Buffalo Beer Buzz: New 42 North sours, Ultimate Buffalo Brewery Bracket, Flying Bison lays out beer plans, new brewery coming to North Buffalo

42 North Goes To The Sour Side

42 North Brewing’s stable of sour beer is growing by two with the addition of Nomad and Sour Farmhouse 1. The first in our Surveyor (Barrel Aged) Series, Nomad (6% ABV), a Belgian blonde ale aged in French white wine barrels (which previously held apple cider at Blackbird Cider Works) with Brettanomyces, is available at 42N’s taproom in 22oz. bottles and Sour Farmhouse 1 (5.6% ABV) is an experimental tart sour saison using a new strain of Lactobacillus that’s brewed without hops then dry-hopped with Galaxy. The latter will be released March 21.

March Madness: Buffalo Brewery Style

Cast your vote for Buffalo’s ultimate brewery in Shredd & Ragan’s Buffalo Beer Bracket! Round 2 is now underway, pitting 8 of the area’s top breweries against each other. Have your voice heard in a tough second round by voting for matchups like Big Ditch Brewing vs. Flying Bison Brewing, Thin Man Brewery vs. Hamburg Brewing, Southern Tier Brewing Company vs. Ellicottville Brewing and Community Beer Works vs. 12 Gates Brewing. You can vote right now over at http://www.wedg.com/2017/03/13/shredd-ragans-buffalo-beer-bracket and just for voting you’ll be entered to win a One Gallon Beer Equipment Kit courtesy of Niagara Tradition Home Brew.

Lots Of New Beer Coming At Flying Bison

The draft lines at Flying Bison will be busy over the next few months. They’ve kegged a batch of HERC Barleywine that was aged six months in One Foot Cock Apple Brandy Barrels (out mid-April) and filled a freshly emptied OFC Bourbon barrel with a batch of Two Sisters Wee Heavy. Also set to be released is Bisonberry Kolsch (716 Kolsch with blackberries and blueberries)(mid-April), Porch Stoop India Pale Lager (early May), Juice Caboose, a New England-style IPA (bottles/draft by early summer) and Cloudy Judgement, another NE-style IPA, was brewed by brewing intern/future SATO Brewpub brewer Jonathan Huber. Whew.

New Brewery Coming To North Buffalo

The corner of Hertel and Colvin looks to be getting a new brewery, which will be owned and operated by Jesse Mclaughlin and business partner Michael Gloekler, which is set to open inside a building owned by Mclaughlin’s family, Buffalo Rising reports. Mclaughlin got heavily involved in craft beer while living in San Diego and moved back to Buffalo after getting married. Plans call for a five-barrel brewing system and an accessible urban style brewery with a tasting room. The current focus is on gutting the inside of the building as part of the renovation process. Stay tuned.

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 at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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The Best Beers for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day – the one day when all of us are a little Irish. So now onto more pressing matters – what to drink? And we’re not talking about watered down green beer.

There are so many options for what to drink this St. Patrick’s Day, which is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you have a seemingly endless selection of locally sourced, hand-crafted beer at your disposal, which presents a conundrum at the same time – what to drink? It’s a simple question; one without a simple answer.

And that’s where we come in. Well, this article at least.

If you need help deciding on your adult libations for this St. Patrick’s Day, let us, let these words, help put your mind at ease. We have compiled a list of over a dozen of the area’s best beer to enjoy on Patty’s Day.

12 Gates Brewing Irish Dry Stout (4.7% ABV): “You don’t need green beer to celebrate St. Patty’s Day,” 12 Gates says. “Instead celebrate with our Irish Dry Stout. With loads of soft roast, creamy texture, and at only 4.7% you can responsibly enjoy a few.”

42 North Brewing Fenian Raid Irish Stout (Nitro) (4.5% ABV) & Leann Dearg Irish Red Ale (5.5% ABV): The Fenian Raid Irish Stout is full of smoke and dark chocolate, while the Leann Dearg Irish Red offers everything you want in an Irish Red – toasted malts, slight roast notes and a dry finish.

Big Ditch Brewing Galaxy Red (7% ABV): “Not a traditional Irish Red by any means, although it does have a nice malt backbone,” Big Ditch says, “it mixes that maltiness with tropical hop flavors like pineapple, mango, and papaya from the Australian Galaxy hops used.  A nice hoppy alternative this St. Patrick’s Day!”

Buffalo Brewing Company 1841 Irish Red (6% ABV): BBC’s Irish Red is made with Irish malt and British hops. The Larkin brewery is offering pints of the new brew for $4 and crowlers for $8 (3/$20 crowler special, 1841 only) for St. Patrick’s Day (additional crowler specials – 3/$22 of all other beer and 3/$25 IPA).

Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing NY Stout (6.5% ABV): A traditional Irish stout that completely and utterly approachable – notes of rich dark chocolate and coffee beans. This beer is available in at Five & 20’s Westfield tasting room and at select retailers in Western NY. If you visit their Westfield location, you can pick up some Rye Whiskey while you’re at it.

