Buffalo Beer Buzz: CBW’s 7th Anniversary, Dyngus Day at 12 Gates, 42 North Can Releases, Upcoming Four Mile Beers

Community Beer Works Marks Their Seventh Year Anniversary

Community Beer Works are turning seven on April 20 and have an entire day of shenanigans, good vibes and celebration planned. Gravy is performing starting at 11am during brunch, free brewery tours will be available 12-5pm, live band karaoke starts at 8pm and CBW’s full bar and kitchen will be open all day long. Highly Suspicious, a collaboration with Prison City Pub & Brewery, a tropical IPA brewed with loads of fresh pineapple, will be available in 16oz 4packs and on draft, as will Seven Ate Nine, their 7th Anniversary IPA, which features seven different hops with a bill of seven different malts.

Celebrate Dyngus Day with 12 Gates Brewing, New Beer

Celebrate Dyngus Day 2019 in traditional style at 12 Gates Brewing on April 22 (12pm) for a daylong party complete with Polish food, a special beer release and live entertainment. The brewery will be releasing a beer fitting of the occasion, Grodziskie, a traditional Polish beer brewed with oak smoked wheat and spicy noble hops. Along with the beer release, 12 Gates’ Dyngus Day party will feature Ru’s Pierogi Food Truck, a special Polish food menu in the tasting room, and XOXO Pop Band Trio playing live from 5-9pm. The event is free and open to the public. Twoje zdrowie!

42 North Plots Two Big Can Releases This Weekend

42 North Brewing want to help you kick your weekend off the right away with a pair of big can releases, including Loadstone IPA, the latest in their Pre-Emption Beer Series, and Hopography, the first in a new beer series, on April 20 at 12pm. Lodestone (Belma, Cascade, Styrian Cardinal, Huell Melon, Pacifica hops) is a hazy and lightly oak aged IPA with notes of tropical fruit, melon, coconut and vanilla. Hopography (Nelson, Cashmere, Rakau, Pacifica hops) is stone fruit-forward and is also a hazy IPA, packing a punch at 7.8%. Both are available in 16oz. 4-pack cans for $13.99.

Four Mile to Release Several New Beers over the Next Few Weeks

Olean’s Four Mile Brewing have a busy few weeks ahead of them with a number of new and returning beers on the release schedule. Tropical Wheat, a wheat beer brewed with pineapples, mangoes and other natural flavors, is available now on draft and in 12oz. 6-pack cans, then Maple Brown Ale, aka Breakfast Beer, a brown ale with local maple syrup from Sprague’s Maple Farms in Portville, NY, will make the rounds starting next week (draft only). And last, but not least, Four Mile will debut their South Pacific IPA in 16oz. 4-pack cans by the end of the month.

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 Geeks Brew Up Successful New Beer Series at Resurgence

Resurgence Brewing teamed up with members of the Buffalo Beer Geeks Facebook group on a new beer line, the Buffalo Brew Geek Series, which saw the Beer Geeks collaborate with the brewery every step of the way, from what ingredients were used to can artwork and beer names. The first two beers in the new series, S’more Than Friends Imperial S’mores Stout and GenusCocos Imperial Coconut Stout, were released recently, and judging from the scores of positive feedback, this looks to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

In typical Beer Geek fashion, the beer release featured an early morning line share, including a host of rare and hard-to-find beers from Mortalis Brewing, Other Half Brewing, Bellwood Brewery, Tree House Brewing and Funky Buddha Brewery, among others, before the doors opened and the party went from the parking lot to the taproom. In addition to the pair of imperial stouts, the Buffalo Brew Geek Base Imperial Stout was also available, as were a few cask variants, an Imperial Coffee Stout and Imperial Mexican Cake Stout.

If you ask Resurgence Owner Jeff Ware, this relationship will surely be continuing for another round.

“Yes!” he said resoundingly. “Everyone I talked to had a great time. I loved the beers. We sold out of the pre-release and all of the four pack beers we had on hand.”

