Buffalo Beer Buzz: Beer List for 42 North’s Barrel Jam, Trocaire Brewing Spring Semester, Five & 20 Tap Takeover, Brickyard Brewing Cask Fest

Spring Classes Begin at Trocaire’s Brewing & Distilling Program

Classes are starting up for the spring semester at Trocaire College’s Brewing, Distilling and Fermentation Science Program. Intro to Brewing, which runs Mondays, February 10 – April 13 (6-9:30pm, $495) covers the historical aspects of brewing and distilling with ingredients, equipment and process requirements involved in brewing and distilling. Sensory Evaluation of Beer, Wednesdays, February 12 – April 15 (6-9:30pm, $495) will teach students to develop sensory skills and learn terminology used in the alcohol beverage industry. Science of Brewing and Distilling, Saturdays, February 15 – April 18 (9-12:30pm, $495) includes in-depth lessons on yeast and bacteria microbiology. Visit https://trocaire.edu/brewing/ for more information.

Official Beer List Announced for 42 North’s Inaugural Barrel Jam

The official beer list has been announced for 42 North Brewing’s inaugural Barrel Jam, a barrel-aged beer, music & winter celebration on February 1 (2:30pm) at 42 North. 42 Below Barrel House will debut their latest barrel aged creation, Snow Stone, a plum & blueberry-packed Oud Bruin (Flanders Brown) aged in American Whiskey Barrels, in addition to other beers like Prison City Barrel Aged Wham Whams, Beer Tree Co. Triple Pineapple Creamsicle IPA and more. The event will also host local music, a Rail Jam Freestyle Ski competition, local distilleries and more. Tickets are $45 and are available at bit.ly/42Nbarreljam_tickets.

First Ever Cask Fest to Take Place at Brickyard Brewing

Cask Festival 2020 at Brickyard Brewing Company, a first time cask fest that will play host to nothing but the finest cask beer from some of New York’s best breweries like 42 North, Other Half Brewing, Buffalo Brewing Company, 12 Gates Brewing, Pressure Drop and more sharing a variety of styles from lagers to IPAs to fruited sours to scotch ales, will take place at the Lewiston brewery on February 15 (3pm). Tickets are $25 and include sampling glass, access to over 20 cask beers, special curated draft sampling upstairs and more. Tickets can be purchased right now at BBCcaskfest.brownpapertickets.com.

Five and 20 Brewing Takes Over the Taps at Eden Pub

Westfield’s Five and 20 Spirits & Brewing are taking their talents to Eden on January 31 (7pm), where they will be taking over the taps at the Eden Pub. The takeover will feature most of Five and 20’s beer canon, including New York Cream Ale, Grape Lakes American Wheat, Pale Ale, Rye Pale Ale, Tiramisu Stout and the debut of Flame Cranium (American Red Ale). Come and be a part of some of the first pours anywhere of this beer. In addition, Head Brewer Paul Alessi will also be on hand to talk about the beer and answer any questions.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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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Official Beer List Announced for the 2020 Brewers Invitational

This Sunday, the collective minds of the Western New York brewing scene will come together to showcase their true brewing acumen at the fourth annual Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational, which takes place January 26 (2pm) at New York Beer Project. Limited tickets remain ($45) and include a commemorative festival tasting glass, food voucher, and access to over 50 brews.

The Brewer’s Invitational brings together the best and the brightest of our local beer scene for a memorable event featuring a memorable beer list. From New England IPA’s, Milkshake IPA’s and Pastry Stouts to all things Barrel Aged, sours and everything in-between, chances are the Brewers Invitational offers something to properly wet your whistle. Representatives from each brewery will be in attendance, so you’ll also have a chance to chat with the people who brewed the beer in your glass.

The beer list has been announced, including standout sounding offerings like Big Ditch Sour Peach IPA, Five & 20 Port Wine Barrel Aged Barleywine, Four Mile Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout, Pressure Drop Rum Barrel Aged Blackalicious Imperial Stout, Ellicottville Trippin’ Bogs Belgian Tripel and New York Beer Project Whiskey Barrel Aged Barleywine.

The 2020 Brewer’s Invitational beer list (subject to change) is as follows:

  • 12 Gates Brewing: Fire Emoji New England IPA, Danger Zone Imperial Stout
  • Big Ditch Brewing: Sour Peach IPA, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Porter
  • Blackbird Cider Works: Bourbon Barrel Aged Buffalo Bluegrass, White Hurricane Gin Barrel Aged
  • Brickyard Brewing Company: White Bronco NEIPA, BBC Schwarzbier
  • Community Beer Works: Dude Incredible Sour Stout, Bang a ‘Uey NEIPA
  • Eli Fish Brewing: Champagne Guapi Red, Chasing Moonlight Milk Stout
  • Ellicottville Brewing: St. Jacobs Imperial Barrel Aged Stout, Trippin Bogs Belgian Tripel
  • Five and 20 Spirits & Brewing: Tiramisu Stout, Barrelywine (Barleywine Aged in Port Wine Barrels)
  • Flying Bison: Bison Seltzer
  • Four Mile Brewing: Allegewi Double IPA, Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout
  • Lilly Belle Meads: Bee Lo (Honey fermented mead with Belgian Ale yeast), Humble Braggot Belgian Stout
  • New York Beer Project: Barrel Aged Sour Blend with 2 Brett Strains, Barleywine Aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels
  • Old First Ward Brewing: Imperial Hefeweizen
  • One Eyed Cat Brewing: The Queen’s Pajamas ESB, Drunken Goliath Belgian Dubbel
  • Pearl Street Brewery / Lafayette Brewing: Grapefruit Terminator IPA
  • Pressure Drop Brewing: You Got To Chill IPL, Rum Barrel Aged Blackilicious
  • Resurgence Brewing: R&D Double IPA, Lactose Fruited Sour
  • Rusty Nickel Brewing: Kentucky Common, Imperial Hefeweizen
  • Southern Tier Brewing: 3X IPA, Cherry Crush Sour
  • West Shore Brewing: Chocolate Stout, West Shore Double IPA
  • Woodcock Brewing: BRAND NEW New England IPA, Stiff Mitten Spiced Winter Ale
  • Windy Brew: Muddy Russian Imperial Stout, Backroom IPA

