Panic Attacks vs. Night Terrors: Thin Man, Pressure Drop Pit East Coast vs. West Coast With New IPA’s

East Coast vs. West Coast. Tupac vs. Biggie. West Coast-style IPA’s vs. New England-style IPA’s. And now it’s Thin Man Brewery and Pressure Drop Brewing who are keeping the coast-to-coast battle raging by pitting dank against haze with their new duel collaboration series, Panic Attacks and Night Terrors. Both beers will hit taps this week. Pressure Drop will send kegs to Thin Man to serve and vice versa, so both beers will be available at both locales.

The series features the same beer brewed at each location, with Panic Attacks, a filtered West Coast-style IPA, being brewed at Pressure Drop and Night Terrors, a hazy New England-style IPA, brewed at Thin Man. Each beer features the same grain bill and hop bill, Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe and CTZ (all extract, dry hopped with pellet), but the true difference is that Panic Attacks is brewed with West Coast Ale Yeast and Night Terrors is brewed with London Ale III yeast.

Thin Man/Pressure Drop’s Night Terrors

“It’s a beer experiment,” Pressure Drop Head Brewer Karl Kolbe says. “We want people to be able to have these side by side and taste both the beers.” According to Kolbe, Thin Man’s Night Terrors is a ‘fruit salad’ that features tropical pineapple notes, while Panic Attack is crystal clear and very crisp with a clean finish.

“Why the same beer? It’s fun and informative to both the customer and us,” Thin Man’s Rudy Watkins adds, “to see the impacts of process and a few different ingredients on a beer. There are going to be similarities for sure, but lots of differences too. So basically all grain and hops were the same. We used different yeast (his is American, ours in English) l treated our water differently & I added the whirlpool hops at a lower temperature than he did. He’s filtering his beer & ours will be hazy. I think that you’re gonna see more bitterness come through on Pressure Drop’s version, a bit more juicy on ours. Karl’s will also be a little higher in ABV and drier. It’ll be fun to see which the customer prefers.”

Watkins says that the genesis of the collaborations dates back to well before Kolbe moved back to Buffalo for good. “Karl and I had talked about doing a beer together forever ago. We first met when he was home visiting from California and came into CBW. It just didn’t come together until now!”

Thin Man/Pressure Drop’s Panic Attacks

And as for the names of the beers, Watkins admits that those were inspired by the life of a brewer and the stress that comes with the job. “Both Karl and I are… stressed people. At one point we were having a conversation where we realized we both wake up in the middle of the night fretting about our beers and just can’t get back to sleep.”

“When Rudy and I were coming up with the recipes, I said to him that we should name the beers something similar but different,” Kolbe adds. “And I said what if we called it Panic Attacks and Night Terrors, and he liked it, so he picked Night Terrors. I mean, how many times have we [as brewers] woken up in the middle of the night to wonder how the yeast is doing and then don’t fall asleep for like three hours. Sometimes you lose a little sleep over you beer.”

Regardless of your IPA preference, grab a pint of both Night Terrors and Panic Attacks and judge for yourself. Do you like the haze and the juice or do you prefer the dank? Take part in the experiment and who knows, you might find out something entirely new about yourself. Or at least about the IPA’s you drink.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/pressurebrewers/ and https://www.facebook.com/ThinManBrewery/. You can also find out more about the beer release at https://www.facebook.com/events/1763189783990043/.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com. 

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Buffalo Winter Hop Fest, New Woodcock XPA’s, Belgian Beer and Chocolate Fest, New Brewery Planning for West Side

Celebrate All Things Hops at the Buffalo Winter Hop Fest

The Buffalo Winter Hop Fest returns to Gene McCarthy’s for its second year on February 24 (1-4pm). The annual celebration will feature beer from OFW Brewing, 12 Gates, Community Beer Works, Big Ditch, Thin Man, Rusty Nickel, Hamburg Brewing, Four Mile, Flying Bison, 42 North, Resurgence, Buffalo Brewing, Pressure Drop and Woodcock Brothers. You can also enjoy samples of hop infused spirits from Lockhouse. For $25 you will receive a logo tasting glass for sampling, hopped up hot chili will be for sale and $5 growler fills will be available at the end of the festival. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite.

