What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been: MyCity Brew Set to Officially Release Byson Brown Dunkel

After years of preparation, crowd-sourcing and voting, MyCity Brew are finally set to unveil their finished product, Byson Brown Dunkel, a beer named after Mayor Byron Brown, who personally endorsed the name. Byson Brown will officially release May 17 at Pizza Plant Transit (5pm), where the beer will be available exclusively for a week.

The first 15 people in the door get a Byson Brown t-shirt and MCB owner and operator Jonah Epstein will be on hand every day pouring samples and doing giveaways. The beer will be rolled out from there to a number of addition locations (more information, including dates and locations, on those releases coming soon).

It seems like it was forever and a day ago that we all gathered at World of Beer on a cold and rainy night (it was last January) to cast our vote for MyCity Brew’s ultimate Buffalo beer. Epstein explains that many a hurdle arose in the process, including the fact that he did not want to rush a beer market for the sake of getting one out.

“There were plenty of hurdles along the way that added up to cause such a long delay,” he says. “Starting off, I knew I didn’t want to just rush a beer out into the market. Since the concept of the MyCity Brew relies on the community to choose our beer, I had to be sure we collected a representative and reliable sample of votes. It took about a year of losing my voice talking to people at just about every beer festival in WNY, but we collected nearly 10,000 votes by the end, and I think we ended up with the right beer for Buffalo.”

That World of Beer event produced MCB’s final beer choice, a Munich Dunkelweizen. The beer was selected from four test batches that were brewed at 12 Gates Brewing.

“Once we had decided on a dunkel, we had to work out the recipes for the final selection event. Not being an expert brewer myself, I searched around for a brewer who could formulate the four variations of the chosen dunkel. Eventually, I met with the crew at 12 Gates and was thrilled to hear they were willing to take care of the recipe development and test batches (they killed it). We also had a name suggestion contest, which took a few months on its own until we found one that was meant to be: The Byson Brown Dunkel, which was endorsed by Mayor Brown.”

Epstein also explains another major reason for the lengthy delay was licensing. The fact that he also had trouble finding a brewery with enough available capacity to brew the beer didn’t help matters either. Epstein settled on Rochester’s CB Craft Brewers because he couldn’t find a brewery locally that had enough available space. They didn’t have the tweak the recipe either, which was important.

“After the final selection event, one of the main reasons for the delay was dealing with licensing from the SLA. I seriously underestimated the time that would take to get licensed, which ended up being over a six-month process. At the same time, we were dealing with trying to find the right brewery to fit our needs. Unfortunately for me, I found that most of the breweries I approached were running very close to capacity. So, it took a good amount of searching before we landed on CB Craft Brewers. They were able to scale up the recipe to fit their large-scale system without any change in taste from the beer that was chosen at our final selection event. This is definitely the beer Buffalo asked for. So, the relationship worked perfectly for us. Brand label approval was the last hurdle – the process is slightly different for contract brewers and it took us more than a couple of tries to get the application exactly right. But, I did get the green light last week on that so we’re good to go!”

If you didn’t attend that afore mentioning tasting event at World of Beer, you can expect Byson Brown to be ‘a well-balanced, crisp lager,’ Epstein says.

“Picture the drinkability of your favorite light lager, with just a little bit more flavor and backbone. It’s a dark lager, so obviously the color is darker than what you might expect from a typical lager, but the mouthfeel is as light and crisp as any. More than anything, this is a really great middle of the road, go-to beer for anyone in Buffalo to get into: drinkable enough for the masses, but some real flavor for craft beer drinkers. And that’s exactly what we were going for by letting Buffalo choose their own beer.”

Epstein adds that Byson Brown Dunkel will be available initially on draft only at select locations around town, though it should be released in cans by the end of summer.

I, for one, am quite looking forward to tasting the final product. It’s been a long time coming certainly, and Epstein deserves some modicum of respect for sticking with this despite setback after setback. And there’s something so inherently Buffalo about MyCity Brew’s saga – overcoming hardships and picking yourself up by your bootstraps after getting knocked down consistently – and there is anything this city loves and thoroughly embraces, it’s an underdog.

For more information, please visit the Facebook event page.