Limited tickets are still available and can purchased at EventBrite. You can find more information about the event here.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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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Inaugural Barrel Jam Brings All the Barrel Aged Beers to the Yard

It seems as it winter has finally arrived, bringing with it all the hallmarks of this time of year. But just as the days get colder, the beer in our glass gets darker, and as temperatures get lower, the ABV in our beer gets higher. And as Buffalonians, we’re born and bred for winter, so why not embrace the day, and there’s perhaps no better place to do so than at 42 North Brewing’s inaugural Barrel Jam, an indoor / outdoor barrel-aged beer, music & winter celebration slated for February 1st.

In addition to beer from their own 42 Below Barrel House, Barrel Jam will also feature barrel aged concoctions from KCBC, Gun Hill, Abandon, Zero Gravity, Collective Arts, Prison City, Thin Man, Big Ditch, Swiftwater Brewing, Beer Tree Co. and more. 42 North will also use the occasion to debut their latest barrel aged creation, Snow Stone, a plum & blueberry-packed Oud Bruin (Flanders Brown) aged in American Whiskey Barrels.

“We wanted to create an experience around the art of barrel-aging beers and our brew campus felt like the right place to showcase just that,” Brand Manager Zachary Keller says. “42 North’s barrel-aging program has been around for a few years now operating out of the 42 Below Barrel-House and we thought to ourselves, why not bring our favorite barrel-age programs from around the region to us for a celebration of the process? [Not to mention] not everyone gets to try something like KCBC’s most recent barrel project being located here in Western New York, so we’re going to bring that to them.”

Barrel Jam tap list (subject to change):

    • 42 North Brewing – Caz Kriek Flanders Red with Cherries & Raspberries, Snow Stone Oud Bruin
    • Beer Tree Brew Co. – Bourbon Barrel Aged Morning Timber Imperial Stout, Triple Pineapple Creamsicle IPA
    • Abandon Brewing – Barrel Aged Porter, Barrel Aged Belgian Strong Ale
    • Zero Gravity – Bear Snores On Russian Imperial Stout, Mungo Berry Sour, Apres Vous Saison
    • Gun Hill Brewing – Ft. Ticonderoga Rum Barrel Aged Barleywine, Void of Light
    • Collective Arts – Origin of Darkness / Siren Brewing Collab Baltic Porter, Barrel Aged Imperial Porter
    • Big Ditch Brewing – Dry Hopped Barrel Aged Beautiful River, Mexican Chocolate BBA Towpath
    • Lagunitas – Sonoma Farmhouse Stout, Sakitumi Uppercut
    • Big Alice Brewing – Peace Through Understanding NY State Farmhouse Ale, The Many Lives of Our Lives Mixed Culture Sour
    • Allagash Brewing – Curieux, Barrel & Bean
    • Prison City – Barrel Aged Wham Whams, Mass Riot
    • Otter Creek – Secret Stash Dark Belgian Strong Ale, Tequila Barrel Aged Coffee Stout
    • Blackbird Cider Works – Gin Barrel Aged White Hurricane, Dry Oak Aged Cider

Aurora Brew Works will be on-site sampling some of their favorite barrel-aged beers as well. Festival goers will receive a festival tasting glass for 4 hours of sampling around the 42 North “brew campus.” The 42 Below Barrel-House, new event space and brewery floor will all be open for sampling.

Also as part of Barrel Jam, 42 North has teamed up Kissing Bridge to host a Rail Jam Freestyle Competition where skiers will hit a small rail after gaining speed from the deck of the barrel-house. Live music will run throughout the day with shows from local funk band Farrow, blues guitarist Hayden Fogle Band, and a special “Phish” set from Sam Marabella & his band. Food from a local chef will be cooked on-site along with other food truck options.

“Folks will enjoy some beers they know and love and some they’ve never heard of before, which is why I think this genre of beer is so great,” Keller adds. The live music from incredible local acts like Hayden Fogle, Farrow and a set of “Phish” by Sam Marabella and the Rail Jam Ski Competition on-site with our friends from Kissing Bridge add to the winter festival flare we wanted to create with Barrel Jam. And as Buffalonians, we aren’t afraid of a little chill in the air, proven by our Brewski event and outdoor ice rink in town, so we chose to include the elements in the theme by making this an indoor/outdoor experience. This won’t be just another beer festival.”

Tickets are $45 and are available at bit.ly/42Nbarreljam_tickets. More information is available at 42northbrewing.com.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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: 2020 Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational, Belt Line x Bolton Landing Collab Release, Hamburg Just Saying, DBL DBL release, Brewed & Bottled Moving

Official Beer List Announced for the 2020 Brewers Invitational

The beer list has been announced for the 2020 Brewers Invitational, which takes place January 26 (2-5pm) at New York Beer Project. Limited tickets are on sale now ($45) and include a commemorative glass, food voucher and access to over 50 innovative brews. Such beers include Big Ditch Sour Peach IPA, Five & 20 Port Wine Barrel Aged Barleywine, Four Mile Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout, Pressure Drop Rum Barrel Aged Blackalicious Imperial Stout, Flying Bison Bison Seltzer, Ellicottville Trippin’ Bogs Belgian Tripel and New York Beer Project Brett Barrel Aged Sour and Whiskey Barrel Aged Barleywine. Limited tickets at EventBrite.