The unlikely relationship between Resurgence and the Beer Geeks stems from last year’s inaugural Beer Geek summit, which was held at Big Ditch Brewing. Ware says that he wanted to collaborate with members of the group in order to address their concerns with the local beer scene.

“We were sitting in the summit and some members of the Beer Geeks were saying that there is not enough beer stuff locally that they could get excited about,” he said, “and, quite honestly, it’s because they can sometimes be very opinionated. Which got me thinking, ‘are they that way because we are not including them?’ So we thought why not try to engage them? We approached the Beer Geek members that were at that meeting and presented them with the idea of brewing a beer as a collaboration, just like we would do with another brewery, with them having a lot of input on the beer. And they loved the idea.”

He admits that everything in the planning phases of the first two beers has been a lot of fun. “We met a handful of times, and all of the meetings in the process were really fun.” Ware credits most of the success of the series to his Director of Brewing Operations Andrew Zach, who he says handled most aspects of the project.

“We were wide open to all of their opinions; it really was a true collaboration and I think it has gone pretty well. I think it has been a real strong success so far; not only the beer itself, but I see an attitude change on the entire [Facebook] page. Right now you are not seeing a lot of negativity, and I don’t know if that has anything to do with us doing this in general, but I think that it has been a success.”

And in case you were wondering, the next installment of the series is already in the works.

“We’re already planning the next one,” Ware says, adding that the tentative plan is to [hopefully] involve different members of the Beer Geeks on the next beer. “We’re still working the kinks out of exactly how we are going to do it, but I think that we might have the first group nominate the next group. We might do a lottery to pick names depending on how it grows. And we’ve discussed perks for past Beer Geek members who we have collaborated, so that might be really cool. This is what they said they wanted, so we’re just trying to listen to our customers.”

Ware is hopeful that the success of this initial release will cause more breweries to join in on engaging the Buffalo Beer Geeks, leading to more collaborations down the line.

For more information on the Buffalo Beer Geeks, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/buffalobeergeeks (you can request to join if you are not already a member) and for more information on Resurgence Brewing, visit https://www.facebook.com/resurgencebrewing.

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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NYBP Hits Goal of $20,000 Donation to Oishei Children’s Hospital

In conjunction with National Superhero Month, NYBP will be releasing Superhero Sour- their newest collaboration brew with Perry’s Ice Cream.

On this date, the 20,000th pint of this very special collaboration series will be poured from the taps of the Lockport brewery, representing the $20,000 donated to Oishei Children’s Hospital as a result of this partnership.

“Kevin and I, and our entire NYBP Team – now over 300 people strong – is beyond proud that we are able to be partnered with such an amazing local tradition such as Perry’s Ice Cream for this unique Mash up,” New York Beer Project Owner Kelly Krupski said. “It’s also wonderfully surreal that we were able to donate $20,000 to Oishei in under two years. What this actually means is, our guests drank over twenty thousand pints of the NYBP Perry’s collab just in our Lockport location alone. What a fun way to #makeadifference one beer at a time.”

This unique “Mash Up” series where New York Beer Project brews unique beers inspired by Perry’s iconic ice cream flavors began May 29, 2017 with the creation of Panda Paws Porter. The objective was to give back to the community and let craft beer drinkers make a difference by donating $1 for each pint sold at the NYBP Lockport location to Oishei Children’s Hospital. The original goal of raising $10,000 by Memorial Day 2018 was celebrated early last March. Fast forward two years, and the $20,000 goal, also achieved earlier than expected, came through sales of many delicious craft ales and lagers brewed to imitate the flavors found in Perry’s ice creams, such as White Christmas Belgian Blonde Ale, Death by Chocolate Imperial Stout, and the current offering, Superhero Sour, brewed for all the superheroes at Oishei Children’s Hospital.

