Woodcock Brothers Turns 5: Inside the Anniversary Party

Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company are celebrating their fifth anniversary this weekend, meaning that not only is the brewery nearly old enough to start school (if you need us we’ll be the ones crying by the curb as we put them on the school bus), but it’s now time to party. And as you’d probably expect, the Wilson brewery are rolling out the kegs for the occasion, well, the barrels and casks in this instance.

In honor of the special occasion, Woodcock will tap not one, not two, not three, not four, but five specialty brews at their 5th Anniversary Party, which takes place November 18, starting at noon.

The limited beers include a Barrel Aged Honey Saison, a limited release Honey Saison brewed with a French Saison yeast and local wildflower honey that was aged in Tommyrotter gin barrels for 6 months (flavors of oak and citrusy vanilla from the gin barrels compliment the bright, tart flavors of the Saison, with soft touch of honey coming through underneath), Barrel Aged Salted Caramel Porter, Woodcock’s house Porter conditioned on salted caramel cold pressed coffee from Orange Cat Coffee in Lewiston and cocoa nibs aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels for 6 months (awesome dessert flavors with a nice layering of toffee, vanilla and toasted oak) and Barrel Aged Nitro Irish Stout, their Dry Irish Stout on Nitro aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels for 6 months (soft, creamy, roasted flavors accentuated by lots of maple, caramel, toffee, pecan and a kiss of boozy oak).

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since we tapped our first kegs and opened our doors,” Woodcock says. “We cannot thank our customers and fans enough for helping us grow from a tiny family owned brewpub to a full-fledged production brewery that employs over 35 awesome people and distributes craft beer all over Western and now into Central New York.”

The anniversary party will also feature a pair of casks, Woodcock IPA Double Dry Hopped with El Dorado and Woodcock IPA Double Dry Hopped with Lemon Drop. These casks alone sound worth the trip up to Wilson.

There will also be free chowder (until supplies run out) served on the patio beginning at noon and live music all day from 12-10pm. Mike McCauley will perform from 12-3pm and Pour Ould Goat will take the stage from 7-10pm.

“Thank you again everyone who’s supported us over the years: Our regular customers that we’ve become friends with, the folks that buy our beers at their local grocery store, the craft beer enthusiasts that line up rain or shine for our beer releases, our fantastic industry friends and partners and our incredible employees. Cheers to five years and to the many, MANY more beers.”

For more information on Woodcock’s 5th Anniversary Party, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1964425890480485.

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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Another Year in the Books at New York Beer Project

It has been two years since New York Beer Project, Lockport’s first post-Prohibition brewery, started producing fresh craft beer for all of us to enjoy.

From their well-received HyperJuice Belgian Tripel and Supernatural Passionfruit Sour to dabbling in barrel aging with their Tequila Gose (and forthcoming THEE Barleywine, but more on that later), NYBP have brewed over 120 different beers, of all shapes and sizes, colors, strengths and styles, after starting with a trio of flagships, Lockport Lager, Buckleberry Wheat and Destination IPA.

But for NYBP, it’s not just about the beer, though that certainly is a large part of it as you’d expect, it’s more than that; it’s about people and creating a sense of community. Their partnership with Perry’s Ice Cream, which has allowed NYBP to donate thousands of dollars to Buffalo Women and Children’s Hospital, has allowed them to become a true pillar of their community.

“Last year, it was a sense of relief – like ‘wow, we actually survived year one!’ NYBP Owner Kelly Krupski said. “This year, it’s a feeling of accomplishment, anticipation and pride, and total freakin’ excitement! Wait, let me add one more exclamation point…! I think what we’re most proud of is that we are a participating member of #vibrantwesternnewyork, New York Beer Project’s new hashtag campaign, employing over 120 amazing local individuals. In addition, in two short years, we have raised over $6,000 (goal of $10,000 by May 2018) for Buffalo Women and Children’s Hospital with the great folks at Perry’s Ice Cream with our collaboration beer series. We’ve led a community drive that restocked the Niagara Pet Food Pantry, and raised money for The Music is Art Foundation, Roswell Cancer Institute, The WNY Diabetes Foundation, Kevin Guest House, and The Dale Association, among others.”

One person that the magnitude of New York Beer Project’s second anniversary certainly is not lost on is Head Brewer Jason Crossett, who is proud of the progress that he and his brewing team have made over the past few years. He also adds that some of his favorite beers from the past year have come out of his very own brewhouse.

“I can’t believe it’s been two years since we’ve opened the doors at the New York Beer Project,” he says. “If I was told five years ago (while living in Texas) that in 2017 I would be celebrating my second year as the brewer for a new startup craft brewery in Buffalo I would have laughed. Yeah, right! It was always a dream of mine, and I knew it would happen, but to happen as fast as it did is crazy! Every day I feel blessed that I get to do the thing I love the most for a living.”