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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Five & 20 to Now Offer Popular Lim Wit Radler In Cans

Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing will release their popular season offering Lim Wit Radler in cans for the first time ever at the brewery on May 16. It will also be available at select retail locations the following week. It had previously only been available in bottles and on draft. It will be available to-go in 6-pack 12oz. cans ($11) and by the case (24 cans, $44). Singles cans ($2.50) cans also be purchased for on-site consumption at the brewery.

Lim Wit Radler, a light & refreshing hazy blonde hefeweizen blended with lime, is brewed with NY Pale malt, malted barley and malted wheat, NY Cascade and Perle hops, traditional hefeweizen yeast and Bitterman’s A Very Friendly and Cordial Lime all natural cocktail syrup.

“This beer is a hazy, golden wheat ale, highly carbonated with a semi-thick white head,” the brewery says of the beer. “Lim Wit has an aroma that starts like a traditional hefeweizen with notes of banana and clove, and it finishes with a light lime. It also has banana and clove flavor to begin, finishing with a slightly tart lime and a lightly refreshing mouthfeel.”

Lim Wit cans will be released during Five & 20’s first Pint Night of the season. The event will feature draft specials, food by Bird, and (a good chance of) live music. Last call for sales is at 8pm (close at 8:30). No outside alcoholic beverages or food allowed. Pint Nights will continue every Thursday 5-8 pm through September. Bird will be open Thursdays-Sundays from noon-close (fiveand20.com for hours).

Then, on May 19, Five & 20 will hold their Sunday Sesh with the Division Street Machine (1-4pm), a relaxed Sunday afternoon featuring live, local music. Bring a chair or blanket, invite your family and friends, and sit back and enjoy the sounds while sipping a beer or wine from Mazza Wines. The Division Street Machine is a four-piece band hailing from Northeast, PA, playing an eclectic mix of relate-able original music with a funky blues feel.

“This [Lim Wit] is our take on the traditional Radler, a light and refreshing ‘beer cocktail,” Five & 20 adds of Lim Wit.

For more info, visit https://www.facebook.com/fiveand20.

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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Say Goodbye to ‘Game of Thrones’ with Brickyard Brewing’s Wild New Brew

Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen…after eight long years we will finally find out who will sit on the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms as Game of Thrones is set to air its final episode this Sunday night. Lewiston’s Brickyard Brewing are looking to enhance all of our viewing experiences with the release of Don’t Make Me Add You To The List, a beer as wacky and wild as the hit show has been for the better part of the last decade.

Brewed with loads of Galaxy hops and then triple dry-hopped with Galaxy, Nelson and Vic Secret, Don’t Make Me Add You To The List New England IPA is like a ‘bomb of white peach, pineapple, and sticky fruity resin,’ according to Head Brewer John Paul Metter. The beer is naturally colored bright green and dosed with edible glitter. The beer is “named for everyone’s favorite faceless girl hell bent on revenge (aka Arya Stark) and inspired by burning ships and exploding septs,” the brewery adds.

Limit is two crowlers per person ($13 each or two for $25) and there is very limited availability. Crowler release takes place Saturday at 11am with limited draft hitting taps beginning Friday at 4pm.

Meeter says that he brewed Don’t Make Me Add You To The List to resemble wildfire, a highly flammable and explosive liquid that burns green, which Tyrion Lannister used to destroy Stannis Baratheon’s fleet at the Battle of the Blackwater during the War of the Five Kings at King’s Landing (yes, I am admittedly a massive fan of the show).

“Everyone was talking about it – at work, at the bar, in the kitchen,” Meeter says. “It’s hard to deny the cultural impact that show has had (as terrible as it can be at time). And I figured it would be fun to make a beer that looked like Wildfire. That scene with Cersei and the Sept was pure evil, and I loved it.”

For more info, visit Facebook.com/BrickyardBrewingCompany. The final episode of Game of Thrones airs this Sunday at 9pm on HBO.

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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Hamburg Brewing is ‘Just Having Fun’ with New IPA Series

Hamburg Brewing are looking to have some fun with their new IPA series, Just Saying, a relaunch of their Just Saying New England IPA from this past winter, which has been revamped into a rotating IPA series with a new hop bill planned for each volume. The first installment in the series, Just Saying… Volume 1: We’re Having Fun Dammit!, is available now on draft and in cans in the taproom ($13.99 per 4-pack 16oz. cans). The 7.5% hazy IPA features four different malts and Citra, Palisade and Simcoe hops with a healthy amount of oats.