Two New Versions of Woodcock XPA Coming

The next two iterations of Woodcock Brothers Brewing’s beloved XPA series, XPA 6.2 and Galaxy Dry Hopped XPA 6.2, will be released at the brewery on Feb. 24. Version 6.2 is hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Azacca, then double dry hopped with all three for citrusy, tropical and dank flavors. XPA 6.2 is draft only and will be distributed throughout WNY. Galaxy Dry Hopped XPA 6.2 is brewed the same, but is dry hopped with Galaxy. A small amount of cans will also see distribution throughout WNY. Cans and draft go on sale at noon (limits 1 case per person).

Indulge in Belgian Beers and Chocolates at Pizza Plant

Pizza Plant’s Belgian Beer and Chocolate Fest, an annual February tradition and favorite of beer fans, returns for a ninth year on Feb. 13 (7pm) at the Plant’s Transit Road location. The annual event pairs locally made decadent chocolates from Chow Chocolat with equally decadent true-to-form Belgian beers from the likes of Ommegang and Duvel (which would pair perfectly with a stuffed pizza and a pod). There might also be some surprise Belgian beers on tap and in bottles as well. Hey, you never know. Beer is pay-as-you-go and will also be available in flights. For more information, visit www.pizzaplant.com.

Historic West Side Fire House Targeted for New Brewery

A historic former West Side fire house that sits at 310 Jersey Street, located near Symphony Circle, may soon be transformed into Buffalo’s newest brewery. Project X Holdings LLC, who purchased the 12,400 sq. ft. building last February for $435,000 after previous plans to turn it into apartments fell through, are looking to turn the former Engine Hose No. 2/Hook & Ladder No. 9 firehouse into a brewery/restaurant. Plans call for a studio apartment, one-story addition, façade alterations, and the addition of an outdoor dining patio out front. The project has been referred to the Common Council Committee on Legislation.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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12 Gates, Woodcock Brothers Bring the Sexy With seXPAnther

Picture it – the lights are dimmed, the candles are lit, Earth, Wind and Fire or maybe some Barry White is emanating throughout the room; it’s Valentine’s Day and the chocolate covered strawberries have already been nibbled, the long stem roses are in water. You reach for something bubbly, but it’s not champagne or red wine, it’s a different adult libation to help set the mood, a Black New England IPA called seXPAnther.

Or as Paul Rudd’s Brian Fantana says in Anchorman, “It’s called Sex Panther by Odeon. It’s illegal in nine countries. Yep, it’s made with bits of real panther. So you know it’s good. They’ve done studies you know. 60% of the time, it works, every time.”

This sexy little number will be released at 12 Gates Brewing on Valentine’s Day, February 14, at 4pm. The beer will also be available in Woodcock’s taproom as well.

seXPAnther is the brainchild of 12 Gates Head Brewer Scott Shuler and Woodcock Brothers Head Brewer Matt Redpath, who were looking for a unique new project to partner on, one that would pair well with quoting Anchorman and roaring like a panther while pawing the air. And in all honesty, isn’t that what we are all looking for?

“seXPAnther has been an ongoing conversation with Matt [Redpath],” Shuler says. “We wanted to brew something fun, unique, and expressive. The timing worked out for a Valentine’s Day release so we played off the holiday. And Matt and I love quoting lines from movies and emulating wild animals.”

The crux of the beer was to combine Woodcock’s XPA series with black IPA’s that Shuler enjoys brewing into relatively new style, Black New England IPA.

“It came up as a joke when we watched that scene out of Anchorman,” Redpath adds. “I always thought it would be a great name for a beer and began envisioning what seXPAnther would look like as a beer. We had joke of using XPA in seXPA and doing the collab, but when he texted me to do the seXPA collab, immediately I saw Panther. So I responded about doing seXPAnther and we began brainstorming the recipe.”

While black IPA’s lend themselves to dark malts, big hops and more roast, NEIPA’s are more fruit forward leaning towards juicier flavors. Redpath says he always envisioned this beer as a truly hoppy one and made sure that each hop that went into the kettle served a purpose. They even added in some sugar to punch it up a bit.

“I [always] envisioned it as a hoppy beer,” Redpath says. “The first hop that came to me immediately was Summit, for its pungent catty profile. We decided on Summit, Mosaic and Citra. Summit for its catty essence, Citra and Mosaic for their muskiness that they exude. The idea evolved into a Black IPA because it is a panther. However, we wanted it to be strong, so it had to be higher alcohol. We decided to throw dextrose sugar in the kettle to give it a nice high octane and maybe a little fusel to give some heat, like a seXPAnther should be. In the end, we’re hoping for a catty musky high octane seXPAnther, hoping that it will tingle the nostrils and water your eyes.”