Four Mile Brewing Red Arm Ale (6.4% ABV): This beer is dedicated to Mercy Flight WNY. Three years ago, Four Mile’s president and head brewer was medevac’d to Buffalo after suffering a brewing accident. They saved his life.

Flying Bison Aviator Red (5.25% ABV): Aviator Irish Red Ale is an obvious choice.  Aviator is one of Flying Bison’s original beers from 2000 when they opened on Ontario Street. It’s a tribute to one of their founders, Larry “Red” Mrozek who passed away before the brewery opened. The beer is modeled after Smithwick’s Barley Wine.

Hamburg Brewing Irish Red (4.8% ABV): Smooth, malty and just the right amount of roasted.

New York Beer Project Dublin the Funn Irish Red (6% ABV):  Funn is a lighter, more funn version of last year’s Irish Red, which NYBP called ‘Red Eye to Dublin,’ because on St. Pat’s Day it’s all about being able to drink more completely fresh Irish Red Ale.

Old First Ward Red Clover (5.5% ABV): “Our Red Clover is an Irish Red that breaks the mold of the mass-marketed malty beers you commonly see,” OFW says of the brew. “We balance a mild malt sweetness with a nice roastiness to make a very drinkable beer.”

Pan-Am Brewery Roosevelt Red (5.3% ABV): Pan-Am’s flagship house made red, which is also an Irish Red.

Pearl Street Brewery Street Brawler Oatmeal Stout (4.5% ABV): A full bodied stout sure to satiate the Patty in all of us.

Resurgence Brewing Irish Breakfast Ale (5.2% ABV) and Imperial Irish Breakfast Ale (9.5% ABV): Both feature a red ale with notes of maple, coffee and smoked meat. The imperial version has been aged to pump up those flavors. Its higher alcohol content makes it a perfect sipper. Both are available at our taproom and at local beer sellers, but supplies are limited.

Rusty Nickel Brewing Red Beer’D Irish Red (6% ABV): The brand new Red Beer’D Irish Red was brewed in the traditional style (yet just a little different) specifically for St. Paddy’s Day and named after Head Brewer Dave Johnson’s very red beard (also grown for St. Paddy’s Day).  It was designed to be slightly malty with a wildflower honey finish and completely crushable.  Perfect for leprechauns!

Woodcock Brothers Brewing Dry Irish Stout (Nitro) (5% ABV): “This brew is an obvious ode to Guinness and their genre defining Irish Stout,” the brewery says of the beer. “Our version is brewed in the traditional style, no additives or adjuncts. Just the hops and toasty malts to give it a naturally roasted coffee type flavor. It’s soft, smooth, creamy and delicious. We fly through it at the brewery every March. It’s served cold at 40 degrees in pint glasses, or as a mix with our Red Head Amber Ale as a Black and Tan.”

Slainte! Or in the words of a traditional Irish blessing, ‘May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.’

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 at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: New St. Patrick’s Day beers at 42 North, Woodcock plans XPA 10 & 11, Hamburg Brewing drops 2 new IPAs, Buffalo Brewing goes (Irish) Red

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at 42 North

If you’re going to be Irish for a day, then what better place to be than a brewery? And this St. Paddy’s Day, there’s no better place to be than 42 North Brewing, who will be tapping a pair of special beers in honor of the occasion. On March 17, the brewery is releasing a Pilot Batch Dry Irish Stout as well as a Pilot Batch Irish Red Ale, but wait there’s more. 42 North is also tapping a cask of Dry Irish Stout dry-hopped w/ El Dorado hops in the taproom. In addition, a special menu by Root’s Kitchen will feature traditional Irish dishes and live music from Never Ben starts at 7pm. Slainte!

Woodcock Brothers To Release XPA 10 And 11, Simultaneously

Woodcock Brothers Brewing are upping the bar for the release of the next, not one, but two, iterations of their beloved XPA, as they will release both XPA 10 and 11 on March 24 (12pm). XPA 10 features a blend of Simcoe, Chinook and Centennial hops with Pilsner and White Wheat malt (dry-hopped with Simcoe) and XPA 11 has El Dorado, Lemon Drop and HBC 682 hops, Pilsner, White Wheat, Oats and Caramel malt and was twice dry-hopped with all 3 hops varietals. Woodcock is also planning to have special conditioned versions of each on cask (tentatively one version with mango and another with scotch bonnet peppers). There will be a limit 3 4-packs per person of each version – 1 case total. Limited amounts of both XPAs will be distributed throughout WNY.