I’ve tried the beer, and can honestly say it is one of the best, not just hazy, IPA’s the brewery has created to date. There’s an initial touch of green to it that fades rather quickly, opening up a rather potent bouquet of tropical fruit – mango, peach, tangerine, bright citrus, etc. It’s incredibly smooth with a beautiful soft finish to it, making it a dangerous brew at 7.5%. Take it from me, you’ll drink three or four of them in relatively quick fashion and not realize it until it hits you.

The name, in addition to being a rebranded and reworked beer with the same name, as the brewery explains, comes from a phrase that can often be heard at the brewery, especially from Owner John Russo. Not to mention it keeps in line with the brewery’s idea of keeping things light and fun.

“‘Just Saying’ is a phrase famous inside the walls at HBC – and is one you’ve likely used yourself!” the brewery explains. “‘We’re Having Fun, Dammit!” is said with a hint of irony. We invite you to laugh at yourself in those moments where stress is at an all-time high – everything that can go wrong, does – and DAMMIT you just need a drink! Remind yourself to grab a cold one and then you really will be having fun. Cheers!”

Hamburg’s Taproom Manager Matt Piazza says that he is ‘super pumped and excited’ about the new beer. “It’s about drinking beer and having fun. It doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. We just want everyone to have a lot of fun with this beer. The branding is like nothing we’ve ever done before, so we’re very excited to put this out there.”

Hamburg’s Marketing Manager Ashley Jachimowicz explains that the new branding approach comes from a carefree and cheerful place, while looking for something the brewery had not yet done with their packaging.

“When the idea of this rotating IPA series first came about, we were brainstorming different ideas and the idea of ‘just saying’ came about because it’s something people throw into conversation all the time, so it’s a light hearted, fun approach to things,” Jachimowicz said. “And the ‘we’re having fun dammit’ is a little satirical as well. The idea of a comic book theme came to mind, and honestly did not plan this around The Avengers – it just happened to work out with the timing. But that’s what we were going for – something really fun and different from Hamburg’s typical branding. It’s a bit more loud, fun and light hearted.”

She adds that the next entry into the Just Saying Series will follow the look of Volume 1, with a few minor tweaks. Hamburg is looking to release a new Just Saying beer each quarter; Volume One will be released for three months, then Just Saying… will rotate to a new IPA for Volume Two, Three and Four. Piazza adds that each new beer in the series should be hazy and juicy, like the first entry, and should fall inside the 7-8% ABV range.

Just Saying… Volume 1: We’re Having Fun Dammit, which was canned just this past Monday, was the smoothest canning run the brewery has ever had, Piazza adds.

Craft beer is meant to be fun, and let’s face it, we can all stand to add a little more fun into our lives, can’t we? I’m just saying.

For more info, visit Facebook.com/HamburgBrewingCompany.

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: MyCity Brew Beer Release, Kegs & Eggs at Resurgence, Brickyard’s New ‘Game of Thrones’ Beer, Southern Tier’

MyCity Brew Set to Officially Release Byson Brown Dunkel

After years of preparation, crowdsourcing and voting, MyCity Brew are finally set to unveil their finished product, Byson Brown Dunkel, named after Mayor Byron Brown, who personally endorsed the name. Byson Brown will officially release May 17 at Pizza Plant Transit (5pm), where the beer will be available exclusively for a week. The first 15 people in the door get a Byson Brown t-shirt and MCB owner and operator Jonah Epstein will be on hand every day pouring samples and doing giveaways. The beer will be rolled out from there to a number of addition locations (more information coming soon).

Resurgence Brewing’s Kegs & Eggs Returns This Weekend

What’s better than a fresh beer with your breakfast? Resurgence Brewing are rolling out over a dozen new brews to pair with your gourmet breakfast sandwich at the latest Kegs & Eggs, May 19 (11am). The beers available are Imperial Oreo Cookie & Imperial Caramel Coffee (both made from the Brew Geek Series Base Stout), Blueberries and Cream Stout, Raspberry Chocolate Stout, Banana Foster Stout, Nutella Stout, Margarita Gose, Watermelon Gose, Strawberry Rhubarb Sour, Curuba Sour (Banana Passionfruit) and Ginger Shandy, as well as casks of Fruited Sour IPA (1/2 Citmo IPA and 1/2 Sour with Mango) and Strawberry IPA.