Belt Line Brewing to Release New Bolton Landing Collab Sour IPA

This weekend, Belt Line Brewing will release Long Distance Promises Sour IPA, their new collaboration with Lake George’s Bolton Landing Brewing, on January 25 (12pm). Long Distance Promises is a sour IPA dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc and fermented on Pineapple and Tangerine. It’s hoppy, tropical and tart. The beer will be available on draft, in crowlers to-go and in 16oz. 4-pack cans. Also, if you missed it, Belt Line still has cans and draft of their latest hazy IPA, Sunday Show New England IPA, available at the brewery. The DDH IPA features Motueka, Michigan Copper & Citra hops.

Hamburg Drops Just Saying IPA Volume 3, New Imperial Coffee Milk Stout

Hamburg Brewing has dropped the latest entry into their Just Saying IPA series, Volume 3: We Do It Nice ‘Cause We Do It Twice Double IPA, as well as a new version of DBL DBL Imperial Coffee Milk Stout. Brewed with Mosaic, Simcoe Cryo and Cascade hops, Just Saying Volume 3 features notes of passionfruit, lychee and mango, while DBL DBL, brewed with coffee from Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters, features massive roasted coffee and cream. Available on draft only at the brewery with 16oz. 4-pack cans available to go. Cans will also be available wherever great beer is sold soon.

Lewiston’s Brewed & Bottled Bottle Shop Closes, Moving to New Location

Lewiston’s Brewed & Bottled Craft Beer Shop has closed the doors at their original location at 402 Center Street and is relocating to 442 Center St., after Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen announced plans to expand at the location. Owner Chris Budde said he made the decision to move after ‘careful consideration and various floor plans,’ none of which he felt they could make work. He adds that customers can except ‘the old B&B vibe with some refining and tweaks,’ including a private backyard beer garden. Though no official timeline has been established, he is hoping to reopen in 2-3 months.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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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Wombat Warriors: Proceeds From Thin Man’s Trial By Wombat to Benefit Australian Wildlife

Just like the recent rainstorms, a group of local bars and restaurants are looking to provide some relief to the four-legged victims of the historic Australian bushfires by partnering with WIRES, a nonprofit in Australia that is working to save, protect and rehabilitate animals injured in the fires. And there’s perhaps no beer more fitting to lead the charge than Thin Man Brewery’s appropriately titled Trial By Wombat New England IPA, a beer named for, and inspired by, the mercurial marsupials native to the Land Down Under.

Beginning today through January 31, $1 from every pint of Trial by Wombat sold will go directly toward the WIRES fundraising campaign. To contribute, all guests need to do is order the beer, and a donation will be made. Restaurants including Allen Burger Venture, Brennan’s, Coles, Colter Bay, Moor Pat and Thin Man Transit will all donate a portion of sales to the cause. The Elmwood and Chandler Thin Man locations will not be participating in the fundraiser.

“The group wanted to do something to help support these devastating fires in Australia, and with a beer that is aptly named after one of the animals affected by this tragedy, we felt it fitting to host a fundraiser and do whatever we can to help,” said Mike Shatzel, owner/partner of the participating restaurants.

Trial by Wombat is brewed with another Australian native, the Galaxy hop, which are also being threatened by the fires, as well as Simcoe and Citra hops and malted oats.

“Trial by Wombat is a New England IPA featuring Galaxy hops from Australia,” Thin Man Head Brewer Rudy Watkins says. “There also some Simcoe and Citra hops with 30% malted oats, a ton of pilsner malts and some other fun stuff. It’s insanely dry-hopped as well for big peachy, pineapple-y and orange-y juicy goodness.”

And if you’ve never had the beer, it’s the very definition of soft, complete with a well-rounded finish and flavors of juicy white peach, pineapple, papaya and tangerine and big citrus aromas.

If you’re wondering just how worthy a cause this truly is, estimates from ecologists at the University of Sydney state that over 800 million animals have already been affected since September. And despite the much needed rain that has fallen, CNN reports that 82 fires are still burning across the country, including 30 that are yet to be contained. Additionally, 28 people have died as a result of the devastating blazes, more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed and nearly 10 million acres of land has been ravaged.

“The situation for wildlife is devastating and it will be months after the fires before the full implications on wild populations can be understood,” WIRES says. “WIRES is rescuing and caring for as many sick, injured and orphaned native animals as possible. The scale of the current emergencies is unprecedented and the impacts will be felt long-term by surviving wildlife and volunteers working hard to assist them. WIRES is a wildlife charity that relies on community support to operate our rescue and care services for wildlife 365 days a year and we are extremely grateful for your support at this difficult time.”

If you would like to give more to help Australian wildlife in need, please visit WIRES to donate directly at https://www.wires.org.au/blog/emergency-donations-to-help-wildlife.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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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Another Great Year for Beer: Your Favorite Brewers’ Favorite Beers Of 2019

This is an article I look forward to writing every year. It’s the one time of the year when I turn things over to the very people who brew the beer I drink, obsess over and write about – the brewers themselves, as well as the brewery owners and their teams – in order to find out the best beers they drank over the course of the past year. Find out what beer inspired them to brew your favorite beers as well as the beer that filled their glasses most often from this past year.

It seems that this piece gets longer each year I write it, which is great honestly, because the more people that want to take part, the better. This year I polled personnel from New York Beer Project, Lilly Belle Meads, Resurgence, Big Ditch, Steelbound, Eli Fish, Five & 20, Thin Man, Hamburg, Pearl Street, Woodcock, Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association, 12 Gates, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo, SATO, Ellicottville Brewing, Pressure Drop, Flying Bison, Buffalo Beer Goddesses and Brickyard Brewing.

So, settle in, pour yourself a fitting libation and prepare to find out your favorite brewers’ favorite beer of 2019.