“With the new trend of wildly creative flavored beers, Milkshake IPAs, and beers that mimic crazy flavors such as cereals we used to eat as kids, or baked goods, the NYBP Perry’s collab is the perfect platform for this new “fun beer” wave,” she continues. “NYBP / Perry’s Superhero Sour really sums up the whole heartbeat of this collab, since it was brewed to celebrate all the Superhero patients at the hospital as well as all the Superheros who make miracles happen daily at Oishei. This is extremely personal to all of us here at NYBP. Basically, this $20,000 donation to the Hospital is from New York Beer Project, Perry’s and everyone of legal drinking age in  Western New York.”

New York Beer Project and Perry’s Ice Cream will be presenting a check for $20,000 to Oishei Children’s Hospital this month. For more information, please visit http://nybeerproject.com and https://www.perrysicecream.com/.

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Thin Man’s New Chandler Street Home Set to Open

Thin Man Brewery’s long awaited and highly anticipated second location at 166 Chandler Street will open to the public at 4pm today. The new space features a large taproom with a heavy industrial feel, complete with plenty of bar space, seating and games, Tappo Pizza restaurant, an increased production facility, which includes a dedicated canning line, increased brewing capacity with room to grow, banquet facility, barrel-aging room and graffiti-emblazoned outdoor beer garden.

The taproom features vaulted ceilings, cement pillars, seating for 120-150 people, including an elevated seating area and dozens of barstools, a gaming area with Golden Tee Golf arcade game, two dartboards, two skee ball machines and a pair of foosball tables (some pinball machines could find their way to the space in the future), multiple flat screen televisions and Tappo Wood Fired Pizza restaurant, who will solely handle the food at Chandler. The elevated seating area is also home to an entire wall adorned with Space Ghost, Brak and Zorak, who inspired Thin Man’s beloved house sour, Minkey Boodle. The new facility also features bigger bathrooms, more than Thin Man’s Elmwood location, according to Watkins. Off the taproom sits the beer garden, which is enclosed on three sides with graffiti-laden walls and is open to the street. There will be tables and chairs for patrons.

The bar features 16 total taps as well as a cooler with packaged beer to go, including cans of Pills Mafia Pilsner and bottles of Sauvage Alliance, a barrel aged wild ale collaboration with New Belgium Brewing. More options will be available soon.

The upstairs banquet facility features space for private parties, weddings and the like with a dedicated bar, full kitchen and seating for up to 300 people. The ‘catering loft’ overlooks the brewery below through large glass panels. Off that room is Thin Man’s dedicated barrel-aging room, which Watkins was understandably very excited for. The brewery and the barrel room will both be open for tours.

“There’s plenty of room to store plenty of barrels,” Watkins says. “We can fit hundreds of barrels in here.” Watkins admits that he might build a warm room to encourage bottle conditioning in the future, depending on how things go. “I’m excited. I’ve done a little bit of barrel stuff over at Elmwood, but we just didn’t have enough space. This is going to be fun to play around with. I’m hoping to re-brew Awesome Jenkins [Imperial Stout] and put some of it in barrels.” All of the barrels at Chandler will be clean beers.

With their current tank setup, Chandler’s capacity is 10-12,000 barrels (six 90bbl tanks) with a goal of 5,000bbls in the first year. Watkins says that, given their square footage, Chandler could get up to 25-28,000bbls in the future. Last year, Thin Man maxed out at 2,000bbls on Elmwood. There’s also room to grow and add more tanks down the line. Watkins says that with a few minor tweaks, six 120bbl tanks could be added to the space. In the back of the brewhouse sits storage space, offices and space for a dedicated lab.

“It’s a pretty significant jump, but we’ve got a dedicated canning line, which is huge for us. And that’s a market that doesn’t really exist for us right now. We’ve done some canning running runs before, but nothing like what we will be able to do here.” Tentative plans call for canning runs of Bliss Double IPA, Minkey Boodle Raspberry Sour, Burning Money IPA, Trial By Wombat New England IPA, Pills Mafia Pilsner and “a whole bunch of other stuff,” Watkins says. “It’s been forever since we’ve made Juicemaster for example.”