Brickyard Brewing to Release Beer for ‘Game of Thrones’ Series Finale

Brickyard Brewing are releasing a new beer to help take the edge off of the impending loss of Game of Thrones, a beer they’re calling Don’t Make Me Add You To The List, a juicy New England IPA named in honor of Arya Stark and brewed with 100% Galaxy Hops, naturally colored bright green and then dosed with edible glitter. Limited draft of Don’t Make Me Add You To The List will be available on May 17, with crowlers to go going on sale the next day beginning at 11am. Limit two per person. $13 each or two for $25.

Eighth Annual Public Day Coming to Southern Tier Brewing Company

Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Public Day 2019, the eighth installment of the annual celebration of all thing Southern Tier Brewing beers, a full day of music, food and beer featuring dozens of Southern Tier beers, including all of their standard releases, seasonals and one-off varieties, as well as their 2X series, Blackwater series, and many limited releases, takes place at Lakewood’s Empty Pint on May 18 (12-6pm). The event will feature dozens of Southern Tier beers on tap, spirits and craft cocktails from Southern Tier Distilling and live music and food. The event is free and open to the public.

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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6 Can’t Miss Beers to Seek Out During Farm to Pint Week

As you well know, beer consists of only a few core ingredients – hops, malt, yeast and water – all elements that are vital to producing that delicious liquid that fills your pint glass on a daily basis. Local farmers, all of whom will be spotlighted during Farm to Pint Week, which takes place May 11 – 19, produce those ingredients, so it’s time to put them all front and center and recognize them for their contributions to our beer scene.

Nearly two dozen local beers that were created with 100% locally sourced New York State ingredients will be available over the course of the next week, not only at your favorite taprooms, but also around town at your local watering holes, like Mr. Goodbar and both Pizza Plant locations. And while you should really go out of your way to try as many F2P beers as you possibly can, there are a few that are surely must-try in my opinion.

42 North Brewing – 42 North NYS Sour IPA: Two things 42 North brews very well are sours and hazy IPAs, so what would happen if you put both together in one beer? I’m not entirely sure, but I definitely want to find out. It’s described as having ‘pleasant hints of tropic melons and sweet cream.’ Sign me up.

Eli Fish Brewing – El Guapa Gose: If this margarita-style gose is anything like Lafayette Brewing’s Gose Cuervo, then I am on board. Plus, I haven’t had all that many Eli Fish beers, and I’m a fan of the gose style, so I’ll be looking for this one.

Flying Bison Brewing – Best Bitter: An old school style that not many breweries around these parts are partaking in brewing, a good bitter goes a long way in my book. And if Flying Bison does anything better than most, it’s brew old school beer styles to perfection. I’ll take a pint please.

New York Beer Project – The One New England IPA Version 5: I personally thought The One v.4 was the best of the series and one of the best IPA’s New York Beer Project has made yet, so I’m incredibly excited to see what they do with v.5.

Resurgence Brewing – West Meets New England IPA: I’ve loved most of what Resurgence has produced under their R&D IPA Series, so I’m looking forward to the next installment here. Plus, with that beer name, I’m conjuring thoughts of a dank and hazy IPA full of overripe fruit and a nice hop bite.

West Shore Brewing – Green Flyer New England IPA: One of the best New England’s in our beer scene that no one is really talking about. I can’t wait to be able to order multiple pours of this beer as I do not often get the chance to get my hands on it. And it has only gotten better each time it’s been in my glass, so that’s something to definitely look forward to over this next week.

For more information, please visit www.BuffaloNiagaraBrewersAssociation.Org/F2P.

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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Relive All the Milestones & Awards as Big Ditch Celebrates Four-Year Anniversary

Big Ditch Brewing Company celebrated its fourth year in the craft brewing industry. Big Ditch opened its brewery in 2014 at 55 East Huron Street in downtown Buffalo, New York. Big Ditch sells and distributes beer in Buffalo and Rochester and with 93 employees, is one of New York’s fastest growing breweries.

“Four years ago, we opened this brewery not only to ‘celebrate beer,’ but to join Buffalo’s craft beer movement by contributing our own high-quality, delicious beer,” said Matt Kahn, president of Big Ditch Brewing Company. “We’ve worked hard to assemble an extremely dedicated team. It’s the work of our many brewers, managers, sales staff and tap room employees–and of course our loyal Big Ditch enthusiasts – that we’ve been able to see so much success in Buffalo and Rochester so far. We’ve brewed great beers with great partners and look forward to finding new ways to innovate.”