Jason Crossett, Head Brewer, New York Beer Project: “One of my favorite beers from this past year is from Kent Falls and their Everything is Everywhere blended American Wild Ale. I enjoyed this at the Shelton Brothers Festival and was blown away. Its flavor was quite complex, yet I found all the aspects of the beer to be balanced. Light malt and fruity with a moderate Brett funk. The acidity balanced the malt and hops beautifully. I would love to get my hands on more of this! This year’s version of Dudette (our Triple IPA) we brewed at New York Beer Project was just phenomenal. We brewed it more towards the New England-style of IPA’s and changed the hop profile slightly. It resulted in a more balanced beer with a very bright hop character. At 10% it was quite deceiving. I wish we had this year round! Big Ditch’s 2018 Bourbon Barrel Aged Towpath was quite the treat on Christmas. It was very smooth and its rich malt profile of chocolate, dark fruit, burnt sugar and coffee blended so well with the bourbon character. Wish I had another one from this year!”

Joseph Marshall, Owner, Lilly Belle Meads: “Most of the beer I get to drink these days is from local breweries either through stopping by to say hi or at brew festivals, and that’s fine by me! My favorite beers this year included Sato Brewpub’s Shudo-In, a Belgian Dubbel with persimmon juice added. Malty and sweet while still being balanced and crisp…so delicious. I also thought Old First Ward Brewing’s Hefeweizen was just outstanding. Pressure Drop’s Struggle Bus was a crisp and clean hoppy Double IPA that was the right beer at the right time for me as even in the midst of the haze craze, I still love and long for and enjoy those West Coast IPA’s. That said I’m also a fan of the Buffalo-style IPA emerging with its juicy haze combined with at least some bitterness, and West Shore Brewing’s Green Flyer in cans was also great. Lastly, I have to say the beer I drank the most of was certainly Big Ditch’s F/C…by far my favorite and I’d say most flavorful session IPA around. Cheers to 2020!”

Erik Roesser & Blake Jacoby, Operations & Brewing, Steelbound Brewery: “Rounding out my first 8 months in the craft beer industry, it was an eye opening and exciting time. Lots of new friends and new beers and I personally can’t wait to see what 2020 holds both locally and nationally. For me this was the year of Other Half. I basically have loved everything they have done but I’m a sucker for Oat Creams and their Eternal Daydream Imperial Oat Cream IPA was my fav, along with the Chroma Series they have been putting out. Collective Arts Spatial Relations Imperial Gose, their collab with Verdant Brewing in the UK, was another top for me along with Sloop’s Bomb Series. Locally, I loved Pressure Drop’s Neptune Dreams and Thin Man’s Minkey Boodle is one of my fav. Sours from anywhere. I really also dug Belt Line’s 20 From Pilsner for a crushable beer. Flying Bison’s Paula’s Peanut Stick Porter is a great beer for this time of year and West Shore Green Flyer IPA for your NEIPA needs. Also big shout outs to Fattey’s Beer Co. and Aurora Beer Works and Brewed And Bottled out in Lewiston for supporting local and always having the goods for local beer lovers.”

Brewing Team, Big Ditch Brewing: “Local: East Meets West – Resurgence. NYS: Abbott’s Chocolate Almond Custard Stout – Stoneyard Brewing, All 5th Anniversary Everything (Coffee) – Other Half, Love at First Bite – Spider Bite, Earn Your Keep – West Kill. Beyond: Allagash White from the source in Portland, ME, Like Clockwork – Foam, Loophole Technicality – Hop Butcher, Citizen Grain – Single Hill, Zenne y Frontera – 3 Fonteinen (from the Festival).”

Adam Burnett, Head Brewer, Eli Fish Brewing: “I always fall back on the American wilds and then try to see who’s pushing the stout game forward. Other Half / Moksa’s Seven Deadly Layers proved once again that both of those teams can put up to a dozen unique ingredients into a stout and somehow you taste each one. I hope to figure that trick out. Most unique beer for me has to go to Mortalis for From Hawaii with Love. Whoever decided to put pineapple and coffee together, that’s a new kind of genius. My annual ‘sure-thing’ is getting my hands on one bottle of de Garde’s The Lucy. There is no other American wild ale that can make white grape taste like potpourri you want to drink. Every vintage is as good as the last. The new banger by Forager, Vanilla Nirvana, sets a record for me for how much vanilla you can put into a big stout, yet still taste stout and barrel character. I helped brew that almost two years ago and I can’t believe it’s as good as we hoped. Honorable mention shouts to Plan Bee Moon Shed.”

Paul Alessi, Head Brewer, Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing: “We had so many great beers produced locally in 2019, there’s no reason to mention anything brewed outside of WNY! As far as sour beer goes, we really enjoyed the Wild About Sour (Blackberry Lime) by Windy Brew, and the Pina Colada Sour by Resurgence. There were just too many good IPA’s to list, but we liked Day Trekker by 42 North and Hamburg Brewing’s Just Saying Vol. 2: Swear Jar. What a great f***ing beer! We also put back a bunch of this beer called Sticky Trees, not sure if anyone has heard of it…but it’s not bad. Lastly, we’re excited to be drinking any of Jamestown Brewing Company’s beers. It’s been quite the ride for them, and we at Five & 20 are excited to have more great beer being produced in our neck of the woods!”