“This past year has been incredible for us. We have seen tremendous growth and have gone through another expansion. We’ve put out some remarkable beers and we’ve started to ramp up our barrel program. A few of my favorite beers this year have come from our barrels: Bourbon Barrel Aged THEE Barleywine, Tequila Barrel Aged Salted Lime Gose, and Zombie Farmhouse Ale, which is a blend of 13 month old sour aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with a fresh Saison aged on apricots. The flavor complexity we achieved with these beers surpassed my expectations. I’m truly proud of my brew staff and the work we’ve done with these beers!”

Krupski shared in Crossett’s excitement of the beer that they have been cranking out, but adds that NYBP’s kitchen and staff are to be commended for their accomplishments too.

“We are really proud and excited for the creative and delicious beer being brewed here at NYBP,” she adds. “We are doing some pretty distinguished and complex wild fermented farmhouse ales, Belgian blondes blended with sours, Barrel aged Barleywines, as well as our rotational Destination IPA series that transports you to exotic locations through beer and your taste buds. Let it be known, we are first and foremost a production brewing facility, but it’s also pretty hard to miss the ginormous gastropub attached to the brewery. We’re pretty stoked with what’s coming out of our NYBP ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’ It’s pretty sweet when a brewing facility wins a Taste of Buffalo Food Award.”

So, with two successful years under their belt, what better way to celebrate than with a brand new triple IPA, Righteous Dudette (the older sister of their Righteous Dude Double IPA), at their Righteous 2 Year Anniversary Party, which goes down November 18 (8pm-1am). The 70’s-themed gala will feature music from Disco Duck on Floor 2, free tasters of Righteous Dudette for all of those who are dressed in 70’s-inspired attire and a prize will be awarded for the biggest hair. Crowlers of Righteous Dudette will go on sale at 10am (limit 4).

“For our upcoming anniversary party, we’ll be releasing another blend of our THEE Barleywine which is a blend of barrels 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 and were aged for 18 months,” Crossett says. “I’m excited to see how it tastes side by side with our 9 month blend that we released back in February. The 18 month blend has a smoother, rounder finish and exhibits more dark fruit, rich toffee character. Everyone we’ll get the chance to taste these beers at our anniversary party. We only have two sixtels left of the original blend, so make sure you’re there!”

“A few days later on November, 22, we’ll be releasing a beer we collaborated on with Larry Manning at Freedom Run Winery. It’s a rustic Saison brewed with nearly 1,000 # of Riesling must. I had a blast working on this project. It gave me the opportunity to learn more about the wine process as I got to pick and crush the grapes. It’s always fun to collaborate with others in the industry – it’s what makes brewing the best job on earth!”

In looking forward to what the future holds for the Lockport brewery, Krupski could barely contain herself. “The feeling of anticipation comes from knowing what is in store for us in Year Three! Doubling beer production in under one year, and being maxed out on space at the Lockport facility, we are currently exploring many options for expansion, but we do know that the upcoming year at New York Beer Project will continue to be an exciting and creative ride!”

“Looking forward to next year I’m excited about adding to our portfolio of sour/mix fermentation beers as well as adding to our barrel program,” Crossett adds. “We’re continuing to barrel age sours for future blending projects and planning to age some ‘clean’ beers like a bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout. We’re also going to be introducing a rotational double IPA which is exciting as we’ll get to play around with different hop varieties/blends. I’m also really looking forward to the inaugural Can-Am beer festival in April and collaborating with guys at Royal City Brewing and Cowbell Brewing in Canada. This will be one of the premier beer events in Buffalo next year!

“I want to thank everyone who as supported us over the past two years, including our die hard mug club members who are always there for new releases and our beer dinners. The support and feedback they provide have proven to be truly invaluable to our success! I want to thank the entire staff at the brewery, management, and especially my brew staff for making this past year the success it has been! Hope to see you all on the 18th!”

For more information on New York Beer Project, please visit www.nybeerproject.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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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Stoutsgiving, NEIPAs at 42 North, Community Beer Works Unleashes BuffaYeti, Thin Man Drops New Collabs

Celebrate the Season with Dark Beers at Big Ditch’s Stoutsgiving

Stoutsgiving, the perfect way to truly kick off the Thanksgiving season, returns to Big Ditch for the second year on November 22 (12pm). This time around the beers are even bigger and darker, thanks to a beer list that includes Bourbon Barrel Aged Towpath Imperial Stout (2017) (22oz bottles available for $14 each, along with 9oz pours at the bar), BBA Towpath (2016), Raspberry BBA Towpath (2017), Towpath Imperial Stout non-BBA (2017), Chocolate Milk Stout, Make Me Wanna Stout and casks of Chocolate Milk Stout with toasted coconut and Chocolate Milk Stout with vanilla beans, cinnamon, and chipotle pepper. Cheers!