Founded in 2013, Big Ditch officially opened its brewery in 2014, followed by its Tap Room and restaurant in 2015. The brewing company pays homage to the Erie Canal, a project that skeptics never thought would materialize. Jokingly referred to as ‘Clinton’s Big Ditch’ after Dewitt Clinton, the New York State governor who championed the initiative, the Erie Canal changed Buffalo forever in 1825 by connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Hudson River.

The Erie Canal started as an idea, but ultimately served as the catalyst for the City of Buffalo’s rapid growth into one of the largest cities in North America by the early 1900s. The founders of Big Ditch know that the return of brewing to the City of Buffalo is similarly contributing to the region’s continued revival as well as its proud brewing tradition.

“The Erie Canal paved the way for prosperity,” continued Kahn. “And it’s for those who are shaping Buffalo’s next 100 years that we brew Big Ditch beer–beer that celebrates our roots and serves as a reminder that the Buffalo of the future is being built with the same strength, pride and ambition that created the Canal nearly two centuries ago.”

Big Ditch has collaborated with national brewers including Great Lakes Brewing Company, Harpoon Brewery and New Belgium Brewing, as well as local partners including 12 Gates Brewing, 42 North Brewing, the Buffalo Bisons, Community Beer Works, Consumer’s Beverages, the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market, Leonard Oakes Winery Estates, Lockhouse Distillery, Pressure Drop Brewing, Public Espresso, Resurgence Brewing Company, Upstate Brewing Company, Tommyrotter Distillery, Try-It Distributing.

Big Ditch Timeline:

• 2014 – Brewery opening
• 2015 – Tap room opening
• 2016 – Brewery and tap room expansion; canning line addition
• 2017 – Launch in Rochester market

Awards:

• 2019 – Silver Medal, Excavator Brown Ale (Brown Ales, TAP NY)
• 2019 – Silver Medal, Packet IPA (India Pale Ale, TAP NY)
• 2019 – Bronze, Deep Cut IPA (Strong IPA, TAP NY)
• 2019 – Gold Medal, Cannon Call (America Double IPA, New York State Brewers Association)
• 2019 – Silver Medal, Fall Black (Amber/Dark Lagers, New York State Brewers Association)
• 2018 – Most Medals Won (One of two breweries, New York State Brewers Association)
• 2018 – Bronze Medal, Deep Cut (America DIPA, New York State Brewers Association)
• 2018 – Bronze Medal, Hayburner (American IPA, New York State Brewers Association)
• 2018 – Bronze Medal, Cinnamon Apple (Fruit and Spice Beer, New York State Brewers Association)
• 2018 – Bronze Medal, Imperial Towpath (Imperial Stout and Porter, New York State Brewers
Association)
• 2018 – Award of Excellence, Rochester Market Entry (Events and Observances, PRSA Rochester)
• 2017 – Gold Medal, Deep Cut (Strong India Pale Ale, TAP NY)
• 2017 – Bronze Medal, Towpath (English Style Stout, TAP NY)
• 2017 – Bronze Medal, Deep Cut (American DIPA, New York State Brewers Association)
• 2017 – Western New York’s Best Reuben, Breuben (Best Reuben, All WNY News & Radio)
• 2017 – Best Local Brewery (Food – City, Buffalo Spree)
• 2016 – Second largest brewpub in the Northeast (Brewers Association)
• 2016 – Best Craft Brewery in New York State (NY TAP Festival)
• 2016 – Silver Medal, Deep Cut Double IPA (Strong IPA, New York State Brewers Association)
• 2016 – Silver ADDY Award (Logo Design, American Advertising Federation)
• 2016 – Best Local Brewery (Food – City, Buffalo Spree)
• 2015 – International Design Award (Company Branding, HOW)

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From Grain to Glass: Farm to Pint Week Puts All Things Local Front and Center

Farm to Pint is more than a simple sales ploy. It’s not a passing fad either; it’s a lifestyle, a locavore movement that affects more people than perhaps you might realize. From farmers and maltsters to hopsters and brewers, the farm-to-pint ethos permeates all levels of the brewing supply chain.