Rudy Watkins, Head Brewer, Thin Man Brewery: “The opening of Chandler kept me closer to home than normal but I still got to drink great stuff this year. Old First Ward’s St. Patrick’s Pils was absolutely brilliant. Clean, flavorful and bitter with the sexiest cap of foam I’ve ever seen from a Buffalo brewery. Karl [Kolbe] continues to nail everything he does over at Pressure Drop – Sticky Trees is still the best West Coast IPA in the area, but Citra Screamer is the perfect beer for a swelteringly hot Buffalo afternoon. Community Beer Works’ barrel aged Adambier deserved that World Beer Cup medal – just great. The Shelton Festival brought some of the year’s best as well. Bluejacket’s Pilsner on gravity cask was sublime, Dunham’s barrel aged raspberry wild ale, 3 Fonteinen’s Rhubarb Lambic, Jing-A / Holy Mountain collaboration – it’s hard to pick just a few from that festival – there were so many wonderful things there. Outside of that? Boon’s Oude Geuze Black Label #3, Orval, Saison Dupont, Tooth & Nail’s Vim & Vigour, Amsterdam’s Fracture. It goes on and on.”

Jason King, Brewer, Hamburg Brewing Company: “Another year of great beer & my memory is a bit hazy but some of the beers that stood out to me this year would be 42 North with its continued amazing job with White Oak Borderland & the [42 Below] Barrel House lineup. Big Ditch FC is my go to spring/summer beer & this year was no different. Belt Line with lots of great IPA’s but that Honey Kolsch stood out. Recently, Thin Man’s Paintin’ The Town Brown & Embiggen #2 hit the spot. Speaking of spot, Flying Bison and the Spot Coffee Stout continues to be amazing. Selfish plug, Hamburg Juice Box Boy made me happy & hoppy. Took a couple trips this year and really enjoyed Veil’s Charcoal Sour, Brew by Number’s Gose, Land Grant’s Concentrate IPA, Hovel’s Maibock & Bianca Road’s Cinnamon-Ginger Milkshake IPA.”

Jason Dunshie, Head Brewer, Pearl St. Grill and Brewery: “My wife and I travel quite a bit to San Diego and there were three beers that were off the charts from my last visit. Stone Liberty Station Witty Moron, a black Witbier, Ballast Point White Wine Barrel Aged Saison and Modern Times Lomaland. Unbiased Opinion: Key Lime (golden dessert w/key lime zest, juice, almonds, vanilla and oak spirals) served on nitro – wow! As far as local offerings, 2019 rocked! We collaborated with Karl Kolbe to make Coco Puff Stout at Riverworks, Nautical Disaster and Deuce Deuce Juice were two NEIPA’s released at Pearl and Cosmic Bison is our sour offering at Lafayette Brewing Company. When I’m not drinking at our locations – Resurgence The Surge, Flying Bison Spot Coffee Stout and Community Beer Works Frank. Looking forward to 2020!

Andrew Pentheros, Marketing / PR / R&D Director, Woodcock Brothers Brewing: “One brewery in particular sums up 2019 for me. I don’t know if it’s for their impeccably straight forward execution of styles, or the utter drinkability of all their beers, or the refined, nuanced complexities I taste beer after beer that makes Suarez Family Brewery stand out for me – but I’m pretty sure it’s all three. Summer Whoa is a “country beer” (Suarez’ version of a Saison) and hit all the marks I look for in the style. Bright, engrossing aroma of ripe peaches, mixed with a light barnyard funk. The mouthfeel pops with a great not-too-heavy acidity and the flavors follow through with a unique peach and funk laced terroir that packs a punch, without being clawing, or sweet or one dimensional. An absolute 2019 favorite for sure.”

Willard Brooks, Founder & Former President, Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association: “Bokkeryder Zomerhof (2018) Methode Goat Lambic – 1, 2 and 3-year-old Lambic with vineyard peaches, sour cherries, white peaches, apricots, carried by Riesling and Muscat grapes. Lambic the way it’s supposed to taste. I had a few others from Bokke – all of them excellent.”

Scott Shuler, Brewer, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo: “Wow, what a year 2019 has been. I continue to see great strides with WNY breweries and beers and I would stack these up against anything put out in the States. I am very proud of my peers and look forward to seeing what will come out next! As far as my standout local beers, the Cocktoberfest from Woodcock is wonderful this year, along with my go-to, The Whale from Community Beer Works. Cremated Remains from Old First Ward Brewing has also been a smoky highlight for me. Finally, Sticky Trees from Pressure Drop has been my go-to local IPA. Great job everyone! A few non-local standouts have been from my recent travels. The Schwartzbier from Hofbrauhaus Cleveland is highly enjoyable and drinkable, Seven Turns IPA from Cinderlands Beer Co. in Pittsburgh was a standout from their fantastic lineup, MODGUD from Trve Brewing in Denver was a highlight from my Denver trip. And everything I have had from De Garde are always winners.

Matt Gordon, Head Brewer, 12 Gates Brewing: “This year was filled with great beers from all over WNY, and the world, with Shelton Fest. My favorite from the festival was Dessert Framboise by Les Trois Mousquetaires out of Brossard, Quebec. That beer was amazing and just indescribable, so I won’t try. As for WNY, it’s very tough to remember every beer from the year, but the few that standout to me are Struggle Bus by Pressure Drop, Dragonship by 42 North (I think it was early 2019), and Berry Vision by Big Ditch. All were unique and stood out of the crowd, which is what draws me in nowadays. Now to be the homer. Danger Zone by 12 Gates is my favorite beer that I made all year. A 9% imperial stout with big chocolate notes that drinks like a 6% stout. Wicked TRIPA, with its sweet candy orange and extremely dank profile, is a great way to close out 2019. I can’t wait to share this with everyone and seeing that it’s 12%, I kind of have to share half the can any time I open one. Cheers to a fantastic 2019 and a successful 2020!”