New England IPAs Take Center Stage at 42 North

42 North Brewing is shining the spotlight on hazy IPA’s at Three Pilots Walk Into A Taproom on November 15 (4pm), when three different hazy pilot IPA’s brewed by three different 42 North brewers will be on tap. Pilot Clay is a twist on the NEIPA with wheat malt and Columbus hops to give a balanced resinous punch. Heavy dry hop additions lend heavy fruit aromas and flavors. Pilot Matt is made with Voss Norwegian Farmhouse Yeast creating citrus esters, Lemon Drop, Motueka, Denali, El Dorado and Azacca hops. Pilot Alex will also be on tap. Bring on the haze.

Community Beer Works, Great Divide Brewing Team Up on BuffaYeti

On November 16 (3pm), BuffaYeti, a new collaboration between Community Beer Works and Denver, Colorado’s Great Divide Brewing, will be unleashed. The special beer first came about when Great Divide brewer Brandon Jacobs visited CBW over the summer to brew a special, Divide-approved Yeti variant: BuffaYeti, which includes more than 50% local malts. BuffaYeti is an 8.6% imperial stout with a roasty profile that doesn’t overwhelm the palate with bitterness but is accompanied by notes of chocolate, coffee & rye bread. It will be available in 4oz samples for $3.00, 10oz pours for $7 and 32oz growlers (only) for $15.

Thin Man Plots Captain Lawrence, 3 Sons Collab Releases

Thin Man Brewing will release a pair of collaborations in the coming weeks. First up, they will release their collab with Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, Fuzzy Dunlop, an unfiltered IPA brewed with Bravo, Simcoe and Mosaic hops. It will be available in 4 pack 16oz. cans ($18) on November 18 (11am). Then, on November 24 (3pm), Forever Cordial Imperial Stout, which was brewed with Florida’s 3 Sons Brewing Co., will be released in bottles. Brewed with black cherries and cocoa nibs, this stout sits at just above 14% ABV. A roasty malt backbone anchors the cocoa and cherries in this behemoth.

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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Collaboration Not Competition: SATO Teams With 12 Gates, Old First Ward Brewing on New Beers

SATO Brewpub / 12 Gates Garden Gates Sahti

One of, if not the, strongest attributes of the Buffalo beer scene is the collaboration not competition mentality between brewers. It’s a true mantra, not simply a marketing ploy or silly hashtag. It’s that comradery that makes beer collaborations all the more special, even with a newer venue like SATO Brewpub, albeit once headed up by a familiar face.

SATO Brewpub and Head Brewer Drew Hardin have been busy in the brewhouse as of late, brewing a pair of very exciting new collaborations, including a traditional Sahti with 12 Gates Brewing and a New England IPA with Old First Ward Brewing.

Tentatively titled Garden Gates, the Sahti, one of the world’s oldest existing beer styles, includes fresh juniper and locally made bread from Breadhive. The beer was filtered through juniper twigs in an effort to stay true to the traditional style of brewing a Sahti, a process which resulted in the batch smelling like ‘fresh bread pudding,’ according to 12 Gates Head Brewer Scott Shuler. The finished product will be available on tap at both 12 Gates and SATO this Thursday.

“Drew and I have been talking the past few weeks about brewing a beer together,” Shuler says. “We wanted to both brew something we had never brewed before and something that we could utilize local ingredients and ideas. The result was a Finnish Sahti that includes fresh juniper and locally made bread from Breadhive. The process of brewing the beer itself was challenging but fun. We used a number of techniques and procedures for brewing the beer that each of us may have done once or twice, but because we brewed two batches, we were able to really try new things we had only joked about. Drew and I love beer and food pairings so we imagined a beer that captures the old world traditions all the while complimenting the flair of modern eclectic dishes.”

“The mash looked and smelled like a fresh batch of bread pudding was being prepared,” Shuler continues. “After a long and detailed mash, the wort was then lautered through the juniper twigs. After a brief 15 minute boil the wort was cooled and the house Belgian yeast strain from Sato was pitched. This will really compliment and appeal to the fantastic menu that Sato offers along with the wide range of flatbread pizzas that 12 Gates offers.”

Hardin adds that the Sahti experiment, one that was both challenging and rewarding, pushed the brewing system at SATO to new levels, or ‘to the max’ as he explains.