Hamburg Brewing Debuts Two New IPAs

A pair of new hoppy brews have hit the taps at Hamburg Brewing Company. The first is Single Hop, an American Pale Ale, which clocks in at an approachable 5.6% ABV and features hints of key lime on both the palette and the nose thanks to experimental X331 hops and the second is Tax Relief IPA (6.2% ABV), made with four types of malts and Simcoe and Mosaic hops, which gives the beer notes of citrus and pine. And for those that dig the hoppy stuff, Hamburg also currently has Gary’s Wild Hops Pale Ale, Oat Is the New Hop Pale Ale, Tart IPA, flagship IPA and Hoppenstance Double IPA on tap. Flights anyone?

Buffalo Brewing Company Is Seeing (Irish) Red

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Buffalo Brewing Company has released their 1841 Irish Red (6% ABV), made with Irish malt and British hops. “We are very excited about 1841 Irish Red Ale! Especially because we’re using malt from Ireland and hops from Britain,” Buffalo Brewing Company says of their new Irish Red. The Larkin brewery is offering pints of the new brew for $4 and crowlers for $8 (3/$20 crowler special, 1841 only) this weekend for St. Patrick’s Day (additional crowler specials – 3/$22 of all other beer and 3/$25 IPA). Buffalo Brewing is open at 11am both Saturday and Sunday for all of your drinking needs.

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 at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Drink Local section launches, more Deep Cut coming, Windy Brew opens their doors, Southern Tier releases nu IPA

 

StepOutBuffalo Wants Us All To Drink Local

StepOutBuffalo.com has launched a new Drink Local section, which was created in partnership with Taste NY, an initiative launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013 to promote New York’s food and beverage industries. This program is designed to increase awareness of local beverage producers in Western New York and give locals and visitors an easy-to-navigate, accessible way to learn more about the region’s’ up-and-coming craft beverage industry. The Drink Local section features business listings for all area craft beverage producers complete with product lists, photos, hours of operation, special event postings and articles on products, staff, techniques, events and the experience of visiting and touring these local craft beverage facilities. Check it out right now at http://stepoutbuffalo.com/drink-local.

Deep Cut Cans Return For Round 2

Cans of Big Ditch Brewing’s Deep Cut Double IPA will go back on sale on Saturday, March 11 at 11am and the brewery is making some changes for round two. 75-100 cases will be available this weekend, with another 75-100 cases hitting the sales floor the following weekend on Mar. 18 (11am). Purchase limits have also been lifted for the foreseeable future. Deep Cut will be available in 16 oz. 4-pack cans (for a tasty price of $14.99). And for those that miss out on the cans, Deep Cut will be on tap for pints and growler fills. Big Ditch has also promised that this will not be the last time that they can Deep Cut, with tentative plans for monthly releases.


Strykersville’s Windy Brew Is Open For Business

It certainly looks like the weather is picking up in Strykersville. OK, terrible pun aside, Wyoming County’s Windy Brew, opened by Bill and Michelle Snyder and inspired by Strykersville’s famous wind turbines, have officially opened their doors. The new microbrewery launched with eight beers on tap, English IPA, Snip’s West Coast IPA, Motueka Pale Ale, PTSD IPA, Sheldon Bush Cream Ale, Blondie’s Pale Ale, Red Cream Ale, Betsy’s Best Milk Stout and a pair of ciders, Berry and Raspberry Lime. Windy Brew will also offer a ‘brew your own’ option, which allows customers to choose from a list of beer recipes, take part in brewing the beer and then take some home when it’s completed. Windy Brew is open 4-9pm on Friday, 12-9pm Saturday and 12-6pm on Sundays. Visit www.windybrews.com for more information.

Southern Tier Goes Nu Skool With New IPA

Out with the old and in with the Nu – Skool that is. Southern Tier Brewing’s year-round beer offerings has grown by one with the addition of Nu Skool IPA, an Americanized IPA crammed with 3.5 pounds of experimental hop #07270, Mosaic, Simcoe and Equinox hops per barrel. “We spent over a year prototyping R&D versions of Nu Skool,” Southern Tier says of Nu Skool. “This final version is one special beer. It is an IPA with a slight malty sweetness, but overall balanced & brimming with tropical, fruity, spicy, piney & citrus character.” Pair with smoked meats, shellfish & spicy dishes or shortbread & tropical fruit tarts. Nu Skool can be found in cans (12oz. 6pk) and 12oz Bottles (6pk) as well as on draft.

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 at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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GZA the Genius and the GZA Pale Ale: A Mashup of Hip-Hop and Beer

When you’re watching GZA, aka The Genius, take the stage at the Waiting Room this weekend, make sure you have a pint of his namesake beer in hand, aka Community Beer Works’ GZA Pale Ale, which will be on tap at the concert venue for the highly anticipated show.

The beer is not only named for the Wu-Tang founding member, it’s also a clever acronym using its component hops, Galaxy, Zythos and Amarillo. The tropical brew is the brainchild of CBW’s own Drew Hardin, who says that brewing this particular beer has long been a dream of his.