“We are shooting for 8.0% ABV, 69 IBU, and 60% of the time it works every time,” Shuler quips.

“Hopefully, it won’t taste like bigfoots dick or a burnt hair on a turd,” Redpath jokes.

So, come this Valentine’s Day, remember the name – seXPAnther. And no, it does not smell like pure gasoline, a used diaper filled with Indian food, a turd covered in burnt hair or even Bigfoot’s dick. We can promise you that. So, this Valentine’s Day, don’t reach for a pint of London Gentleman, or Blackbird’s Delight – reach for an ice cold seXPAnther.

For more information on the seXPAnther release, visit the event page. 12 Gates will also be serving be serving 10oz. pours of the beer paired with 4 samples of Antoinette’s Sweets Chocolates for $6.90.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational Returns with a Bang

After taking a year off, the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational is making a triumphant return in 2018, with the second iteration of the intimate festival shaping up to be both bigger and better than the first. The event will take place Saturday, February 17 at New York Beer Project (3-7pm General Admission, 2-7pm for Buffalo Beer League members).

The goal of the Brewers Invitational is to bring together the very best the Buffalo-Niagara region has to offer via dozens and dozens of rare, one-off beers you won’t find anywhere else, many of which were brewed specifically for the BNBI. Representatives from each brewery will also be on hand to answer all of your pertinent beer questions.

This unique event will feature beer from 12 Gates Brewing, 42 North Brewing, Big Ditch Brewing, Community Beer Works, Ellicottville Brewing, Five and 20 Spirits and Brewing, Flying Bison Brewing, Four Mile Brewing, Gordon Biersch, Hamburg Brewing, New York Beer Project, Pan Am Grill & Brewery, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, Resurgence Brewing, Southern Tier Brewing, Woodcock Brothers Brewing and more.

The tentative beer list has been announced (subject to change) and is as follows:

12 Gates: My Aching Bock Eisbock, DDH West Coast Style IPA (cask)
42 North: Rambler Barrel-Aged Brett Saison, Barrel Aged Ben Nevis Scotch Ale
Big Ditch Brewing Company: Innovation Series Beer: Daves New England IPA, Citraburner
Blackbird Cider Works: Buffalo Bluegrass Bourbon Barrel Aged Semi-Dry Cider, Dabinett
Brickyard Brewing Company: White Bronco NE IPA, Stained Glass No. 1 Belgian Quad
Buffalo Brewing Company: DDH Rye IPA, Oatmeal DDH Session IPA
Community Beer Works: Jeanie’s Table Beer (Belgian Table Beer), Beer is for Closers Espresso Milk Stout
Ellicottville Brewing Company: St. Jacob’s Oak Aged Stout, Somethin’ Hazee NEIPA
Five and 20: Rhiskey Business Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Rye Pale Ale, Imperial Stout
Flying Bison: Bourbon Bean Stout, Thundersnow IPA
Four Mile Brewing: Russian Imperial Stout, Pale Ale #13
Gordon Biersch: Roggenbier, Provocative Porter
Hamburg Brewing Company: No Lux, Hamburg Lager
Lafayette Brewing Company: Teddy’s Tripel
New York Beer Project: Farmhouse/Saison, Belgian Quad
Pearl Street Brewery: Sabre’s Edge DIPA with Grapefruit
Pressure Drop Brewing: Sticky Trees IPA, Death Lettuce DIPA
Resurgence: R&D 10 New England IPA, Peanut Butter Porter
Rusty Nickel: Hometown Heroes IPA, TBD
Southern Tier: Brett Barrel Aged Cherry Gose, 2017 Manhattan Barrel Aged Strong
Stillhouse Brewery: Alpha Ralpha IPA, Fat Porter
Thin Man Brewery: Mulled Belgian Ale, Apple Brandy Imperial Stout, Dark Mild Brown Ale
West Shore Brewing Company: Green Flyer New England IPA, Paczki Day Belgian Dubbel
Windy Brew: Farmer’s Juice, Chocolate Cherry Stout
Woodcock Brothers: Saving Private Rye’n Ale, Lake Town Brown Ale