“It was a great experiment,” Hardin adds. “I have not really tried to push my system to the max, being it is a 1.5bbl HERMES – no steam, no fire, no boiler, no gas. The building is old and one our hardest challenges is fitting equipment for both space and functionality. Scott and I pushed my system to the point where I was like ‘yeah I’m pretty sure we got this,’ and we did. After losing some time for overcomplicating things, we were back at it crushing it on the second pass on a double brew day. In retrospect, it all reflected back to the same point. It was a pair of brewers working around simple problems that they overthought in pursuit of making great beer. Collabs force brewers out of their own comfort zone and it pushes process and use or ingredients.”

SATO also teamed up on a New England IPA with Old First Ward Brewing, which has been dubbed Citrus Maxima. It features the zest of Asian Pomelo fruit as well as a combination of five different hop varieties, including Citra, Motueka, Amarillo, Hallertau Blanc and Mandarina Bavaria.

“The collab with OFW was great,” Hardin says. “It was a lot of fun wandering the Asian market looking for fun ingredients to use and manipulate into beer. The Pomelo fruit was an awesome find. The zest was bitter, sweet, and acidic, the pith and juice was amazing fresh.”

Citrus Maxima features ‘the most hops I’ve ever crammed into a beer at my place,’ OFW Brewer Bryan Kirchmeyer adds. “It’s going to be one juicy mofo.”

For more information on these and all of SATO Brewpub’s great beery offerings, follow them at https://www.facebook.com/satobrewpub.

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 England IPA Fest, Woodcock Turns 5, 2nd Anniversary Party at New York Beer Project, 12 Gates Invades Buffalo Brewpub

Local Haze on Display at New England IPA Fest

Locally produced hazy IPA’s will take center stage at the first ever New England IPA Fest, November 18 (12-4pm) at the Terrace at Delaware Park. 12 Gates Brewing, 42 North Brewing, Big Ditch, BlackBird Cider Works, Bolton Landing Brewing (helmed by former 12 Gates/Old First Ward Brewing brewer Shawn Kerr), Community Beer Works, Ellicottville Brewing, Flying Bison Brewing, Resurgence Brewing, Southern Tier Brewing, Thin Man Brewery (with some other possible surprises) will all have NEIPA’s on tap, and for $30 you can sample them all (you’ll also receive a signature a Terrace tulip glass). Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite.

Wish a Happy Fifth Birthday to Woodcock Brothers Brewing

Woodcock Brothers Brewing is turning five years old on November 18 (12pm) and in honor of the special occasion, they are tapping not one, not two, not three, not four, but five specialty brews at their 5th Anniversary Party. The limited beers include a Barrel Aged Honey Saison (aged six months in Tommyrotter Gin Barrels), Barrel Aged Salted Caramel Porter and Barrel Aged Nitro Irish Stout (both aged six months in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels) and a pair of IPA’s on cask (TBA). There will also be free chowder (until supplies run out) and live music all day from 12-10pm.

New York Beer Project Celebrates Two Year Anniversary

Lockport’s New York Beer Project has been brewing fresh craft beer for two years now and what better way to celebrate that feat than with a brand new triple IPA, Righteous Dudette (the older sister of their Righteous Dude Double IPA), at their Righteous 2 Year Anniversary Party, November 18 (8pm-1am). The 70’s-themed gala will feature music from Disco Duck on Floor 2, free tasters of Righteous Dudette for all of those who are dressed in 70’s-inspired attire and a prize will be awarded for the biggest hair. Crowlers of Righteous Dudette will go on sale at 10am (limit 4).

12 Gates Takes Over the Taps at Buffalo Brewpub

12 Gates and Buffalo Brewpub have teamed up on the new Buffalo Breakfast Stout, and while that beer won’t be ready until December, you can enjoy a number of 12 Gates’ beers as they take over the Brewpub on November 3 (4-7pm). Head brewers from both locations, Scott Shuler (12G) and Chris Townsell (BB), will be on hand to shake hands and kiss babies, while also talking beer as they possibly imbibe a few. 12 Gates will have their flagships Cherry Vanilla Wheat and West Coast Style IPA on tap, in addition to their well-received Mountains of the Moon NEIPA.

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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Resurgence Brewing Kegs & Eggs: Breakfast, Garbage Plates and Beer, Oh My

What better way is there to spend a Sunday morning than with fresh breakfast food and even fresher experimental beers? Find out as Resurgence Brewing’s Kegs & Eggs returns on Sunday, November 5. And before you go scrambling for the NFL schedule, the Buffalo Bills are off.

If you don’t know how Kegs & Eggs works, it’s pretty damn simple. Resurgence expands their beer board to include a number of one-off limited brews, and pairs them with breakfast food. See? Easy peasy.