“I have had a long dream of doing a Wu-Tang beer series,” Hardin says. “I have Wu member beers/styles picked out already – “The Chef” Peppercorn Saison, ODB Malt Liquor, Method Imperial Stout, etc. Music is a huge influence in almost any craft. Craft beer is no different. Almost everyone listens to music at work. Or at least they should. I brew to music. I listen to a lot, I mean A LOT, of hip hop – old school hip-hop. I’m a child of the 80s and old school golden era hip-hop. And Wu-Tang is for the children. It has had a huge impact on my life. And I make beer so the music makes a direct impact on my life and what I do.”

“GZA Pale Ale has a nice mellow medium malt forward base I have used in the past,” he adds of the beer. “Like a drum beat that I need to find the right hop harmony to lace over the top with. Tropical hops, a mellow malt bill and a level balance between the two are music to my mouth.”

Hardin only hopes that if GZA enjoys a fresh pint of GZA Pale Ale, he appreciates all of the hard work, time and energy that went into brewing it, just as Hardin appreciates all of those very same qualities that go into each and every one of GZA’s tracks.

“If GZA had this beer what would I hope his reaction be? Well I don’t know if Bobby Digital is a hoppy craft beer drinker. However, I would hope he can appreciate the time and effort put into a beer based on his influence on my life. I don’t know if my beer would touch him the same way his music has touched my life, but I hope he would see the effort put in to make a quality beer just like his time and effort makes a quality track I enjoy.”

Ironically enough, for someone who brewed a beer for a group member and that has vision of brewing a beer for other Wu-Tang members; Hardin doesn’t have one favorite Wu-Tang song.

“I do not have a favorite Wu-Tang song. I love anytime I hear the Wu in a public forum. Wu-Tang fans are a great group of folks that you can never really spot until something like “Da Rockwilder” comes over the jukebox. 36 Chambers. That “Pinky Ring” shit. Liquid Swords. It’s all good.”

GZA will perform at the Waiting Room on February 25 at 8pm with Meyhem Lauren and Short Moscato also set to perform. There are still a limited amount of tickets left ($25 advance, $30 doors) and can be purchased at www.ticketfly.com.

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 at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Kegs & Eggs at Resurgence, Beer & Wings at Mr. Goodbar, Craft Beer Corner at Buffalo Home Show, new beers at 42 North

Resurgence Gets Experimental in the Brewhouse

Resurgence Brewing is once again filling their chalkboard with some off-the-wall concoctions for the next installment of Kegs & Eggs on Sunday, March 5 (1-5pm). After producing such brews in the past as S’mores Porter, Taste the Rainbrau and Lemon Drop IPA, this time around Kegs & Eggs will pit Resurgence’s bar, kitchen and brew staffs against each other, as each will create their own beer and square off for bragging rights and the chance to have their beer join the permanent lineup and your vote decides who wins. Breakfast will also be available.

Some of the beers that will be available this time around will be a Blueberry Pancake beer, a collaboration with Ontario’s Block Three Brewing, a juicy Brett IPA, a collaboration with Clint Perez, Clint’s Clementine Kolsch and a Mimosa-style beer. For the competition, the RBC teams have brewed a pair of IPAs, a Lemon Wheat beer with Limoncello and a cream-style ale.

It’s a Buffalo Thing: Mr. Goodbar Pairs Wings and Beer

Buffalo is a drinking town with a chicken wing problem. Or is it, we’re a chicken wing town with a drinking problem? Either way, eating wings and drinking great beer are two things this city does best and Mr. Goodbar are looking to pair the beloved items at their Beer & Wings Pairing with 42 North Brewing on Mar. 5 (5-7pm). While most wing styles probably won’t be finalized until the Friday before the event, it is known that Bacon Wrapped Chiavettas Wings will be part of the pairing as will 42 North beers Wallonia Wit, Borderland IPA, Norcia Belgian Dubbel and Asylum Porter on cask. The event is $20 and includes 4 10oz. beers and 4 rounds of 3 specialty wings.

Craft Beer Corner Returns to the Buffalo Home Show

It’s Happy Hour at the 2017 Buffalo Home Show on both Friday nights (March 3 & 10) from 5:30-8:30pm in the Craft Beer Corner (by the Feature Stage), where show attendees can kick back and sample a number of beers, including New Belgium Brewing (Voodoo Ranger and Fat Tire), Brooklyn Brewing (Bel Air Sour and Defender IPA), Saranac Brewing (S’more Porter and Clementine Pale Ale) and Resurgence (Cosmic Truth and Irish Breakfast). Tom Ragan (of ‘The Shredd and Ragan Show’) will again host the event and will be choosing people from the audience to participate on stage for Couples Home Improvement Challenges, Hammer Races and a Build-a-Box contest. Use the promo code BEER to receive $4 off tickets at www.buffalohomeshow.org.