And what a simple concept – supplying local ingredients to local breweries. Why not use what’s grown here to brew what we drink here? From local farms to local breweries to local patrons – the farm-to-pint idea is maddeningly simple and nonetheless important. While this ideology creates fresh, locally sourced beer, it also creates jobs, revenue that remains in our area and also, and perhaps most importantly, it creates a sustainable and viable infrastructure for future generations.

And what better way to celebrate the idea of thinking local and drinking local than during Farm to Pint Week, which gets underway at the Third Annual Farm to Pint Expo on May 11 (2-5pm) at Resurgence Brewing. Meet local tastemakers and drink their wares as representatives from Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, Niagara Craft Spirits, Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Niagara Landing Winery, 810 Meadworks, New York Craft Malt, Niagara Malt, Five and 20 Spirits & Brewing and Lilly Belle Meads will be on hand sampling their products. The expo will also feature a number of F2P beers on tap from 42 North, Big Inlet, Brickyard Brewing, Five & 20, Eli Fish, Resurgence Brewing, Rusty Nickel, West Shore, and Windy Brew.

Farm to Pint Week continues during Food Truck Tuesday at Flying Bison Brewing on May 14 (5-7pm) with the F2P Symposium, which will play host to three F2P experts for two hours of industry talk to pro brewers followed by a bottle share featuring WNY & NYS F2P brews. The speakers are Aaron MacCleod of Hartwick College on malt analysis, Chris Holden of NY Hop Guild on NYS hops and Jason Sahler of Strong Rope Brewery on NYS Farm to Pint beers.

42 North’s Full Circle Festival takes place on May 18 (2-6pm). The festival, which focuses on sustainability in the craft brewing industry, will include over a dozen local breweries sampling their products, along with a pig roast (raised exclusively on 42N’s spent grain), live music and an all-around community celebration. Tickets are available for pre-sale online and in the 42 North taproom, and include beer sampling, live music, souvenir glass and pig roast. Tickets will also be available at the door (if any remain) on the day of. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite.

Batavia’s Eli Fish will host a F2P tap takeover featuring sixtels of F2P beer from local breweries the following day on May 19 (12-5pm) featuring most, if not all, of the available F2P beers, most of which will also be available throughout the region during the entire week, including on tap at Pizza Plant Transit and Mr. Goodbar.

Here is the tap list for Farm to Pint Week (subject to change):

42 North Brewing – 42 North NYS Sour IPA – New York Pale and 2-Row malts are the foundation of this hazy IPA. Brewed and dry-hopped with New York Chinook, Nugget, Cascade, Macadamia Nut and a medley of lactobacillus, this IPA has pleasant hints of tropic melons and sweet cream.

Belt Line Brewery & Kitchen – Farm To Tap: Honey Kolsch – A variation on traditional kölsch with the addition of local honey, which adds a subtle floral character.

Big Ditch Brewing – 100% NY Pale Ale – This beer is handcrafted using Erie Canal Pale malt from New York Craft Malt in Batavia as well as Cascade, Centennial, and Michigan Copper hops from Crooked Creek Hops Farm. Expect a light, clean malt background with light peach, concord grape and earthy aroma and flavor.

Big Inlet Brewing – Lowbrow Nobility Wheat – Half of the grain bill for this beer comes from White Wheat malt while the other half consists of a blend of Pale and Pilsner malts. Only Cascade hops were used, which were locally sourced from Royce Road Hop Farm.

Blackbird Ciderworks – Red Barn Wild Fermented – A farm-style hard cider wild fermented, sweet hard apple cider. It features hints of apricots in the aroma and a refreshing full apple flavor.

Brickyard Brewing Company – Saison des Fleurs – A dandelion saison using local NY malt and dandelions.

Buffalo Brewing Company – 1856 Cran Raz Wheat – A delicate wheat beer with tart cranberry and raspberry flavors. It has big fruit flavor and a light body, which makes this beer a refreshing summer treat. 1856 commemorates the year that the Washington Market (also known as the Chippewa Market), Buffalo’s oldest public retail market, was established.

Eli Fish Brewing – El Guapa Gose – A kettle-soured traditional German Gose dosed with copious amounts of key lime juice. This is a true margarita beer; refreshingly tart, lime forward, and a hint of salt. This was brewed using only New York State malts.