For the November 2017 edition, Resurgence will be slinging breakfast garbage plates (we didn’t know such a glorious thing existed, but it does, and we could not be happier), so make sure you order one to go with your first flight of the small batch, one-off beers that will be on tap (more on that later because you’re going to want to order multiple flights). Doors open at 11am and garbage plates will be served from 11:30am until they run out.

As always for Kegs & Eggs, the brewing team at Resurgence is pulling out all of the stops and will fill their taps this time around with the Dude Hates Cancer Tropical Pale Ale, the winner of the Dude Hates Cancer homebrew competition that was held at Resurgence back in August, a light body pale ale with a hoppy mix, Cherry Saison (4.5%), a farmhouse saison with Western New York tart cherries, Mango Green Tea Pale Ale (5%), Uncle Oatus (5%), a dry hopped pale ale with oats and three types of wheat, Blackberry White IPA (5%), a Queen City pilsner malt IPA fermented with Belgian yeast and finished with blackberries, Tropical Stout (5%), a stout dry hopped with copious amounts of juicy hops, Snickers Coffee Porter, which features rich chocolate, roasted peanuts and sweet caramel combined with the finest 100% Arabica coffee and Dry Hopped Black Lager.

There will also be a pair of casks available for the event, Hallertau Blanc IPA, a single hop IPA highlighting Hallertau Blanc hops and Imperial Coffee Sponge Candy Stout, Resurgence’s Imperial Sponge Candy Stout aged over freshly roasted coffee beans. We’ll take two please.

For more information, check out Kegs & Eggs event page here.

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

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Kegs & Eggs, Fip & Deep Cut Cans at Big Ditch, OFW/Pressure Drop’s Knee Socks DIPA Debuts, MyCity Brew, 12 Gates Team Up

Kegs & Eggs at Resurgence Brewing Returns in November

Resurgence Brewing’s quarterly tradition of pairing breakfast and experimental beers, Kegs & Eggs, returns on November 5 (11am). Make sure to come hungry, order a breakfast garbage plate and pair it with a few flights full of new one-off limited beers, including Dude Hates Cancer Tropical Pale Ale (winner of homebrew competition in August), Cherry Saison, Mango Pale Ale, Uncle Oatus, a dry hopped pale ale with oats, Blackberry White IPA, Tropical Stout, Snickers Coffee Porter and Dry Hopped Black Lager as well as casks of Hallertau Blanc IPA and Imperial Coffee Sponge Candy Stout. Don’t miss these limited brews.

Cans of Fip IPA, Deep Cut DIPA Are Back at Big Ditch

Fip, the second release in Big Ditch Brewing’s Lock IPA Series, is returning in can form on November 4 (12pm). Approximately 250 cases will be available at $13.99 per 16oz. 4-pack (limit one case). Additionally, 80 cases of Deep Cut Double IPA will be available ($14.99, limit one case). Big Ditch made some subtle tweaks to the recipe to return this batch to its old, hazy self. After you buy your cans, me sure you stick around for a cask of Double Dry-Hopped Hayburner IPA with Falconer’s Flight and Galaxy hops and a fresh batch of Short Cut Session IPA.

Old First Ward, Pressure Drop Brewing Double IPA Collaboration Hits Taps

Knee Socks, a collaboration between new neighbors Old First Ward Brewing and Pressure Drop Brewing, is on tap right now at Gene McCarthy’s. The new Double IPA clocks in at a healthy 7.7% and features healthy doses of Simcoe and Mosaic hops added throughout the boil and dry hop. “We’re bringing back West Coast IPA style with a Buffalo influence,” OFW’s Bryan Kirchmeyer says. “This shit is intense.” Knee Socks is dank, piney and sharp with crisp notes of citrus. “It’s damn tasty,” Pressure Drop’s Karl Kolbe adds. “I’ve done some similar in the past but nothing quite like this.”

MyCity Brew Working With 12 Gates Brewing on New Beer

MyCity Brew have announced they are working with 12 Gates Brewing to brew their ultimate Buffalo beer, a Dunkel (Dark Lager). The beer will be named Byson Brown, after Mayor Byron Brown, who personally endorsed the name. “We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with 12 Gates to bring Buffalo’s beer to life,” MyCity Brew says. “I first sat down with Rob [Haag] to talk about the idea close to two years ago. So, to finally see our work turn into something tangible is amazing for me. Big thanks to all of our followers for staying patient. YOUR BEER IS BREWING.”

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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Happy Birthday to a Local Legend: Pearl Street Turns 20

Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, a long running and lasting staple of the Buffalo beer community and one of the first voices of our city’s craft beer revolution, is turning 20, meaning that in one year, the brewery itself will be old enough to drink one of the many fresh craft beer it produces. Just let that sink in for a second.

