must say, embeer you later!”

Buffalo Brewpub, 12 Gates Brew Special Beer for Paws at the Pub Fundraiser

Buffalo Brewpub is once again partnering with the SPCA Serving Erie County for Pubs at the Pub, a fundraising event to support homeless pets in need, on August 5 (12pm). The event will feature fun music, tasty food, basket raffles, a silent auction, 50/50, door prizes and great drinks, including Passionfruit Mango Koslch, a new collaboration from the Brewpub and 12 Gates Brewing brewed for this event. Expect a nice crisp and clean kolsch with soft tropical aromas and flavors and around 5% ABV. This is a free event and open to all ages. This is also a pet-free event.  

Flying Bison, Buffalo Distilling Team Up for Booze and Brews Music Festival

Flying Bison Brewing and neighbor Buffalo Distilling are joining forces for the inaugural Booze and Brews Music Festival, a full day of music, food and drink spanning both locations, on August 4 (12pm). For $10 you’ll get food/drink specials at both locations and access to a stacked bill, including The Trend (12:30pm – Flying Bison Outdoor Stage), A Band Named Sue (2pm – Flying Bison), The Steam Donkeys (3:15pm- Flying Bison), The Black Rock Beatles (4:30pm- Flying Bison), The Twang Gang (6pm- Flying Bison), Lazlo Hollyfeld (7:15pm- Flying Bison), Michael DiSanto (9pm- Buffalo Distilling) and Zak Ward (10pm- Buffalo Distilling).

Pressure Drop Brewing Collaborates With Big Ditch, SATO Brewpub

Pressure Drop Brewing has teamed up with Big Ditch Brewing and SATO Brewpub on a pair of new IPAs. Pressure Drop and Big Ditch brewed Aqua Buddha, a 7.5% West Coast IPA with Warrior, Columbus, Moasic, Hallertau Blanc and Simcoe and Azaaca hop oil. The beer, brewed at Pressure Drop, should be available in 3 weeks. Plans also call for around 100 cases of the beer to be canned. Pressure Drop also partnered with SATO on a hazy IPA brewed with Simcoe oil and Amarillo hops and double dry hopped with Loral and Mosaic. Should be availabe in 2-3 weeks.

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 buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Beers, Bands & Breweries: A Guide to the 3rd Annual Brews and Wines on the Water

There’s nothing better than a beautiful day along the waterfront, which you can enjoy at Brews & Wines on the Water 2018, held in conjunction with the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association, at North Tonawanda’s Gratwick Park (July 28, 2pm). The annual event combines some of the best and brightest bands around today with some of the best locally crafted beer and mead in Western New York.

Brews & Wines on the Water 2018 will allow you the ability to sample over 100 craft beers from all of your local favorites such as 12 Gates, 42 North, Big Ditch, Pressure Drop, Thin Man, Southern Tier, Community Beer Works, Ellicottville Brewing, Hamburg, Rusty Nickel and many, many more. And also for your sampling pleasure, Clarence’s Lilly Belle Meads will be on hand with a pair of their craft meads.

In addition to sampling beers, wines and mead, Brews & Wines on the Water 2018 will feature live performances from national recording artists Lord Huron and Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. Buffalo’s own Kurt and the Loders will also be taking to the stage. Those performances are included in the festival price, providing the most bang for your buck and one hell of a unique event.

Here’s what breweries (and meaderies) will be on hand as well as what thy will (tentatively) be bringing to pour:

12 Gates Brewing: Hermetic IPA, Cherry Vanilla Wheat
42 North Brewing: Asylum Porter, Island Farmhouse Sour Saison
Big Ditch Brewing: Low Bridge, Hayburner
Brickyard Brewing: White Bronco NEIPA, Ten Pints Pils
Buffalo Brewpub: Nickel City Dark Porter, Passion Fruit Mango Kölsch (collab with 12 Gates)
Buffalo Brewing Company: Cran Raz Wheat, Porter
Community Beer Works: That IPA, The Whale Brown Ale, Rutheford B. Haze
Ellicottville Brewing: Blueberry Wheat Ale, Ellicottville IPA
Eli Fish Brewing: Brewers Wife Blonde Ale, Awry Saison
Five & 20 Brewing: Pale Ale, Uncommon Passion Passion Fruit Radler
Flying Bison Brewing: Bisonberry Kolsch, Belgian White 100
Four Mile Brewing: The Pils Have Eyes, Tropical Wheat
Hamburg Brewing: Hamburg IPA, Two Two Mango
Lilly Belle Meads: Sour Girl Mead, Strawberry Basil Mead
New York Beer Project: Supernatural Sour, Lemon Chillo Shandy, I’ll Hefe Another Hefeweizen, Destination IPA
Pressure Drop Brewing: Strummer Belgina Blonde Ale, Sticky Trees IPA
Resurgence Brewing: Loganberry Wit, Cosmic Truth Session IPA
Rusty Nickel Brewing: Palletizer Pale Ale, Farmhouse Saison
Steelbound Brewery: Subabrew IPA, Kickin Kölsch
Southern Tier Brewing: IPA, Lemon Drop
Westshore Brewing: Akron Junction Cream Ale, All You Need is Shandy
Woodcock Brothers: IPA, Honey Saison