42 North Stays Busy with New Beers

42 North isn’t slowing down anytime soon in the new beer department with two new offerings this week. First, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, they will tap their Norcia Belgian-Style Dubbel (7% ABV), an Abbey-Style beer named for the Italian birthplace of Saint Benedict, the City of Norcia. Norcia has an amber-brown color, rich caramel maltiness, fruit and phenolic spice touches with a slight hoppy dryness in the finish. Second, Grain Against the Machine (6.8% ABV), an American Style Amber made with Cascade and Willamette hops which won the gold medal in the ‘American Amber & Brown Ale’ category at the 2016 Amber Waves of Grain Homebrew Competition, will hit taps at Friday, Mar. 3 (6-9pm). The beer was brewed by Alex Sowyrda (Brewer/ Head of Recipe Development) and homebrewer Collin Corcoran.

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 at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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Beer for a Good Cause: Seneca Street Community Development Corporation Raises Funds at Resurgence Brewing

The Seneca Street Community Development Corporation is holding a fundraiser to raise money to continue the free programs our organization provides to the South Buffalo community.  The event is on Thursday, February 23, from 6-8pm at Resurgence Brewery.  The purchase of one ticket includes 2 drink tickets at the bar as well as food.  We will also have basket raffles, a silent auction, and a 50/50 raffle. A ticket to the Seneca Street CDC Resurgence Fundraiser is $25.

The Seneca Street Community Development Corporation (CDC) is a small, 501(c)3 non-profit located in the Seneca Babcock neighborhood of South Buffalo. The Seneca Street CDC provides educational After School, summer and Teen Programs free of charge to sixty students and ten teens, many of whom are caught in the cycle of generational poverty.

During the After School program, which is currently in session, the children are comprehensively supported by college student volunteers and community volunteers who assist with homework.  The CDC staff and volunteers also provide recreational and enrichment classes, and by community members who assist in the kitchen to provide the children with both snack and dinner Monday through Thursday throughout the school year.

Seneca Street Community Development Corporation’s services address a variety of serious gaps in the area. Seeing as the Seneca Babcock community has been categorized as a food desert, they ameliorate concerns over food security by providing dinner, which may be the only meal available for the children until breakfast the next morning at their schools. They address concerns of low academic achievement through the presence of college student volunteers who have been thoroughly trained to assist and encourage the children to succeed, health and obesity by providing healthy snacks and meals and by hosting physical enrichment programs such as Girls on the Run and also provide the students with reliable role models and assist them as they grow and develop into teens and adults.

The Seneca Street CDC provides these services free of charge; by charging families for this care, they fear that many of the students in the neighborhood would be unable to attend the program leaving them without a safe place to spend their afterschool hours, without homework help and without extracurricular activities. In order to provide these services, however, they have become dependent on grants, fundraisers, and private donations.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Hamburg & Ellicottville Brewing get tart on the 219, the History of Brewing Beer is told, CBW & Rare Form team, Pan-Am gets fruity with new cask

Hamburg Brewing and Ellicottville Brewing Connect via the 219

Hamburg Brewing Company and Ellicottville Brewing Company have again teamed up, this time for the latest entry into their collaborative 219 Series, a Tart IPA (7.3% ABV). This 7.3% tart IPA is brewed with Simcoe, Galaxy and Mosaic hops and is the hybrid offspring of a kettle sour and an IPA together, which was then dry-hopped. The fourth installment of the 219 Series, following the Jasmine IPA, Chai Saison and GalaxTea, was crafted with mild malts, juicy hops and a touch of tartness provided by sour wort. The Tart IPA is an easy drinker, even at 7.3%, with notes of tropical fruit and melon with a subtle tart touch. Find it on tap at HBC right now.

Relive the History of Brewing Beer with Sullivan’s Brewing Master Brewer

If you’re interested in learning more about beer history, don’t miss ‘The History of Brewing Beer,’ which will be held at the Tewksbury Lodge on February 25th (3-5pm) with Sullivan’s Brewing Master Brewer Ian Hamilton, who is making his way to Buffalo from Kilkenny, Ireland. “Sullivan’s Brewing Company officially debuted in the United States in December 2016, and it was because of a commitment to Buffalo’s renaissance that this city was selected as our first U.S. market,” Hamilton said. “It is a pleasure to visit once again to discuss the history of brewing with the beer-loving people of Buffalo.” The event is open to the public and you’re encouraged to register by calling (716) 840-2866. A limited food menu will be available.

Drink All Things New York with Community Beer Works and Rare Form

Community Beer Works and Troy’s Rare Form Brewing Company are keeping things nice and local with the release of R3! Resistance Raw Rye Pale Ale, the second beer in their ‘West meets East’ series on Thursday, Feb. 23 (3-8pm). CBW’s Ryan Demler was sent to Troy to brew this pale ale, which uses raw rye from Rensselaer County, malt from Niagara Malt LLC and hops from Whipple Brothers Farms and local farms in the Finger Lakes region. Rare Form owner Kevin Mullen will be on hand for the release, as will a keg of their Sexy Beats IPA. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to grab a pint and help celebrate all things New York!