The first beer at Pearl Street was brewed on September 5th, 1997, an amber ale brewed with Munich malts, brewed by Alec Campbell (who now brews over at Big Ditch Brewing). Current Head Brewer Chris Herr (who also brews for Lafayette Brewing and Riverworks Brewing) found the original recipe and, after tweaking it some, brewed it again as the 1,691 batch of beer at Pearl. The newly minted Batch #1 will be on tap at Pearl’s 20th Anniversary Party on October 28. It will be one of two new beers for the special event, along with a 20th Anniversary Imperial version of their flagship Trainwreck amber ale.

“Trainwreck normally sits at 4.8%, but we brewed a 9.2% version for our 20th anniversary that I affectionately call ‘Trainwrecked,’ Herr says. “It has all of the smooth amber easy drinking goodness of our best-selling Trainwreck, but in a 9.2% package. The second is a bit of a historical beer – Pearl Street is the oldest continuously operating all grain brewery in Buffalo, and while looking through some of our old records I found the original recipe for Batch number 1 which was brewed on September 5th, 1997. I wrote it up and we brewed it again as the 1691st batch brewed at Pearl 20 years later.”

As a former dressmaking operation, Pearl Street has certainly come a long way in its 20 years in existence. Its impact on our beer scene is immeasurable, which is simply quantified by asking, if not for Pearl and Flying Bison Brewing Company, where would we be? It’s a question better left unanswered, but the sheer impact of its answer is not lost on Herr.

“It means a lot to me to hold the beer reins as part of this organization. Pearl Street was founded in a quiet corner of downtown when downtown wasn’t anything, and to see it grow in to the business it is today has been a huge part of the growth of Buffalo. Our logo has been ‘rebuilding downtown one pint at a time’ since the beginning, and I think that we’re a major player in the growth of the city. To be the guy driving the beer ship through this journey is a dream come true.”

As Herr ponders, how many of today’s current brewers/brewery owners have sat at one of Pearl’s many bars planning their own beer and their own breweries? That’s one hell of a loaded question that we would love to know the answer to.

“I think Pearl’s impact on the local beer scene is huge,” Herr continues, “being the oldest operating brewery of almost 30 in the area now shows how far ahead of the curve our owners were at the time. It certainly wasn’t a sure thing back then, but to have that kind of vision took a lot of risk and certainly now we’re all seeing the reward. Pearl used to be a place to grab some quick food and a pint of decent beer before a hockey game, now we’re operating three separate brew pubs within 2 miles of each other brewing 30 different beers at any given time, are a premier banquet destination, run two high-end hotels, and can accommodate parties of 2 to 2000, all because of the company’s goal of rebuilding down town one pint at a time. And in those 20 years we’ve seen the beer scene explode in Buffalo – almost every brewer in Buffalo will reminisce about drinking tubes of Trainwreck or Lake Effect while thinking about opening their own place, which many of them went on to do. It’s not just about grabbing a quick pint on the way to the arena any more, this is a locally produced good that brings people together and brings them down town and I think that’s why it’s been so successful at helping rebuild the city.”

Looking back at his time with Pearl Street, both as Head Brewer and as Assistant Brewer to former Head Brewer Phil Internicola before that, Herr says that some of his favorite memories include learning to brew Pearl Street’s all grain style, as well as a funny story about narrowly avoiding a major catastrophe while brewing their beloved Sabres Edge Double IPA.

“From the beginning I remember learning how to brew all grain beer, and then taking that knowledge and building a home brew set up to be able to do it at home. It was really cool to be commercially brewing all week, taking in as much information as I could, and then applying it at home all weekend. Getting the Lafayette Brewing Company up and running was a really interesting experience as well. I learned a lot about how to set up a brewery and the ins and outs that are required for a large production scale. Then to take that even a step further and build the only brewery built in to a grain silo in the world at Riverworks was both a challenge and one of the most satisfying parts of my career thus far. I’d say one of my favorite moments (which I actually have a picture of) was when we were brewing a batch of Sabre’s Edge, which requires as much grain as we can jam in to our mash tun, and I remember watching the tank fill right to the brim and thinking it would over flow… it didn’t, but there’s a great picture of me looking over the edge of the mash nervously.”

So now it’s time to celebrate and celebrate Pearl Street will at their 20th Anniversary party. They will be rolling back prices to 1997, free commemorative 20th anniversary glasses to the first 500 people, live music, food/drink stations, a VIP/reunion area for former employees, contests, raffles and giveaways. During the party they will also unveil a giant timeline of Pearl Street’s progress and will have a Buffalo-area trivia contest with huge prize of Buffalo Sabres tickets, a hotel stay and dinner for 2. Make sure to attend because you have to be in it to win it.