Tickets for the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational are on sale now for $45 and can be purchased at Eventbrite (Designated Driver tickets are also available for $10). This will be a limited attendance 3 hour event (4 hours for card carrying BNBA Enthusiasts) where guests will be treated to a VIP style event experience the entire duration of the event. Guests will receive a commemorative festival glass, a $5 voucher (good for any beer themed plates from NYBP’s menu) and access to all beer. Only 400 tickets will be on sale.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Limited Tickets Remain for Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational, CBW, Empire Get Smokey, West Shore Wants to Party, Halfway to Ballpark Brewbash

Tickets Moving Fast to Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational

Tickets to the second ever Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational are selling quickly (with just about half remaining at last check). The intimate event, which takes place February 17 at New York Beer Project (3-7pm GA, 2-7pm for Buffalo Beer League members), features one-off specialty beers brewed specifically for this event. A finalized beer list will be available soon. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com ($45) and will also be available at NYBP day of. Guests will receive a commemorative glass, $5 voucher (good for any beer themed plates on NYBP menu) and access to over 50 beers. Only 400 tickets available.

Community Beer Works, Empire Brewing Get Smokey with New Beer

Community Beer Works have cast their net further up to I-90 to Syracuse, this time partnering with Empire Brewing Company on Smoke N’ Shadows, a 6.2% smoked porter. Smoke N’ Shadows is brewed with a blend of Munich and Vienna malts which were hand-smoked over a period of three days at the Empire Farm Brewery. Using cherry wood and Empire’s on-site smoker, these smoked malts were blended with the specialty malts of the brew to give this porter a subtle hint of smoke flavor. Look for Smoke N’ Shadows on tap at CBW on February 9 (3pm). Crowler/growlers fills welcome.

It’s a Beer Drinking Party at West Shore Brewing Company

West Shore Brewing is hosting a good ol’ fashioned beer drinking party come February 9 (7pm), with live music from AJ ‘Applejack’ Tetzlaff and a full slate of West Shore brews, including Citra IPA, Ferry Run Session IPA, Turncoat Ale, Groundskeeper Scotch Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and their first ever sour beer, a kettle soured Berliner Weisse. The brewery will also be filming a new promotional video, so make sure you’re camera ready. And if you are, you’ll receive $2 off your first pint at 7pm! The brewery opens at 4pm, so make sure you grab a spot at the bar.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day Early at the Ballpark Brewbash Winter VIP Party

Head down to Consumer’s Pub at the Park on February 10 (4-7pm) for the Ballpark Brewbash Winter VIP Party, which will feature the best food and drink Buffalo can offer. The event will feature beer from 42 North Brewing, Flying Bison, Big Ditch, Pearl Street, 12 Gates Brewing, Resurgence Brewing and cider from BlackBird Cider Works, as well as exclusive offerings from Community Beer Works, Founders Brewing and more. There will also be an all-you-can-eat seafood display, steak carving station and more. Tickets are $50 (150 available) and can be purchased at any Consumer’s Beverage location or by phone (716-846-2011).

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Community Beer Works, Empire Brewing Get Smokey with New Beer

After collaborating with most local breweries, including Pearl Street Brewery, Resurgence Brewing and Big Ditch Brewing and Rochester breweries like Swiftwater Brewing and Roc Brewing, Community Beer Works have cast their net further up to I-90 to Syracuse, this time partnering with Empire Brewing Company on Smoke N’ Shadows, a 6.2% smoked porter.

Smoke N’ Shadows is brewed with a blend of Munich and Vienna malts which were hand-smoked over a period of three days at the Empire Farm Brewery. Using cherry wood and Empire’s on-site smoker, these smoked malts were blended with the specialty malts of the brew to give this porter a subtle hint of smoke flavor.

CBW’s Director of Brewing Operations Ryan Demler says that the collaboration has roots that extend back years and years.

“[Empire Brewing’s Director of Brewing Operations] Tim [Butler] and I have been talking about brewing a beer together since I worked at the Albany Pump Station,” Demler says of how Smoke N’ Shadows first came to be. “As he said, this collab ‘came together over many beers over many years.’ Ethan [Cox] (President of CBW), and until very recently Dave [Katleski] (founder of Empire), served on the NYS Brewers Association Board of Directors together. Ethan had planned on brewing a CBW collaboration with every sitting member of the board (so far we’ve got 2, plus a board member emeritus) and those two have been good buddies for a while.”