Pan-Am Brewery Casks up Grapefruit Terminator IPA

Pan-Am Brewery will be tapping a cask of Grapefruit Terminator IPA, their house made West-Coast style Terminator IPA infused with real grapefruit, at 4pm on Friday, Feb. 24. Terminator IPA is described as ‘a traditional pale ale pushed to the line between IPA and pale ale with loads of high-powered Pacific Northwest hops that provide bitterness, flavor, and aroma.’ The name is an homage to Mr. Rocco Termini, Pan-Am’s partner in the Hotel Lafayette project. And while you’re enjoying a fresh cask pull, check out Pan-Am’s newly renovated game room including shuffleboard, two pinball machines, a pool table and a dart board.

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 at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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‘Braving’ the Weather in the Name of Hops: Our Favorite Beer from the 2nd Annual Winter Hop Fest

You’ve heard it before – Buffalo is a drinking town, through and through. Hell, even Mother Nature must be fan of beer, especially after the unseasonable weather she bestowed upon us for the 2nd Annual Winter Hop Fest, held in the biergarten at Old First Ward Brewing and Gene McCarthy’s.

The sold out event brought together only the hoppiest of boozy wares poured by the best of the best locally, including 12 Gates, Community Beer Works, Big Ditch, Thin Man, Rusty Nickel Brewing, Hamburg Brewing, Ellicottville Brewing, Four Mile Brewing, Flying Bison, 42 North Brewing, Woodcock Brothers and Resurgence Brewing.

We were floored by a number of beers at the event, but somehow managed to whittle our list down to five, with honorable mention to 42 North’s Mosaic Enforcer and Hamburg/Ellicottville Brewing’s Tart IPA, the latest in their 219 Series. So, without any further ado, these were our favorite beers from the 2nd Annual Winter Hop Fest (in no particular order):

Big Ditch Trois IPA – Huge juicy hits of tropical fruit and melon and reminiscent of a New England-style IPA. One of the day’s best. This is the latest in Big Ditch’s Innovation Series and uses Saccharomyces Trois, a “wild” strain of Saccharomyces yeast.

Community Beer Works Hoppy Porter – A solid porter with soft hops and a good blend of roast and dark malt. It’s an approachable beer for the style without being too simplistic flavor-wise.

Old First Ward #Mashtag IPA on cask – Another IPA in the New England style. A nice balance between grapefruit and pine, which was only enhanced by the cask.

Rusty Nickel Melon Hop IPA – Loads of melon-forward citrus, as you’d expect given its name, with an unexpected yet pleasant tart bite. This was a fun beer.

Thin Man Oat, No You Didn’t Double IPA – Drank up to every percent of its massive 9.5 ABV. It’s big with notes of sweet, flaky oats on the body.

It’s just further proof that beer, especially the hoppy stuff, is truly a universal language, one that everyone speaks. It’s safe to say that we’re already looking forward to next year.


*Written in conjunction with Mark Jowett. All photos courtesy of Mark Jowett.

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 at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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What A Year For Beer: The Buffalo-Niagara Beer Scene’s Elite Share Their Favorite Beers From 2016

In terms of beer, 2016 was one hell of a year. New breweries popped up at every turn, new beers were released seemingly every day and, no matter what type or style of beer you’re into, you could easily find something tasty to imbibe. Yes, 2016 was indeed a banner year for beer, local or otherwise.

The Brewers Association reports that, as of June 2016, there were a record high of 4,656 breweries in the U.S. (with an estimated 2,200 breweries in planning), an increase of 917 breweries over the previous year, a number that now stands north of 5,000. Perhaps most importantly however is the fact that craft brewers currently employ an estimated 121,843 full-time and part-time workers throughout the U.S.

As for individual beer styles, the Brewers Association reports that IPA’s currently represent one-quarter of the craft beer market. And not far behind are golden ales, pilsners and pale lagers, which are up 33%.

So on that note, we spoke with a number of Buffalo beer luminaries, including a number of our friends from the scene as well as brewers, brewery owners and managers, about their favorite beers from the past 365 days, whether it be their own, other local offerings and even non-local beers.

Willard Brooks, Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association President: My number one beer of 2016 was the Wise PA. Beyond that, my favorites included Blackberry Farms Brett Fruit Blend, Kerkom Reuss, Old First Ward Streaker, Flying Bison Brindle Porter, Suarez Family Brewery Pilsner, Thin Man Thin Geist Adambier, Woodcock Brothers XPA, Ommegang Rossetta Flemish Red, Industrial Arts Power Tools, Big Ditch Bidwell Sour and Gordon Biersch Enkel, to name a few.”