Five and 20 Spirits & Brewing – Grape Lakes American Wheat Ale – Co-fermented with Concord grape juice from local Westfield Growers Co-Op and brewed with Pale Ale and Wheat malt from 1886 Malt House and Cascade hops from Hanover Hops.

Flying Bison Brewing – Best Bitter – All WNY ingredient version of the traditional British session beer. Slight biscuity and nutty malt flavor, balanced bitterness and floral/herbal aroma and flavor. Malts and hops from New York Craft Malt and East Prairie Hop Farm.

Four Mile Brewing – Maple Brown Ale – A brown ale showcasing local maple syrup from Sprague’s Maple Farms in Portville, NY. It delivers notes of biscuit, chocolate, and caramel with a soft, smoky sweet maple finish.

Lilly Belle Meads – Honey and Hops – Made with wildflower honey from WNY and New York Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops. Dry, carbonated with a nice balance of honey flavor with citrus and pineapple notes.

New York Beer Project – The One New England IPA Version 5 – Brewed with Hallertau Blanc, Huell Melon, Galaxy and Azacca hops. Double dry-hopped with El Dorado and Galaxy hops. This beer was brewed with nearly 50% local grain using Niagara Malt Mild Pale Ale malt. The result is a tropical fruit forward juicy IPA with aromas of passion fruit, mango, melon, and stone fruit.

Old First Ward  Brewing This Is Not A Pale Ale – An aggressively hopped American Pale Ale that uses four types of malts and six types of hops including all Cascades from Vertical Vines. It opens with a big hop aroma and balances sweetness, bitterness and mouthfeel.

Pearl Street Brewery – Lackawanna Lager – A traditional German-style pilsner brewed with NYS malt from Niagara Malt and traditional imported German hops. This beer is fermented at a cooler temperature, then lagered for at least six weeks before serving.

Resurgence Brewing – West Meets New England IPA – An experimental hazy IPA that has more bitterness than usual for the style IPA. It’s dry-hopped with hops from the New York Hop Guild.

Rusty Nickel Brewing – It’s Spelt Correctly – A Brett Farmhouse Saison using four different malts from Niagara Malt, showcasing their Spelt Malt especially. The Brett blend saison yeast that is used imparts complex flavors to this seasonal brew.

West Shore Brewing – Green Flyer New England IPA – This NEIPA is brewed with Niagara Malt’s Pale and Pislner Malt and Centennial Hops from Vertical Vines as well as a touch of Simcoe and Mosaic. It’s then double dry-hopped with a blend of all three, but mostly local Centennial.

Windy Brew – PTSD IPA – This IPA features loads of fresh grapefruit and citrus and finishes off with a clean bitterness.

Woodcock Brothers Brewing – Big Bob’s Pale Ale – A Belgian Pale Ale using malt from Niagara Malt.

For more information, please visit www.BuffaloNiagaraBrewersAssociation.Org/F2P.

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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Big Ditch Brewing Partners with New Belgium Brewing on Folly IPA

Big Ditch Brewing Company announced that it will debut Folly, a collaborative IPA, alongside New Belgium Brewing, the fourth largest brewer of craft beer in the United States. New Belgium’s brewer, Kelly McKnight, traveled from Fort Collins, Colorado to Buffalo on Thursday, May 2nd to brew the beer, which will be available in time for Memorial Day weekend and celebrate the folly –“foolishness”– of having great vision. The beer is a part of Big Ditch’s Lock IPA Series, which includes limited amounts of canned IPAs that explore the range of fantastic flavors found in hoppy beer.

“Buffalo today is a city reborn, in the same way it was after the opening of the Erie Canal, a project that was deemed a foolish endeavor and one that would never materialize,” said Matt Kahn, president of Big Ditch Brewing Company. “We brew our beer to celebrate the strength, pride and ambition it takes to execute great vision, and are thrilled to collaborate with New Belgium, pioneers in our industry who looked folly in the face when starting their business.”

This special collaboration between New Belgium and Big Ditch celebrates the presumed folly of people with great vision, including New Belgium co-founders Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch and those behind the original plans for the Erie Canal.

“Building a business is always risky and some would even see call it a crazy or foolish idea,” said New Belgium Brewing’s Upstate New York Sales Manager, Ryan Kurtz. “But well before New Belgium began selling our wonderful beer in all 50 states, what was once seen as folly was realized to be an awesome vision. The Erie Canal was an impossible project and one that required a lot of risk, and that resonates with us. We join Big Ditch in their call to ‘Celebrate Beer,’ and now add a second rallying cry: ‘Follow your Folly!’”