Demler adds that brewing Smoke N’ Shadows was quite the eye-opening experience for him since most everything at Empire was different from what he is used to at CBW, although he does admit that it has him excited for their own future.

“Working with the Empire folks was awesome. They’re excellent people, wonderful hosts, and took us all through their sweet new(er) brewery. Tim took us through their automation system in depth, Dave gave us the grand tour of their facility, we had a delicious lunch, sampled some super tasty beers and got to just hang out and shoot the shit which is always nice. It was also a trip to brew on such a system since everything we do at CBW is outrageously labor intensive, while the new Empire brewery is much more user/labor friendly. Makes me excited for our new system.”

Smoke N’ Shadows will be on tap at Community Beer Works, Hydraulic Hearth and both Empire Brewing locations as well as ‘at some choice accounts in Buffalo and around Syracuse,’ according to Demler.

Get more information on CBW at www.communitybeerworks.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/communitybeerworks.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Drink 12 Gates Beer, Track on Untappd, Earn Free Merch

Do you drink beer from 12 Gates Brewing? Do you use the beer tracking app Untappd? Do you like free stuff? If you answered yes, you’re in luck because 12 Gates is awarding those beer drinkers who use Untappd to log the beer they drink. It’s easy – the more beer you drink, the more free stuff you get.

The process is a relatively simple one. You will earn the first level of the badge with your first check-in and the next level of the badge every fifth check-in following (level two will be earned at the fifth check-in, level three at the tenth check-in, etc.). As far as what free 12 Gates merchandise you can expect, you will earn a free sticker at level 1, a can koozie at level 10, free pint glass at level 20, a trucker hat at level 30, a t-shirt at level 40 and a $25 gift certificate at level 50.

The brewery says that the new promotion is a fun way to further reward their customers.

“Since we’ve implemented our Untappd digital boards in the taproom, we’ve seen an increase in check-ins,” 12 Gates says. “It’s fun for customers to see their profile photo pop-up on the screen and it’s a conversation starter. Since many Untappd users are badge collectors, it made sense for us to implement our own local badge for the brewery too! We wanted to not only incentivize check-ins, but also reward our customers for their loyalty. The app tracks their progress towards the next level and getting their free merchandise is as easy as showing the bartender when they’ve unlocked a milestone award level badge.”

12 Gates currently has over 26,000 check-ins to 185 beers. To no one’s surprise, their flagships top that list, including their West Coast Style IPA (3,990 check-ins), Coffee Porter (2,028) and Cherry Vanilla Wheat (1,257). Some of their more popular beers include Grave Concerns Russian Imperial Stout (482), Resting Peach Face Berliner Weisse, a collaboration with Community Beer Works (310) and Mountains of the Moon New England IPA (266).

Find 12 Gates Brewing on Untappd at https://untappd.com/12GatesBrewing. You can also find the brewery online at www.12gatesbrewing.com. And if you don’t yet use Untappd, this is the perfect opportunity to begin doing so.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: New Brewery Coming, 12 Gates, Woodcock Brothers Get Sexy, New Beers From New York Beer Project & Southern Tier

Froth Brewing Company Coming to Black Rock

Froth Brewing Company may soon be coming to the Black Rock neighborhood. Buffalo developer Thomas Eoannou has leased a portion of a 14,000-square-foot building at the corner of Military Road and Skillen Street to Froth Brewing, who may serving their own beer before the year is out. The brewery and taproom will occupy about 6,500-square-feet of the single-story, brick building (part of the project also includes a private skate park that will be run by Eoannou’s son). According to reports, Froth has already filed an application with the State Liquor Authority and Eoannou is currently working with architect Michael Anderson.

12 Gates Brewing, Woodcock Brothers Brewing Team Up on seXPAnther

12 Gates Brewing and Woodcock Brothers Brewing are brewing up something special to get us all in the mood for Valentine’s Day – seXPAnther, a Black New England IPA. The beer pays homage to both Woodcock’s XPA series and the black IPAs that 12G’s Head Brewer Scott Shuler likes to brew. “We wanted to brew something fun, unique, and expressive. We are shooting for 8.0% ABV, 69 IBU, and 60% of the time it works every time,” Shuler says. They are shooting for a Valentine’s Day release and will be pairing the beer with different chocolates from Antoinette’s Sweets in Depew.