The new space will allow Thin Man to free up space at their Elmwood facility, up to 15 percent according to Watkins. Thin Man’s keg washer, as well as their Shipping and Receiving, will be headquartered at Chandler. “Basically with this new space, I can do what would be two weeks worth of work at Elmwood in one day here. I’m really looking forward to that.”

Thin Man will predictably expand their brew staff and have already hired on some new personnel. Watkins hopes to have beer in the tanks at Chandler by the end of April, adding that he isn’t quite sure what the first brew batch at Chandler will be, though some one-offs and potentially incredibly exciting collaborations aren’t out of the question. “I’m very excited to start making beer here.”

As for plans for the brewhouse on Elmwood, Watkins says that the smaller system in place will allow him to experiment some more. “Having the smaller tanks over on Elmwood will allow us to mess around with different fruits and different styles, more funky wild stuff and would allow me to make some bigger stouts more frequently.”

Chandler Street will feature seven-eight house beers at launch, including the returning Citra Double Dry-Hopped Trial By Wombat and a new IPA, Invisible Hand, brewed with the holy hop trinity of Mosaic, Citra and Simcoe. Expect many of Thin Man’s more recognizable brands on tap as well, including Burning Money IPA, Bliss DIPA and Pills Mafia. Citra DDH Trial By Wombat will be available on draft and to-go in growlers and crowlers. The beer will only be available at Chandler.

“This is pretty much what I had envisioned it would be,” Watkins says of the new space. “Actually, this is far grander than I had initially envisioned. Elmwood is a great location, but sometimes it’s a pain to have an industrial manufacturing facility there. I’m excited to be open. I’m excited to start making beer here and be able to have enough beer to go around. There’s going to be great beer and great food here, set in a cool, rehabbed industrial environment. It’s a fun place to hang out. This feels like a brewery. When you’re in the tasting room, you can see through into the brewery, see the tanks and you actually walk right by them. Here on Chandler you get more of a brewery experience than you get over on Elmwood.”

For more information, please visit https://thinmanbrewery.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 (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.

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The 7 Best Beers That Graced My Glass at Thawfest 4

It’s somewhat hard to fathom that I have been descending upon Buffalo Riverworks for their annual Thawfest event each April for the past four years, but time flies when you’re having fun. I’ve enjoyed myself immensely every year I’ve been lucky enough to be invited back and this year, Thawfest 4: A New Hope (or Thawfest 4: Thaw Harder if you like), was no different. Let me say first – if you have not been to one of these Thawfest’s, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Now that that is out of the way, the fourth installment of Thawfest featured some minor tweaks, including a different layout, more distilleries and a few less breweries than in years past. If you’re planning on hitting Thawfest 5 next year, let me suggest the VIP option. Not only are there VIP-only beers, two of which made my Best Of list below, the food spread is also top notch with pizza, soft pretzels, wings, sliders and so much more among the delicious options this year. Also new this year was the layout, with all of the festival moved to the first floor and set up along the bar and two bigger ovals. This allowed for better flow for sure, and I didn’t really notice one spot getting too crowded.

Thawfest is really rounding into an event for every type of drinker. Although I didn’t partake in much liquor, outside of a shot of Single Hop Spirit with my dude Cory at Lockhouse, I can appreciate the expanded options. I did miss Gravy performing, but ManBearPig killed it with the 90’s tunes. Beggars can’t be choosers, right?

After drinking my way through most, if not all, of what Thawfest had to offer beer-wise, I came away with seven beers that stood out to me, even now, several days after the event has passed.

Thin Man Coffee Town – This brown ale dosed with shots of espresso was a VIP-only option, so I apologize ahead of time for those that didn’t get the chance to partake. It was smooth and roasty, with notes of coffee and chocolate. I had a few pours before I headed downstairs.

Brickyard Brewing Maple Bock – The other VIP-only brew was one of the most maple-forward beers I’ve ever had. It was rich, thick and syrupy without being too cloyingly sweet. This is also the first of two Brickyard beers to make this list.