Justin LaMonto, Head Brewer, Sato Brewpub: “Just like previous years, 2019 has been a year of solid brews both local and non-local. When I drink craft beer I always try to drink local beers before I drink non-local beers. That being said, more local beers have stood out to me this year. Bliss, Burning Money, and War Sombrero from Thin Man were all outstanding beers. Faded Clauz, Aqua Jesus, Alien Technology, Solenya, and Rogue Space Monkey are some of my favorites from Pressure Drop. Lock Porter from Big Ditch became one of favorite porters after my first time having it. Pumking Nitro from Southern Tier is now my new favorite seasonal beer. In terms of non-local beers, anything from Industrial Arts is fantastic. The Brut IPA from Sierra Nevada, Accumulation from New Belgium, and Stella Artois Midnight Lager stood out to me this year. Great Lakes Ohio City Stout still remains one of my favorite beers so I buy it whenever it is available.”

Matt Holtz, General Manager, Ellicottville Brewing: “Not only were the breweries in 2019 pumping out great stuff, but these venues keep getting better and better! Some of the operations here in WNY are world class and deserve some serious recognition. Best beer experience of the year? The Festival was awesome. It was great to see that caliber of an event come to Buffalo and be so well received. We brought a van up from Ellicottville and it was a great evening with co-workers and friends. My fiancé and I took a trip down to Puerto Rico and got to see a few of the local breweries and beer bars. It was kinda neat buying an Arrogant Bastard from a small convenience store and drinking it while walking around San Juan. We had a great year down here in Ellicottville. Our collaborations with WNY Heroes, Pumpkinville, Awald Farms, Sprague’s Maple Farms, Platter’s Chocolates and The South Dayton Supermarket were very successful projects for us.”

Karl Kolbe, Head Brewer, Pressure Drop Brewing: “Bangers for 2019. Local: Five and 20 Commiseration Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels was superb, Thin Man T-Rex Pushups – Rudy just lets us know how far his skills have come and the potential of the Buffalo brew scene, Belt Line Honey Kolsch, Old First Ward Brewing Crikrat Kolsch, Froth Duffel Bags of Green was a great West Coast throw back, Big Ditch Berry Vision, SATO Brewpub’s Justin’s Milk Stout – with Drew gone Justin lets us know that SATO is in good hands, Resurgence, as much as I hate the name I can always grab a Surge and know I’ll never be disappointed, 12 Gates Dirty Dangles was a great dank NEIPA, Labatt’s One Year Anniversary Sour, Hamburg’s Just Saying IPA, Flying Bison Thundersnow IPA. Non-local – Rare Barrel Shadows of Their Eyes Sour Dark Ale – I can’t express how good this was and it makes me as a brewer want to do some funky new shit, 2017 Evan Williams Eclipse from 50-50 Brewing out of Truckee – this beer was one of many that set the standard for our first barrel aged project, 8 Wire Brewing 2013 Bumaye – this beer just lets us know what is possible with patience.”

Tim Herzog, Owner, Flying Bison Brewing: “As the ‘Old Guy’ in Buffalo brewing, my perspective might be a bit different. I led a trip to the U.K. this past fall and enjoyed some of my favorite cask classics, Vaux Double Maxim, Black Sheep Bitter, Old Peculier, Landlord Bitter, Marston’s Pedigree, Abbot Ale, and so very many more. As I have gotten around Buffalo this year, I have had a chance to enjoy a pint or two from a number of the locals and continue to be impressed with the variety and quality of beers being made here. We may not need as many NEIPAs in 2020, (personal viewpoint) but the ones made here are top drawer. I think one of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2020 is to spend more time visiting our Western New York Breweries. This one I intend to keep.”

Brewing Team (Nick Torgalski, Brian Vaughn, Kyle Hayes, DJ Berns, Josh Hutchings, Drew Zach), Resurgence Brewing: “The Buffalo Beer scene did some really great things this year and we were excited to be a part of and get to experience it. Some of our favorites from other local breweries were Belt Line’s Double Brunch and Beer With… Series, Big Ditch’s Deep Cut, Pressure Drop and 12 Gates Sour Collab – Can Confirm and the Aqua Jesus collab between Big Ditch and Pressure Drop. Karl is putting out some great beer and can art. Old First Ward’s Hopspasm was an excellent IPA and hopefully Bryan will make it again soon. We really enjoyed 42 North’s sours – Life Gose On and the Halt, Who Gose There? series. It was exciting to see West Shore’s Green Flyer out in package. From the beers that Resurgence made in 2019, we really enjoyed the collabs with Pressure Drop – Brothers Gotta Hug and More Greener (also with OFW). We launched The Surge, which is one of our favorites. The Brew Geek Series with GenusCocus and S’more Than Friends was a great experience getting to work with some of the Buffalo Beer Geeks. We had a lot of fun with our Kegs and Eggs beers, and two of our favorites were the Watermelon Gose and Pina Colada Sour from these events. We just made a Caramel Coffee Crunch Porter that we really enjoyed. We are really looking forward to 2020 and the great beers coming out of Buffalo.”

Sara Rosenberry, Secretary, Buffalo Beer Goddesses: “This year marked the 10th anniversary of me living in Buffalo, but I still hold onto my 585 phone number, and I honored my roots this summer by muling many, many cases of Genny Lemon Strawberry Cream Ale down the 90 before it was widely available in Buffalo. I love, love, love this new, refreshing, affordable year-round offering and if it ever goes away I’ll cry for weeks.”

Danielle Potts, Co-Chair, Buffalo Beer Goddesses: “Some of us Beer Goddesses were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour and tasting at Bench Brewing Company in Lincoln, Ontario this summer. Sarah Casorso, a former hockey player for the Buffalo Beauts, traded in her skates for hops and now brews full time for Bench. She invited us up, and it was a pleasure to visit and see their facilities. Their Strawberry Grove Sour was like drinking summer from a bottle. Many of their beers use local products and produce, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. Consider taking the sub-hour long drive over the border to check out Bench and their range of funky to classic styles. A shout out also to Big Ditch for their Stoutsgiving Mexican Chocolate from the Detour Series. That subtle, smoky flavor was super balanced with a little bit of holiday cinnamon spice.”