New York Beer Project to Kick Off February With 2 New Beers

New York Beer Project are planning a pair of beer releases over the next week, the first being the next installment in their Perry’s Ice Cream-inspired series, Death By Chocolate Imperial Stout, which features copious amounts of cacao nibs, flavors of chocolate truffles and fudge chips. Look for that release on February 1 at 5pm. Following that, on February 8 (5pm), NYBP will drop What the Puck?! Scotch Ale, which is “one hell of a scrumptious Scotch Ale,” one that “is sure to warm your taste buds during the coldest part of our wonderful Western New York winter,” NYBP says.

Southern Tier Brewing Plans Next Imperial Sour Ale

Following their Imperial Cherry Gose and Imperial Blueberry Tart Ale, Southern Tier Brewing have revealed the next in their imperial sour series, Imperial Concord Grape Gose, which is brewed with Concord grape juice. The 8.3% beer pours a slightly cloudy, deep reddish purple color with a persistent white head, and features a nose defined by equal parts bright lactic acidity and grape aroma with a hint of coriander. On the palate, strong lacto acidity is balanced by the natural sweetness of the Concord grapes. Imperial Concord Grape Gose is available in 4 pack 12oz. bottles and is in stores now.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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Community Beer Works Resurrects A Buffalo Beer Icon

Since their inception in 2011, Community Beer Works have been as much about community as they have been beer. Aside from their efforts to Embeer Buffalo, the West Side brewery have personified Buffalo’s standing as ‘the city of good neighbors’ thanks to beer-fueled charity drives that have led to the donation of thousands of dollars to local philanthropies like Journey’s End Refugee Services of Buffalo and Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of WNY. Now they are looking forward to the future by digging through the past with a relaunch of Iroquois Beverage Co., a former titan of the beer industry in the Queen City.

The  of the iconic beer brand will take place Thursday, February 1 (5pm) at the Hotel Henry. This is a free event and is open to the public.

Iroquois began with a merge of two local breweries, Roos Cooperative and Ziegle Brewing Co. under the official name, Iroquois Brewing Company. After prohibition, Iroquois became a market leader in Buffalo, so much so that in 1952, it produced 500,000 barrels of beer and employed 550 men. At the time, 40% of all beer in Buffalo was Iroquois. A few years later in 1955, President William Weigel sold the business to International Brewers and in 1971 Iroquois closed for good due to their inability to compete with big name beer distributors.

Community Beer Works President Ethan Cox says that all of this first came about while he was researching for Buffalo Beer: The History of Brewing in the Nickel City, a book on the history of the brewing industry in Buffalo.

“When I was researching for the book that I co-wrote with Mike [Rizzo], through a mutual acquaintance I was introduced to a man named Willard Pottle, one of the heirs to the Iroquois brand,” Cox says. “He was a really great resource in terms of the book – he knew about the history of the brand and had some awesome artifacts. It was a cool acquaintanceship that turned into a friendship, and after some time, he proposed to me that he would be excited if we would be willing to bring the brand back and I said we would be happy to do that.”

“It’s taken some time as we had to get a point where we had the capacity to put a brand like this on the street and we are at that point now.”

While CBW will brew the beer, Cox explains that this is a full relaunch of the Iroquois Beverage Co. and that Iroquois will be its own standalone brand. The beer that will be available at the launch party will be a test batch, but Cox adds that it will be pretty close to the final product.

“It’s going to be something that we always have on,” he says. “We will really turn to spigot on when our new facility is open. There will be some differences in the beer moving forward, just because we will be making it on a much bigger scale. But this is close enough for people to get an idea of where we are heading with it when it full debuts in May.”

Cox explains that the new Iroquois beer will be brewed off of an entirely new recipe, since no original recipe for the beer could be found. “No one that I’m aware of could tell us exactly what the original recipe was like. And if you’re a brewer you know that there isn’t just one recipe and beer changes over time. And even if we did have that original recipe in hand, you can’t buy the same malt they were selling in the late 60’s and early 70’s, a lot of those hop varietals are not hop varietals that people want anymore and we also don’t know their yeast strain, So even if we had that recipe in hand it would have to be more of an inspiration than anything else. So given that, our feeling was that we should make a modern, clean, light American lager the way we would just like they did when they made theirs in the first place.”