Jason Crossett, New York Beer Project Brewer: “New York Beer Project Righteous Dude, one of the best beers we make at the brewery, Three Floyds Gumballhead, a perfect summer drinking beer, Allagash Brewing Belfius (2014), a refreshing sour ale lending a fresh peach and apricot character alongside a wet hay and light grainy sweetness, Wise PA (“I was honored to be part of this great collaboration honoring our late friend, Kevin Wise. He was a tremendous person with a big heart who loved his IPA’s. Wise IPA was fantastically delicious with a complex juicy hop profile. I know he would have approved!”), Night Shift Darkling Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (2015), Woodcock XPA 6.0 “(My favorite of the XPA series. Juicy malt backbone enhances the citrus and fruit character from the hops”), Mettle by Trillium Brewing, Head in the Clouds DIPA by Resurgence, Asylum Porter by 42 North and Ex-Patriot Pale Ale – Sour Pale Ale by Big Slide Brewery (sister brewery to Lake Placid).”

Scott Donovan, Blackbird Cider Works Founder/President: “Our current favorite is our Wood Aged Dry Cider, made with estate grown certified organic apples. Also of note is our New England Style Cider, a strong 10% ABV cider, double fermented with brown sugar, raisins, and local honey.”

Matt Kahn, Big Ditch Brewing President: “What’s pretty cool is that this year we can focus just on NY State beers alone, because NYS is truly making some great beers. Here’s a short list – anything from Grimm Artisanal Ales, Hand & Seal from Brooklyn, Squeaker from Suarez, Sunday from The North, Double from Upstate (these guys have come a long way – congrats!), Hard Core Leaf Peeping from Common Roots, Solera and Without Regarde from Good Nature, who are one of our favorite breweries in NYS right now, Run Like an Apricot from Prison City (our other favorite), Toasted Coconut Kareem from Stoneyard (‘sup Jason!).  And, let’s not forget how much great beer is being made locally these days! Sky High Rye from EBC, Spot Coffee Stout from Flying Bison, Cosmic Truth and Irish Breakfast from Resurgence, Dreizehn from CBW (one of my favorite pilsners ever and I love pilsners), and Bliss from Thin Man, who blew us away with that beer.”

Andrew Pentheros, Woodcock Brothers Brewing Marketing, Public Relations and Consumer Insights Manager: Tree House Brewing King Jjjjulius (“Bursting with intense, complex flavors, balanced from start to finish, but somehow does not make mincemeat out of your palate. Just pure, clean, almost decadent drinkability. Really the new pinnacle of IPA’s for me”), Bullfrog Brewery: LeRoar Grzzz, Apricot variant (“Not too clawing, not too sweet, subtle, yet distinct flavor of the apricot sour. So clean and definitive on the palate. Best American sour I’ve had in terms of pure drinkability all year”), Casey Brewing & Blending: Saison (“This oak aged Saison really blew me away in terms of pushing the boundaries of what a Saison could be. Mouthwateringly tart and crisp. Citrus, oak and yeast in perfect balance. Maybe the most intensely flavored saison I’ve had to date”).

Matt Redpath, Woodcock Brothers Lead Brewer: WisePA (“This is one of my favorites of the year, not because of the beer itself, but because it was done with a cooperation of many WNY breweries and remembering a dear friend and advocate for the local beer scene”), Elements of Composition – Collaboration of De Garde, Jester King and Sante Adairius (“In a weird way I have many connections to this beer. My parents live in Tillamook and have a working relationship with De Garde. I worked with one of the founders of Sante Adairius. And on a long shot have a friend who owns a brewery in TX and went and visited him and was introduced to Jester King. Nice complexity, yet approachable”), Beer Cocktails at Hydraulic Hearth (“Many WNY beers are featured there and crafted into amazing creations that shows how beer can be a part of the cocktail scene and the versatility of beer in general”).

Clay Keel, 42 North Lead Brewer: Grimm Lambo Door (“Simply the most balanced, refreshing, juicy, ‘man that’s good’ IPA I’ve had all year”), Prison City Passion Fruit Berliner Weiss (“I’m a huge Berliner fan and they know how to do the kettle sour for real and the passion fruit works amazingly well”). “The Wise PA was such an awesome experience to be a part of and it came it out very well. A beer people will remember for a very long time for many reasons. Like Kevin did, it truly brought Buffalo breweries together. For 42 North beers I’d have to say the Enforcer Galaxy Double IPA we released in November. We went for the New England style and think we hit the marks well. Smooth but complex and popping with galaxy goodness.”

Justine Powers, 42 North Brewing Marketing and Events Coordinator: Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break- Imperial Stout (“I have a sweet tooth and love sipping beers so this was perfect during the fall this year”), Jolly Pumpkin Hamajang – Collaboration with Leelanau Evil Twin & Mikkeller (“Had the pleasure of making it to Blue Monk while they had this collab on tap. RIP Blue Monk”), To Ol Sur Simcoe (“Pretty sure I bought out Aurora Brew Works’ entire stock of this one”), Stillwater Artisanal Hopvine Bling (“Was in the mood for a good Berliner Weisse and I certainly got what I asked for! The bottle design was pretty sweet as well”), 42 North Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale (“I’m pretty much obsessed with this beer. If I could marry a beer, I would marry the Oatmeal Cookie”).