New Belgium is currently the fourth-largest brewer of craft beer in the United States and the eleventh largest brewery. A 1988 bike trip through Belgium inspired a young couple to launch New Belgium Brewing, bringing the flavors of centuries-old Belgian beer styles to the college town of Fort Collins, Colorado. By 1991, co-founders Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch had installed brewing equipment in the basement of their home. In 2018, New Belgium sold 844,937 barrels of beer. The 100% employeeowned company now employs more than 700 individuals and has two locations, in Fort Collins, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina.

Big Ditch Brewing Company pays homage to the Erie Canal, a project that skeptics never thought would materialize. They jokingly referred to it as ‘Clinton’s Big Ditch’ after Dewitt Clinton, the New York State governor who championed the project. But when it was filled with water in 1825, the ‘Big Ditch’ changed Buffalo forever by connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Hudson River.

Beginning May 24th, Folly will be available in four-packs at Big Ditch Brewing Company in Buffalo, and retailers in both Buffalo and Rochester. The IPA starts with Appalachian Wheat from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, NC, New Belgium’s second home, and adds in Galaxy, Amarillo, and experimental HBC-522 hops, to yield a creamy yet drinkable IPA that is equal parts tropical, stone fruit, and citrus. The beer is 7.2%.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Farm to Pint Week Kicks Off, Thin Man Eyes 3rd Taproom, Big Ditch’s 4th Anniversary, 42 North’s new summer beers

Farm to Pint Week Kicks Off at Resurgence Brewing with F2P Expo

Farm to Pint Week, the annual weeklong celebration of beer created exclusively from all-New York State sourced ingredients, officially gets underway at the third annual Farm to Pint Expo, which this year takes place at Resurgence Brewing on May 11 (2-5pm). The event will feature the opportunity to meet and interact with local maltsters, hopsters and brewers, and will feature at least eight exclusive Farm to Pint beers on tap, including 42 North Brewing (NYS Sour IPA), Resurgence (West Meets New England IPA) and Brickyard Brewing (Saison des Fleurs Dandelion Saison). The event is free and open to the public.

Thin Man to Open Brand New, Third Taproom in Clarence

Fresh off the opening of their new facility on Chandler Street in Black Rock, Thin Man Brewery have announced plans to open a new taproom inside Brennan’s Bowery Bar, located at 4401 Transit Road in Clarence. According to Owner Mike Shatzel, the new taproom will be located within Brennan’s current banquet room, with tentative plans calling for 20 tap lines featuring mainly Thin Man beers along with cider lines and guest taps. Crowlers/growlers, cans/bottles will also be available for takeout. They’re shooting for a mid-June opening. They are currently hiring for bartenders, barbacks, and cocktail servers (email resume to jobs@shatzelgroup.com).

Big Ditch Brewing’s Fourth Anniversary Party on Tap

Big Ditch are turning four and are pulling out all the stops to celebrate. The anniversary party, May 9 at 5pm, will feature beer popsicles (Berry Vision, Hayburner, Make Me Wanna Stout), house-made dry-hopped hard seltzers and plenty of beer – Sweet Cherry Berry Vision, Make Me Wanna Scream! (Make Me Wanna Stout with chipotle, cayenne, vanilla and nutmeg), Elderberry Sour Lemonade Shandies (blended with house-made lemonade), Sweeter Dreams (wheat ale with honey), All Citra DDH Pale Ale and FC Session IPA conditioned on cedar. GRAVY will perform and there will be food specials, raffles, giveaways, cake and free t-shirts.

42 North Brewing Releases New Session IPA, Fan Favorite Kolsch

42 North are welcoming the warmer weather with the release of two summer-ready brews – Day Trekker Session IPA and Westphalia Kolsch. For Day Trekker, the brewery teamed up with the Western New York Mountain Bicycling Association to donate a portion of proceeds to trail conservation and rehabilitation. It’s a bigger bodied session with notes of pineapple and mango-led tropical fruit. Westphalia Kolsch, which features Nelson Sauvin hops and notes of white wine grapiness, returns for another season. Day Trekker is available in 6-pack 12oz. cans and Westphalia in 4-pack 16oz. cans at the brewery and wherever great beer is sold.

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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