Brickyard Brewing Bourbon Street Sour – This was a treat. Passionfruit, blood orange and cherry flavors played together perfectly, with a pleasant tartness to round it off. John Paul at Brickyard isn’t just brewing some of the best IPA’s in the area.

SATO Brewpub Sofishticated – Craft beer is meant to be wacky, fun and out-of-the-box, and no other beer exemplified that more than SATO’s Sofishticated, an IPA brewed with Bonito Flakes (dried, smoked tuna). Drew and Justin are doing some cool things with their Japanese-inspired beers and this was no exception. No, this didn’t taste like fish – it more resembled smoked pineapple with touches of pine.

Pressure Drop Sticky Trees – Fresh off its triumphant Wise Choice Award win at Beerology, Sticky Trees makes this list, because, well, it’s a great beer. I enjoyed a few of these as I chatted with Pressure Drop Head Brewer Karl Kolbe.

Community Beer Works Creative Chaos – Just as her So It Goes West Coast IPA made this list last year, Hydraulic Hearth’s Head Brewer Vandra Ruppel’s latest creation, Creative Chaos IPA, was a good brew. She is making some quality IPA’s that don’t always get their due. Clean, crisp and citrus-forward made this easy-drinker one of my Best Of’s.

Lafayette Brewing Gose Cuervo – This was a beer that I had wanted to try since it was released a little while back, so I was happy to get my hands on some. This batch was dosed with extra lime and salt so the flavors really popped. The tartness and sweetness were dialed in as well, making for a memorable beer.

I owe a special thanks to Chris Herr (the talented head brewer of Pearl Street, Riverworks Brewing and Lafayette Brewing if you didn’t know) for allowing me to be a part of Thawfest for another year. It has quickly become one of my favorite beer events of the year and I am not exaggerating when I say I’m already looking forward to the fifth iteration in 2020. Cheers.

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 Brew Geeks Launch, Tickets on Sale for Thin Man’s Summer Solstice & 42 North’s Full Circle Fest, Pizza Plant’s Sour Power

Buffalo Brew Geek Series Inaugural Beer Release at Resurgence

Resurgence Brewing has partnered with members of the Buffalo Beer Geek Facebook group on a new series of beers, the first two of which will be released at the brewery on April 13 (11:30am). The beers, S’more Than Friends Imperial S’mores Stout and GenusCocos Imperial Coconut Stout, saw the Beer Geeks collaborate with Resurgence every step of the way, from the ingredients used and recipe to can artwork and names. There will be a bottle share (9am) in the Resurgence parking lot. Doors open at 11am for Hop Mule customers and 11:30am for general customers. Preorder yours now at HopMule.

Tickets Now On Sale for Thin Man’s Summer Solstice Festival

In honor of their three-year anniversary, Thin Man Brewery is once again shutting down Elmwood Avenue for the third annual Summer Solstice Street Festival on June 15 (12-10pm), a full day of live music, beer and food. There will be Thin Man menu items, Allen Burger Venture burgers and more for those looking to eat and both bars inside will be open for full beer, wine, and cocktail service. Also, a beer truck will be outside for quick access. RADARADA, Witty Tarbox, Funktional Flow and Leroy Townes, among others, will take to the stage to perform. Buy tickets at Eventbrite.

Lambics, Berliner Weisses, Gose’s, Oh My: Sour Power Returns to Pizza Plant

Pizza Plant’s Transit location will host a world-class selection of sour beers at Sour Power 2019 on April 14 (12pm). Everything from lambics to wild ales will be on tap, including Thin Man x New Belgium Sauvage Alliance, Dieu De Ciel D’ete Framboise, La De Bauche Cherry Leader, Aventinus Cuvee Barrique 2015 and Bellwoods Jelly King, as well as in bottles and cans (Toccalmatto/Evil Twin Kaleidoscope, Libertine SLO Wild Ale, Cascade The Vine 2016, Cascade Figaro, Allagash Cuvee D’industrial to name a few). If you purchase a flight, you will receive half off any bottle. For any questions, email beertastings@pizzaplant.com.