He says that Iroquois will serve as something of a fifth core brand for CBW, though it will have its own feel with new and unique branding, logo and marketing. He’s hoping that Iroquois can serve as a bridge to craft beer for the everyday drinker, adding that Buffalo needs a beer like that.

“We think that Iroquois is an iconic brand that will resonate with people,” he says. “I think the average drinker just likes beer and enjoying drinking it while their doing what it is that they are actually hobbyists about, whether that be having a beer while watching your sports team, having a beer while working on your car or having a beer while knitting. For the vast majority of people, the beer is not the focus of the beer drinking experience, it’s more an accessory.”

“I think we are putting out a brand that is going to have that level of approachability that will help bring people over to craft, one that is styled as a beer for people, an everyday, approachable beer for people. I think Buffalo needs a beer like that. I’m proud of all of the beer brands we have here. I think Big Ditch makes great beer, Resurgence is making good beer and Flying Bison makes good beer too, but I want Iroquois to be a bridge. It’s just a beer that is meant to be enjoyed while you do what you do.”

Future plans also call for Iroquois to be available in cans and test batches of the beer will be available around the city at a few retail accounts. After that, it will be a few months before the final version is ready. “This is a beer that people should be grabbing at their supermarkets, at their convenience stores and at their gas stations. This is that kind of beer. This is a drinking beer, this is a beer for people.”

You can find more information on Iroquois Beverage Co. at https://iribeer.com/.

Community Beer Works is located at 15 Lafayette Avenue, near the corner of Lafayette Ave. and Niagara St. and across from Santasiero’s. Get more information on CBW at www.communitybeerworks.com, Facebook at www.facebook.com/communitybeerworks and on Twitter/Instagram at @communitybeer.

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: Thin Man, Pressure Drop Team Up, CBW Brings Back An Icon, New Rusty Nickel IPA, Flying Bison Celebrates Groundhogs Day

Thin Man, Pressure Drop Plan Pair of IPA Collaborations

Thin Man Brewery and Pressure Drop Brewing have joined forces on a pair of new IPAs, brewing the same beer at either location with different yeast and water profiles. Night Terrors, which was brewed at Thin Man, is a hazy East Coast IPA brewed with 100% CO2 Hop Extract (Columbus, Simcoe, Mosaic, Citra) and dry hopped with pellets, and Panic Attacks, a West Coast IPA, was brewed at Pressure Drop, with the same grain and hops, but different process, yeast, filtering, and water chemistry. Keep an eye out for both of these releases at each location in a few weeks.

Community Beer Works Resurrects a Buffalo Beer Icon

After over three decades, a Buffalo brewing icon is set to make its return as Community Beer Works is bringing back the Iroquois Beer brand. You too can ‘Have an Iri’ brewed by CBW at the official Launch Party, February 1 (5pm) at Hotel Henry. Once upon a time in 1952, 40% of all beer in Buffalo was Iroquois. The business was eventually sold to International Brewers and in 1971 closed due to inability to compete with big name beer distributors. Now the great grandson of William Weigel and CBW have teamed up to bring it back.

Rusty Nickel Pays Tribute to Bills Season with New IPA

Rusty Nickel Brewing are commemorating a historic football season that saw the Buffalo Bills break a 17-season drought by making the playoffs for the first time since 1999 with the aptly titled Hometown Heroes IPA, which follows the preseason release of Cautiously Optimistic IPA and midseason release of They Call Him the Streak IPA in their Football IPA Series. Coming in at 5.8% ABV, this low IBU IPA featuring El Dorado and Lemondrop hops has tropical and pineapple flavors with hints of peach aroma but almost no bitterness. Expect notes of mango and citrus with a soft slightly bitter finish.

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

Will Buffalo Mack see his shadow? Will we get six more weeks of winter or an early spring? Find out at Flying Bison’s Fifth Annual Buffalo Groundhog Day, January 27 at 12pm. The event will feature live music all day, Buffalo’s finest food trucks, Flying Bison beer and Buffalo Distilling cocktails in addition to a weather prediction from Buffalo Mack himself. Tickets include a commemorative Buffalo Groundhog Day Mug, 3 beer/cocktail tickets, $5 food voucher for onsite food trucks and a donation to local animal charities. Tickets are available at Buffalogroundhogday.com. Tickets are $30 presale and $35 at the door.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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