John Paul Meteer, Director of Brewing Operations, Brickyard Brewing Company: “The highlight of my year was most assuredly an autumn trip to New England. Adventures through Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire finally took us to Portland, ME. Although I could write ten thousand words on Northeast beer, there were two standouts on that trip. Battery Steele’s Flume2 and Allagash Ghoulschip. Opposite ends of the spectrum, but they could set the standard for great beer. Seek them both out – they’re worth the trip. My perspective on beer constantly leans back on an old focus: finely crafted ales and lagers. No hype. No adjuncts. Just beauty. From that perspective locally, I have to give props to Big Ditch for Fall Black. Elegant and crushable, with just enough depth and complexity to make it memorable. Just beautiful. And shout out to Pressure Drop for Sticky Trees, my go-to whenever it’s available. Self-love is healthy, right? Queue the jokes! But in all seriousness, Brickyard Brewing’s White Bronco – my long time white whale and truest love – is exceptional now. With the NEIPA style the answer is always more oats and more hops, right? Mission accomplished. Drink up!”

Christopher Townsell, Head Brewer, Buffalo Brewpub: “I struggle with my contribution for this article every year. Do I tell my truth or do I describe a fascinating and euphoric experience that I didn’t have with an IPA? Either way I’m sure to get called out. So, allow me to be a danish in a donut shop. I’m a lager guy who sometimes gets distracted by a fruit beer, such as Firestone Walker’s Rosé beer, Rosalie – brewed with Chardonnay grapes and Hibiscus, which grabbed my attention in late 2019. So good! As a dedicated lager drinker, I’ve made it a point to seek a craft lager which I could establish a long term relationship with. Something I could enjoy repeatedly and turn to often without fear of my tastebuds getting hurt. It’s been uphill sledding, until recently. I do believe the guys over at Resurgence nailed it with their Light the Lamp Lager. Extremely smooth and crisp. Also “crushable.” They set out to create an approachable craft lager that rivals the big dogs and I do believe they’ve scored. It may not be imported daily from Canada, but it’s a game day beauty! A real winner, if you will. I’m hoping the beer geeks are correct with their prediction of a surge of lagers in the future!”

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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: New Flying Bison / Paula’s Donuts Beer, Froth’s 1st Anniversary, New York Beer Project Speakeasy Party, Southern Tier Nitro Hot Cocoa Release, Empty Pint’s 10th Anniversary

Next Round of Paula’s Donuts-Inspired Beer Drops This week

Following the success of Paula’s Peanut Stick Porter, the marriage of beer and donuts from local institutions Flying Bison Brewing and Paula’s Donuts will continue with the release of Holy Cannoli, an 8% Pastry Blonde Ale with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, milk sugar, and cacao nibs, on January 15 (4pm). The beer is modeled after Paula’s ultra-popular specialty Cannoli Donut. Holy Cannoli will initially be available in bottles only at the brewery (available for on premise consumption) and wherever great beer is sold. It will be on draft soon as a second batch will hit taps in the next few weeks.

Froth Brewing to Celebrate Their First Anniversary

As unbelievable as it might be, Froth Brewing is set to celebrate their first anniversary on January 18 (6pm). There will be food, drink specials, live music by The Rig, a five-piece classic rock band playing everything from the Rolling Stones to Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray and Van Morrison to The Clash, and a special First Anniversary Beer release, a Hazy Triple IPA brewed with Nelson, Vic’s Secret and Wai-iti hops. Stop out to the brewery this weekend and raise a pint of the latest Liquid Lollipop or a hazy IPA and toast to Froth’s continued success.

New York Beer Project to Drop 2 New Beers at 1920’s Speakeasy Party

In honor of the new decade, New York Beer Project are throwing a 1920’s Speakeasy Party on January 25 (8pm), a night complete with dancing, cocktails, live music from The Uptown Groove and a pair of specialty beer releases – Prohibition Cream Ale and Whiskey Sour Ale. The former features spicy, herbal aromas with light flowery and citrus lime notes, while the latter is a kettle sour based on the Whiskey Sour cocktail, brewed with lemon peel, lemongrass, lactose and aged on whiskey soaked American oak spirals. You’ll need the password to attend, so stay tuned to the event page.

Southern Tier to Release Nitro Hot Cocoa Stout, Celebrate Empty Pint 10th Anniversary

Southern Tier Brewing will release their Nitro Hot Cocoa Stout, an Imperial Stout on Nitro with cocoa powder, chocolate and marshmallows, in cans and on draft, on January 17 at the Empty Pint in Lakewood (4pm). Each can releases nitro into the stouts, creating cascading foam and delicious, creamy flavor. January also marks 10 years since the Empty Pint opened, so celebrate with $5 drafts, DJ XciteSound and games on January 24 (4pm). Southern Tier will present a donation to The Resource Center, who employs individuals with disabilities to maximize their independence, and founder, Phin DeMink will be guest bartending.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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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42 North’s Brewski Trail Hike & Beer Tasting Returns to Knox Farm State Park

42 North Brewing’s Brewski, a trail hike and beer tasting event, returns for its 4th year in a row to historic Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora on February 22. Over 600 outdoor enthusiasts attended the event last year and hiked or biked the 2.5 mile trail that starts at the famous Knox Farm stable barn. The brewery places 5 beer sampling stations along the route, each with a different brew from their brewhouse right down the street.

Attendees are able to tie up their hiking boots, strap into their cross-country skis or bring their fat tire mountain bikes to tackle the 2.5 mile trail around the fields and forests of Knox Farm State Park. All “brewskiers” are then invited back to the brewery for a post-party where their ticket can be redeemed one free beer and listen to live music. Proceeds from Brewski are donated to the Boys & Girls Club of East Aurora which provide students and children with after school programs. The event will also host local food vendors as well as local shops.