Tickets on Sale for 42 North’s Full Circle Festival

Tickets are on sale for 42 North Brewing’s Fourth Annual Full Circle Fest on May 18 (2-6pm). As part of Farm to Pint Week, Full Circle Fest features beer tastings from over a dozen local breweries in 42 North’s Biergarten, live music and pig roast. General admission tickets ($30) include beer samplings, pig roast and souvenir glass, while VIP tickets ($40) include special access to barrel-aged beers at 42 Below Barrel Room, samplings, pig roast and souvenir glass. Hurry through, because this event has sold out the past three years. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite (Designated Driver tickets available for $10).

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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New York Beer Project’s New IPA Is a True Collaborative Effort

Spurred by an empty tank, the need for an IPA and a true collaborative spirit, New York Beer Project’s Head Brewer Jason Crossett set out to accomplish something truly unique with their newest West Coast IPA – collaborate with every single one of his fellow brewers at NYBP, including the head brewer of their Victor location, Ben Elford.

“This beer was special to me as I wanted to brew a beer where the brewers at the New York Beer Project collaborated on,” Crossett says. “I had an open tank and needed an IPA to fill a gap between two seasonal IPA’s so I took this as a great opportunity for us brewers to have some fun and at the same time break up the monotony of brewing flagships and seasonal beers.”

This small batch West Coast IPA is 6.8 % with 65 IBUs. It’s brewed with Comet, Columbus, Simcoe and Chinook hops, and is triple dry-hopped with Simcoe Lupulin 2 pellets (aka Cryo hop pellets) and Columbus, resulting in aromas of citrus, grapefruit zest; earthy and resinous with subtle passionfruit. Malt flavors lend the backbone to support an assertive bitterness and dry finish. Resin, pine, and citrus hop flavors blend beautifully with the malt.

“I wanted to go back old school and brew a bitter, malt forward West Coast-style IPA. I asked each brewer to tell me what their favorite hop was in a West Coast-style IPA. I didn’t tell them what we were brewing or the project I had in mind. We came up with Simcoe, Chinook, Columbus, and Comet hops – all spot on for the style. Resinous, piney, citrusy, grapefruit! Simcoe, Columbus, and Comet came from the Pacific Northwest and we used local Chinook from Vertical Vines. I designed a malt base to provide a toasty malt backbone with light notes of biscuit, honey and caramel. We added our own take on the style to make it unique. It’s slightly hazier than a West Coast IPA normally should be, partly because one of our guys wanted to dry-hop after the first 48 hours of fermentation – so we did! We also dry hopped it two more times.”

Grab some of New York Beer Project’s new West Coast on tap today. And while you’re at the brewery, order a pint of their Tangerine Pale Ale (5.3%), brewed with tangerine/mandarin orange puree, sweet orange peel and Simcoe and Mosaic hops, which is also newly tapped.

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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Craft Beer Gets High Marks as Brewers Association Releases Growth Report

The Brewers Association has released their annual craft beer industry growth report, which craft beer passed with flying colors thanks to 4 percent total growth. The report states that, in 2018, craft brewers produced 25.9 million barrels, increasing craft beer’s market share by volume to 13.2 percent. That marks a 0.6% increase over 2017, and a 1.1% increase over 2016.

Furthermore, the growth report states that retail dollar value, estimated at $27.6 billion, represents 24.1 percent market share and a 7 percent growth over 2017, despite the overall beer market dropping 1 percent by volume in 2018.

However, perhaps the most important metric was that craft brewers provided more than 150,000 jobs nationwide, an increase of 11 percent over 2017. 7,346 craft breweries operated in 2018, including 4,521 microbreweries, 2,594 brewpubs, and 231 regional craft breweries, with only 219 brewery closings over the past year as compared to 1,049 openings.