Tickets at GetMyPerks.com. General Admission tickets ($40 presale, $50 at door) includes tasting glass at entry, beer and wine sampling (3-6pm) and live performances from Lord Huron and Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear. VIP Tickets ($75) include early entry at 2pm, tasting glass at entry, VIP commemorative laminate, exclusive access into the VIP Tasting Tent with food from Hanzlian’s Sausage and ten (10) specialty beer samples of your choice, including: Goose Island Brasserie Noir, Founders 2018 KBS, Founders Backwoods Bastard, 42 North Red Army Russian Imperial Stout, Ommegang Double Barrel Dubbel, Hamburg Maybe Next Year, Ballast Point Barrel Aged Victory at Sea, Long Trail Barrel Aged Unearthed and Victory Sour Monkey, access to GA beer and wine sampling from 2-6pm and the live performances. The Artist Experience Ticket ($75) includes everything the VIP Ticket does as well as a photo meet + greet with Lord Huron and Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear.

This event is 21+ and all photo IDs, small bags and purses will be checked at the door by Security. GA doors open at 3pm and sampling ends at 6pm. Cash bar will be available 6-8pm.

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 buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Buffalo Brewing Company Celebrates Two Years In Business

On July 28, Buffalo’s coolest one-car garage, Buffalo Brewing Company, are set to celebrate their second year of keeping the lights on and the beer flowing, which is quite the accomplishment for a one-man operation, namely Brewer/Owner/Beertender/Jack-Of-All-Trades John Domres, who admits that while getting to this point hasn’t been the smoothest journey, it has been worth every bump in the road.

“We aren’t a multimillion dollar operation with a huge restaurant and 50 employees,” Domres says. “We are a one-man show from soup to nuts and I think people need to understand that this is an operation that was bootstrapped by one guy and his wife, not a millionaire. We earned our stake in this market with blood, sweat and lots of tears. It hasn’t been easy on me or my family, but like I was always told the best things in life aren’t free and I am willing to lay it all on the line day in and day out to make this thing a success. I think as the Buffalo beer market matures we hope we can differentiate ourselves with that simple motto. Life as the underdog? We are of this city, by this city and it really is a place with Good Neighbors and truly Great Beer, not just from us but Buffalo as a whole.”

The brewery, which opened its doors on July 30, 2016 following a successful Kickstarter campaign, has accomplished a lot during their first two years. They upgraded production capacity from 2 to 5 barrels, reconfigured their taproom to add more seating, added an authentic cask beer engine and have upgraded their ‘Shatio’ (their self-professed ‘Shitty Patio’) to a full-blown beer garden complete with plenty of seating (Domres says room for roughly 40), picnic tables, custom made keg tables and wooden Adirondack chairs, all housed under a giant shade sail.

So much hard work has been done to get to this point, so now it’s time to celebrate on July 28 (12-8pm). The party will feature live music from The Voice contestant Amanda Lee Peers (3:30-6:30pm), food trucks (O’Briens Farm Fresh Kitchen 12-4pm, Loose Cannon 4-8pm) and a trio of special beer releases – 1825 Triple Dry Hopped Session IPA (El Dorado, Amarillo, Azacca, Idaho 7 & Citra hops), 1817 Triple Dry Hopped DIPA (Chinook, Simcoe, Galaxy, Citra & Mosaic) & 2017 1813 Imperial Porter. There will be special raffles all day long for prizes such as free crowlers for a year (3 pack of crowlers each month for 12 months), a lighted Buffalo Brewing Company sign (one of only three in the US) and a Buffalo Sabres pre-party at the brewery (includes a sheet pizza and 20 pints). Tickets for the raffles are $5 for five tickets, $10 for 15 or $20 for 30. Special limited edition t-shirts made for the occasion will also be for sale ($20).

Looking back, Domres views their initial remodel after 15 months as a high water mark because it could not have been possible without some level of success in the first place. He also says that all of the relationships he has made along the way are what he is most proud of.

“I think it would be the remodel in 15 month after opening, showing that this business is successful and the people of Buffalo are reacting to what I am brewing,” he says of his proudest moment from the past two years. “It makes me proud to see this company grow, not only in volume, but with more employees and more impact in the WNY beer scene. I have always viewed us as the long shot, or the underdog, which is why I feel we couldn’t have a better name for our brewery, I mean c’mon isn’t our city the ultimate underdog and long shot?”

“Our first anniversary was really special! Seeing all the relationships we have built over the past year and see them coming to fruition was really awesome! I get to go to work every day doing what I love and support my family doing it. That’s really special.”

Domres says that the goal in the future is to establish a bigger foothold in Western New York bars and restaurants with increased distribution and to grow their operation, which includes a bigger and better headquarters. In short, he wants everyone to see a hell of a lot more of Buffalo Brewing Company in the coming years. He plans to add bigger tanks to the brewery starting next year to keep up with current demand.

“I think you will see BBC expand its footprint in WNY we now have great distribution and we are seeing beer appear in more bars and restaurants, which is what I want,” he says. “Get bigger to have an impact but not too huge where we lose what makes this place special, the beer. I think we will be putting in bigger tanks in 2019 again to help keep up with 1910 [Pilsner] and 1842 [Vienna Lager]. Of course packaging is important but we feel we need larger tanks to take advantage of that.”

And in case you were wondering, the traditional gifts f or a second anniversary are cotton or china. Gifts are optional of course. For more information on the event, click here.

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 buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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