General Admission tickets are $25 for the event and now available at 42northbrewing.com or bit.ly/brewski2020tickets. The first 250 tickets sold will include a complimentary commemorative sampling glass. Brewski is a family-friendly event and any questions can be sent to info@42northbrewing.com or by phone at 716-805-7500.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Buffalo Brewpub x Resurgence Brewing Buffalo Breakfast Stout, Beer Goddesses Winter Formal, 42 North Beer Dinner, Hammer & Ales 2020

Buffalo Brewpub / Resurgence Brewing Buffalo Breakfast Stout to Be Released

Buffalo Brewpub’s Buffalo Breakfast Stout is making its return on January 9 (6pm) during a special tap takeover event at the Brewpub. This year’s version was brewed with Resurgence Brewing with local maple syrup (Stony Acres Maple Farm in East Aurora), Olmsted Coffee and chocolate bark (Watsons Chocolates) and aged on local bourbon soaked oak spirals (Five and 20 Spirits and Brewing), BBS features a complex flavor profile, rich milk chocolate, sticky sweet maple syrup and bold coffee aromas with hints of oak and vanilla with a touch of booze. Buffalo Breakfast Stout will be available in cans very soon.

Get Fancy at the Buffalo Beer Goddesses Stouts and Snowflakes Winter Formal at Big Ditch

If dressing up to the nines, drinking great local beer and aiding in the advancement of women in the Western New York beer industry, then don’t miss the Buffalo Beer Goddesses Stouts and Snowflakes Winter Formal at Big Ditch on February 29 (7pm). Your ticket includes two hour open bar, an exclusive new Big Ditch beer, three food stations (vegetarian options at all three), dessert, dancing and a post-formal gift. Tickets on sale at https://bbgformal.eventbrite.com (event is PRESALE ONLY). Early bird tickets are $60 until January 31, $65 after. The event is a fundraiser for BBG’s Cicerone Scholarship for Women.

Enjoy a 42 North Brewing Beer Dinner at The Roycroft Inn

42 North Brewing are teaming up with fellow East Aurora staple, The Roycroft Inn, for a special beer pairing dinner on January 16 (6pm). Enjoy four craft beers from the brewery paired with a tasting menu created by Chef Andrew and his staff. There is limited seating available for the event. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 716-652-5552. $50 per person (tax and gratuity not included). “We’re excited to join our friends at the Roycroft for an incredible evening of brews and foods,” the brewery says of the event. “Be sure to call to reserve your seat.”

Tickets on Sale Now for Habitat for Humanity’s Hammer & Ales Fundraiser

Tickets are on sale now for Hammer & Ales, the signature fundraising event for Habitat for Humanity, which takes place at the Barrel Factory on March 26 (5:30pm). Hammer & Ales brings together local brewers, distillers, and restaurants to support Habitat Buffalo. Guest will enjoy a silent auction, cigar bar, and beer-themed games. This event is a part of The House Beer Built, a year-long campaign through which Habitat Buffalo and the craft brew community raise enough money to build a house. Online ticket sales, $45 right now at Eventbrite, will end on March 25. Tickets $50 at the door.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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: 42 North Illumination Pils Cans, Beerology 2019, Buffalo Groundhog Day, Inaugural CollaBEERation

42 North Brewing Cans Popular Illumination Pilsner

42 North Brewing’s Illumination Pilsner, one of the brewery’s core beers since their launch, is now available in cans. Illumination Pils has a strong Saaz hop presence in the aroma and flavor with a light, bready and crackery flavor and an additional touch of honey and caramel from the malt. Coming in at 5.9% ABV, this bigger pils blends a light body with spicy and floral flavors. The can artwork by local artist Ken Trabert is an ode to Buffalo’s original nickname, ‘The City Of Light.’ The beer will be available at the brewery and wherever great beer is sold.

Tickets on Sale for Science After Hours: Beerology at Science Museum

The ever-popular Science After Hours: Beerology will return to the Buffalo Museum of Science on March 28 (6pm). At the event, which serves as the museum’s annual fundraising event, you can sample from some of the best breweries and cideries in the area, snack on beer-friendly foods and enjoy presentations on homebrewing, a variety of beer-related topics and more. Admission includes 10 drink tickets, food samples, live entertainment and access to all of the museum’s permanent exhibits and galleries. While VIP tickets are already sold out, you can still purchase General Admission tickets for $55 (BMS Members save 10%) here.

More Winter or Spring? Find Out at Flying Bison’s Groundhog Day Party

Will Buffalo Bert and Buffalo Mack see their shadows? Will we get six more weeks of winter or an early spring? Find out at Flying Bison’s Seventh Annual Buffalo Groundhog Day, January 25 at 12pm. The event will feature live music, local food trucks, Flying Bison beer and Buffalo Distilling cocktails in addition to a weather prediction from Bert and Mack. Tickets are available for purchase now at Buffalogroundhogday.com. Tickets are $20 presale and $25 at the door. There will also be an official after party at Buffalo Distilling presented by Picasso’s Pizza with live DJ’s, food, and drink specials.

First Ever CollaBEERation Festival Coming to Resurgence in February

Members of the Buffalo Beer Geeks have teamed up with a number of Western New York breweries for the first ever CollaBEERation Festival, which will take place February 16 (11:30a). The event, which will take place at Resurgence Brewing Chicago Street, will feature 27 different one-off beers and meads that the Beer Geeks and breweries created specifically for this event. Among the participants are West Shore Brewing, Rising Storm, New York Beer Project, Lilly Belle, Mortalis, Pressure Drop and Britesmith Brewing. There will be two sessions – Session 1: 11:30am-3pm, Session 2: 4-7:30pm – and tickets will go on sale soon.

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