New York State was a major driving force behind craft beer’s growth nationwide, accounting for 19,918 jobs, approximately 2 million barrels produced and $5.4 billion in total economic impact. Narrowing the scope to the Buffalo-Niagara region, Erie County leads the way with $294,637,850 of total revenue output (24 breweries, 1,385 jobs). Behind Erie sits Chautauqua County ($86,468,759, 6 breweries, 268 jobs), Cattaraugus ($62,725,265, 4 breweries, 307 jobs), Niagara ($30,161,713, 3 breweries, 178 jobs) and Wyoming ($14,097,070, 3 breweries, 71 jobs).

That growth can certainly be felt right here in our own backyard with a number of breweries either opening, expanding or opening second locations. Community Beer Works upgraded their digs, going from Lafayette to a beautiful new facility on Seventh, Resurgence Brewing’s new 25,000 square foot brewery in the Old First Ward will be open soon and Buffalo Brewing Company is eyeing an expansion with the former Schreiber Brewing Company building on Fillmore in mind. Even more breweries have, or are planning, second locations, including Woodcock Brothers, whose North Tonawanda brewpub is open now, Thin Man Brewery, whose new location on Chandler should be open VERY soon, New York Beer Project have a second home up the road in Victor and Rusty Nickel also have a downtown location in mind. And that’s not even to mention 42 North’s expansion project, which is currently underway in East Aurora, and the recent brewhouse upgrades to Old First Ward Brewing and West Shore Brewing, as well as the recent openings of Belt Line Brewery, Froth Brewing, Big Inlet Brewing, In the Mix Brewing and Prosper Brewing.

So yes, growth is all around us and locally made craft beer is the catalyst. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like something worth raising a pint to.

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 Brewing Eyes Expansion, Thawfest 4, In The Mix Opens in Barker, Thin Man/Mikkeller NYC Filthy Flow Returns

Buffalo Brewing Company Plans Expansion, Eyes Former Schreiber Brewery Building

Buffalo Brewing Company have announced plans to expand their operations, and have their sights set on the former Schreiber Brewery Company building, which is located at 662 Fillmore Avenue. BBC is looking to purchase and renovate the former brewhouse after receiving funding through Empire State Development as part of the Buffalo Billions II project. “We have been exploring this option for quite some time and now that we have state funding, it’s time to start raising capital to first purchase then renovate and relocate to Schreiber,” BBC said in a statement. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Celebrate the End of Winter at the Fourth Annual Thawfest

It’s been a long winter and we all could use a drink. In fact, we deserve a drink for surviving another one. What better place to do so than at Thawfest at Buffalo Riverworks on April 5 (6:30-9:30pm). Over 50 local breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries will be on hand, while ManBearPig provides live music. A wider selection of rare and limited beers, as well as finger foods, will be available in the VIP section (5:30-9:30pm). Purchase tickets at www.thawfest.com (GA – $45, VIP – $65). New this year you can add a brewery tour to your VIP package ($80).

In The Mix Brewing & Creamery Set This Weekend to Open in Barker

In The Mix Brewing & Creamery, located at 1693 East Avenue in Barker inside the former Barker Brewing, will open this weekend. The unique brewery/creamery hybrid, owned by brothers Jared and Austin Mesiti, will specialize in craft beer and artisan-frozen custard, including beer-and-wine-infused selections, and milkshakes. They will have eight taps and a 3bbl brewhouse. Plans calls for a Blackberry Wit, Swurl Milkshake IPA, 4 Layers Stout (Smores), Blonde Ale and Irish Red Ale on tap at launch. On April 5, they will open at 2pm, then will be open at 11am on April 6 and 12pm on April 7.

Thin Man’s Filthy Flow, A Collab with Mikkeller NYC, Returns to Buffalo

It’s been well over a year since Thin Man Brewery teamed with Mikkeller Brewing NYC to brew a limited edition beer for the 2018 NHL Winter Classic, Filthy Flow IPA, but the wait is finally over. You asked for it and now Filthy Flow returns to Buffalo on April 6 (11am), and will be available in cans and draft at Thin Man. Brewed with Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic and Galaxy hops, Filthy Flow pays homage to the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers, who met in the annual outdoor game. Filthy Flow’s label was designed by Mikkeller art director Keith Shore.