“Favorite beers from my time? I think the Lord Lupulin stands out, since it was one of the first times we brewed a really hoppy, light bodied IPA. It was important because it was one of the first times we pushed out of the light and amber beer styles world we were known for. Then to run with that and make the West Coast IPA, the Summer SIPA Session IPA, Jack the RIPA Red IPA, it just went on to show how the public’s taste was starting to change with the times and Pearl was able to stay relevant with them. The collaboration we did with Flying Bison was awesome as well because it really showed the city how even the oldest breweries in the room got along, and I think that really set the precedent for the nature of collaboration and friendship we all share in the beer scene. Harvest Edge is always a fun one because of the creative way we use our equipment to achieve the goal of using fresh whole cone hops by turning our mash tun in to a hop back. The Berliner Weisse we just did was another example of pushing our equipment to the limits of what we can do and staying relevant to the times by brewing a kettle soured beer.”

“Perhaps I should just give you my normal answer to this question, ‘which ever one I’m currently drinking.’”

Cheers Pearl Street. Cheers to you for helping to lead the Buffalo craft beer revolution and continuing to be one of its leading voices. But perhaps cheers isn’t the correct salutation, perhaps a humble thank you is more appropriate. Thank you for all of the beer, all of the years and most importantly, all of the memories. Raising a pint in your honor doesn’t seem like enough, so let’s all raise beer tubes this weekend! But seriously, don’t do that, those things are heavy.

For more information on the Pearl Street family of beer and properties, please visit https://pearlstreetgrill.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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Buffalo Beer Buzz: VIP Night at Cask Fest, Halloween Celebrations, New Beers at New York Beer Project, Collaborations Coming at SATO Brewpub

Tickets on Sale for Buffalo Cask Festival VIP Local Brewers Night

Tickets are now on sale for the second annual VIP Local Brewers Night, November 30 at Mr. Goodbar, which serves as the official kickoff to the Buffalo Cask Ale Festival, which takes place December 1-3. For $25, you will receive samples of special one-off casks from all of your favorite local brewers, including Resurgence Brewing, Big Ditch, 12 Gates, Community Beer Works, Old First Ward, Flying Bison and 42 North Brewing. Finger foods will also be served. This event sold out last year so make sure to get your tickets in advance. A full beer list will be announced shortly.

Celebrate This Halloween in Style with Local Beer

After you don your best Halloween costume, hit the streets for fresh local craft beer. Head to Flying Bison for Night of the Living Ale on October 27 for a costume contest and buy one get one free flights, then stop out to 12 Gates for their Halloween Bash, featuring $1 off pints, live music and a costume contest. On October 28, visit Woodcock Brothers for their Halloween & Stiff Mitten Release Party, featuring the release of Stiff Mitten in cans and a costume content. Brickyard Brewing is also hosting their 9th Annual Halloween Bash, a benefit for March of Dimes. Also on October 28, 42 North will host the Howl at the Moon Halloween Party, featuring a costume contest, live music, a cask of Asylum Porter with scotch bonnet peppers and sour cherries and the release of Sanguine Saison, a mixed fermentation farmhouse ale with Brettanomyces & Saccharomyces.

New York Beer Project to Release Two New Beers

New York Beer Project will be releasing a pair of new beers for us all to sink our teeth into in the coming weeks. First, on October 26, they will debut Zombie Farmhouse Ale, which is described as a ‘Zombie cocktail with a twist.’ It is a blend of NYBP’s farmhouse ale and a sour beer that has been aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, which produces an extra level of funk. Then, on November 2, 8 Maids A Milkstout will be released. The milk stout features flavors of roasted barley and the perfect amount of sweetness. Time to drink up.

Two New SATO Brewpub Collaborations Coming

SATO Brewpub and Head Brewer Drew Hardin have been busy in the brewhouse with the end result being a pair of new collaborations coming down the pipeline, including a traditional Sahti with 12 Gates and a New England IPA with Old First Ward Brewing. The Finnish Sahti includes fresh juniper and locally made bread from Breadhive and, once ready, the beer will be available on tap at both 12 Gates and SATO. The NEIPA with OFW, dubbed Citrus Maxima, features the zest of Asian Pomelo fruit as well as a combination of five different hop varieties, including Citra and Motueka.

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 In a Nutshell – Ice Cream, Beer & Sabres: Perry’s Debuts New Let’s Dough Buffalo Flavor

Perry’s Ice Cream and the Buffalo Sabres have teamed up on a new ice cream flavor, Let’s Dough Buffalo, because, let’s face it, what’s more Buffalo than hockey and ice cream (and beer too, but more on that later)? The new flavor feature cookie dough ice cream with crushed cookie swirls and cookie dough pieces.

Hungry yet? Just wait. Chances are by the end of this article you’ll be a little thirsty too.