Ethan Cox, Community Beer Works President/Co-Founder: “Favorite CBW brew of 2016, probably either the revival of The IPA, Across The Border Porter collab w/Brimstone, or Pantomime Horse, our Adambier. Favorite beer at all of 2016? Had some brilliant stuff from Plan Bee, enjoyed everything I had from Swiftwater and Prison City; Threes’ Vleit is a great pilsner. Outside of NYS, I enjoyed some Trillium, everything Allagash makes is tip-top and this year was no exception; same goes for De Garde. Upright Brewing’s saisons are marvelous. As for local favorites: [Big Ditch] Hayburner, [Resurgence] Cosmic Truth, [Hamburg Brewing] Hoppenstance, 12 Gates West Coast, [Rusty Nickel] Chai Tea Milk Stout, [New York Beer Project] Righteous Dude.”

Phillip Badger, World of Beer Product Manager: “Here’s a list of my favorite beers of the year; mix of local and national – Lagunitas Born Yesterday, Troegs Nimble Giant, Stone Citracado, Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion, Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown, Westbrook Key Lime Pie Gose, Woodcock Brothers XPA, Big Ditch Deep Cut, Sloop Juice Bomb.”

Lizz Schumer, Resurgence Brewing Marketing Manager: “As for me, my favorite RBC beer of the year is always the next one we release! That said, I think I can narrow it down to Biere de Noel, our coffee-aged holiday ale. This dark ale is loaded with toasted malt flavor and fruity esters of the Belgian yeast. It’s aged over Jingle Bell Java beans, made by the Mystic Monk Coffee Company in Wyoming, which added white chocolate, bourbon and coffee to its festive spices. And at 11% ABV, it keeps me nice and toasty when it’s nasty outside!”

Jeff Ware, Resurgence Brewing President: “I would have to say I am really enjoying our IPAs overall this year. The New England-style R&D series has beer killer all year in my opinion. Super juicy, fresh and drinkable, they have all hit the spot. The Resurgence IPA is as good as ever with dank aromatics and juicy flavor with a nice bitter punch… especially fresh at the tap room. The 2nd Anniversary Ale, which was a Galaxy Hopped Imperial Blood Orange Saison, was a delicious juice bomb with huge carbonation from bottle conditioning that I could drink all night. Looking forward to our dry hopped kettle sour that will hit the tap room soon and R&D 4.1 with galaxy hops amongst others. Should go best while drinking in constant eye contact with Brian Campbell!”

Dave Collins, Resurgence Brewing Beer Baron: “I would say the R+D series has been my go-to tap room beer since we started that up. Also, the Biere De Noel is one of my personal favorites; it’s like candy in a glass. The 8 hour boil gave it a huge caramel and toffee flavor that blended amazingly well with the Jingle Bell Java from Mystic Monk, all mixed with the dark fruit flavors of the Belgian yeast made for one hugely flavored monster of a beer. I was also very pleased about how the kettle soured Lime Berliner Weiss came out, and cannot wait to make it again this summer!”

John Russo, Hamburg Brewing Owner: “Selfishly, I have been drinking a lot of our Blackberry Gose at the brewery. So that and I am also a big fan of Firestone Pivo Pils. It’s hands down one of the most well-made beers available.”

Scott McMillan, Buffalo Beer League Co-Founder: “We had a ton of great local beer in 2016. Wise PA, Big Ditch Bourbon Barrel Aged Towpath, Resurgence’s Red Wine Barrel Aged Flemish Red, Community Beer Works Double IPA, Flying Bison Pineapple Buffalo IPA, Thin Man Bliss and Woodcock XPA 9.0 come to mind.”

Chris Herr, Pearl Street/Pan American/Riverworks Lead Brewer: “From our Pearl Street family of beers, my favorites were the Green Tea beer, Gin Spiced Saison and our Session IPA we called the Summer SIPA. I also really like our Terminator at Pan Am now that we’ve pushed it more into a classic west coast IPA style, as well as the robust porter, Rough Rider. Our 19th Anniversary Imperial Stout stands out too. As far as the local breweries go, I always enjoy the wide range of IPA’s coming from CBW, including bringing back the original recipe for The IPA.  Deep Cut from Big Ditch is always a treat. Southern Tier Pumking and their Blackwater beers are always a go to. I also love to see some of the more experimental brews coming from the likes of Resurgence with some of their kettle sours and their Irish Breakfast. For other breweries that aren’t local, I must admit I haven’t been drinking as much of them since we have such great selection locally and I like to support them as much as I can.”

So yes, 2016 was one hell of a year for beer. Here’s to another successful year in 2017.

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 at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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