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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Ballpark Brewers Series Returns for New Baseball Season

For the fourth straight year, three of Buffalo’s brewing’s all-star players – Community Beer Works, Resurgence Brewing and Big Ditch Brewing – are teaming up for the Ballpark Brewers Series, a collection of beers from each brewery as well as a collaboration between all three. The beer packs will feature Big Ditch’s Dayburner Session IPA, Resurgence’s The Surge New England IPA, Community Beer Works’ Czech Swing Pilsner and the collab, Short Hop, a hoppy blonde. Artwork for the Ballpark Brewers Series comes courtesy of CBW’s Chris Groves, who has designed the artwork for the series the past two years. The Ballpark Brewers Series was first released in 2015.

The Ballpark Brewers Series features beers that lean towards the lighter side of the beer spectrum, including a session IPA, hazy NEIPA, Czech-style pilsner and a blonde ale. CBW’s Brendon Van Allen says that the brewery decided to include a new pilsner because they were looking for a lighter drinking beer that differed from the rest of the pack.

“We wanted to offer something light but also pretty special that contrasts the rest of the offerings,” Allen said.

Big Ditch’s Dayburner was previously released as a pilot batch during their Cannon Call Double IPA release party. Even brighter and more drinkable than the original, Dayburner is brewed with Citra, Idaho 7, Cascade and Zeus hops for smooth notes of citrus-forward fruit.

“The beer are going to make for the pack is called Dayburner,” Big Ditch’s Matt Kahn says. “It’s a version of popular flagship Hayburner IPA. It’s a session IPA that’s light and drinkable, pretty crisp and nice and citrusy. It should be nice and juicy, but super drinkable.”

“The two previous years of this series we featured Low Bridge and Hayburner; we did not want to repeat those beers this year,” he adds. “We wanted to keep it light and drinkable, so that ruled out any dark or heavy beers. We will have FC, our summer seasonal, in cans, at the same time, so that didn’t exactly make sense. We’ve been playing with the idea of a low ABV version of Hayburner for a while now. We brewed a pilot batch a while back that we loved, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity as part of this summer Ballpark Series. Truthfully, this beer is more of a derivation of Citraburner than Hayburner (it will feature Citra hops), but they’re all from the same family, so to speak.”

Resurgence’s contribution is The Surge, their recently rebranded CitMo 2.0. Brewery President Jeff Ware says that they wanted to include The Surge because it’s new, and different from the rest of the styles in the Ballpark Brewers Series packs.

“CBW mentioned they wanted to do a lager, BD said they wanted to do a session IPA and we knew the collab was going to be a blonde so we wanted to bring something to the 4 pack that complemented the other beers,” Ware says. “Originally we were thinking a one-off, but The Surge is brand new and will be a new experience for most.”

The collaboration beer, Short Hop Hoppy Blonde, will be brewed at CBW, who will be coming up with the beer’s base recipe. “We’re coming up with the base recipe and the other breweries are going to make changes and also bring their own ingredients,” Allen added. All of the brewers agree that Short Hop will be the perfect accompaniment to watching a ball game this summer.

“The collab will be a nice summer sipper, perfect for watching a game,” Ware adds. “I think we all wanted something that would be approachable and drinkable which a blonde is. And then we decided to hop it because we like hop forward beers!”

“The blonde ale idea completely makes sense – we’ll have an NEIPA, a session IPA, and a pils in the pack – in trying to keep it light, drinkable, and flavorful, this beer should do the trick,” Kahn adds of the collaboration. “I’m expecting Short Hop to be dry but flavorful, and uber-refreshing.”

The Ballpark Brewers Series will be available at Sahlen’s Field during Buffalo Bisons home games, as well as everywhere great beer is sold, such as Wegmans and Consumer’s Beverages. They should be released by Memorial Day.

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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