After a few heaping spoonful’s straight out of the carton, we immediately began thinking of what beer would pair best with Let’s Dough Buffalo. Yes, we have issues and we are addressing them. Smooth cookie dough ice cream, crunchy cookie swirls and creamy cookie dough bites, what beer would work in sync with these flavors? So we thought, what better person to consult than New York Beer Project Head Brewer Jason Crossett, the man at the helm of the brewery’s successful partnership with Perry’s that has churned (ice cream pun!) out such ice cream-inspired beers as Pumpkin Pie Porter, Caribbean Coconut Pale Ale and Panda Paws Porter.

“Pairing this ice cream with beer could be quite amazing,” Crossett says. “Many beer styles can work quite well as long as beer isn’t overly sweet to the point where it’s sweeter than the ice cream. An Imperial or Sweet Stout would pair with Let’s Dough Buffalo nicely. Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout or Left Hand’s Milk Stout would both work well. Both have a complex malt profile with notes of caramel and chocolate with a pleasant complimentary roast character and neither are overly sweet. In a different direction I could see Community Beer Works’ The Whale being a great pairing. It’s not as sweet as the prior two beers, but offers a more biscuity, bready and caramel flavor with moderate chocolate tones plus a light hop character to add complexity to the overall pairing. For me it’s all about finding similar flavors in both without either one over-powering the other. Contrasting flavors are nice too to add complexity and to further enhance the overall pairing as long as it’s not completely in the opposite direction.”

Speaking of The Whale, the best beer/ice cream pairing we ever had was a beer float with the Whale during a Community Beer Works dinner at the Roycroft Inn. We thought that bared mentioning. Having already eaten an entire carton of Let’s Dough Buffalo (like we said, we have issue and are working on them), pairing a rich, boozy and creamy Imperial Stout sounds like a perfect match (we have some Resurgence Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Sponge Candy Stout in the cellar), but what about turning this flavor set and these ingredients into a beer itself? Crossett, who turned Perry’s Panda Paws and Pumpkin Pie ice creams into two different porters and the Caribbean Coconut into a pale ale, thinks many beer styles could work.

Perry’s Ice Cream and the Buffalo Sabres have teamed up on a new ice cream flavor, Let’s Dough Buffalo, because, let’s face it, what’s more Buffalo than hockey and ice cream (and beer too, but more on that later)? The new flavor feature cookie dough ice cream with crushed cookie swirls and cookie dough pieces.

“I feel you could take this ice cream flavor as a beer in several directions depending on what you want to accomplish; whether it’s to be similar in flavors or slightly contrasting to compliment the flavors of the ice cream. Many beer styles could work (i.e. blonde ale with lactose, cacao nibs, and vanilla, Munich Dunkel, Sweet Stout, American Brown Ale, or even an Imperial Stout). Personally, I would brew a Munich Dunkel with the addition of brown sugar. It’s a malt focused beer with a rich character of bread, biscuit, caramel and chocolate combined with a medium-full body pairs well with the flavors of the ice cream. Its medium-dry finish allows for some residual sweetness, but maintaining its drinkability. Furthermore, I would finish the beer off by aging it on vanilla beans during the lagering process to give the beer that moderately rich vanilla character. Now we have cookie dough in a liquid form!”

While he says brewing beer inspired by ice cream flavors is both challenging and ultimately rewarding, Crossett’s relationship with Perry’s extends further than just what goes into your glass. He admits it’s the donations they have been able to make to the Buffalo Women’s and Children’s Hospital that has been the best part.

“Brewing beers based on ice cream flavors is a fun experience and can be quite challenging depending on the ice cream you’re trying to replicate. For me, I like the challenging part of finding a style that works and then trying to execute it. There’s so many ice cream flavors out there, which allows for endless creativity! We’ve certainly had some unique offerings this past summer with our Panda Paws Porter and Caribbean Coconut Pale Ale. Both beers are unique with regards to their flavor profile and I thought came out well. I’m also very happy to be a part of our collaboration with Perry’s Ice Cream. They’re a great company and the contributions we’ve raised from the sales of these beers to the Buffalo Women’s and Children’s Hospital is truly special.”

A portion of proceeds from each and every sale of Let’s Dough Buffalo will go towards the Buffalo Sabres Foundation and the Resource Council of WNY’s Cook n’ Share Program, a pilot program that teaches elementary through middle school aged children how to prepare low-cost nutritious meals at home.

So whether you want to enjoy some ice cream in a bowl, on a cone or want to pair it with your favorite beer, Let’s Dough Buffalo is a great ice cream to do so with. It can be found at the KeyBank Center, all Tops, Wegmans, and 7-11 locations, Dash’s Markets and Perry’s scoop shops throughout Western New York.  For more information, please visit www.perrysicecream.com.

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

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