GZA the Genius and the GZA Pale Ale: A Mashup of Hip-Hop and Beer

When you’re watching GZA, aka The Genius, take the stage at the Waiting Room this weekend, make sure you have a pint of his namesake beer in hand, aka Community Beer Works’ GZA Pale Ale, which will be on tap at the concert venue for the highly anticipated show.

The beer is not only named for the Wu-Tang founding member, it’s also a clever acronym using its component hops, Galaxy, Zythos and Amarillo. The tropical brew is the brainchild of CBW’s own Drew Hardin, who says that brewing this particular beer has long been a dream of his.

“I have had a long dream of doing a Wu-Tang beer series,” Hardin says. “I have Wu member beers/styles picked out already – “The Chef” Peppercorn Saison, ODB Malt Liquor, Method Imperial Stout, etc. Music is a huge influence in almost any craft. Craft beer is no different. Almost everyone listens to music at work. Or at least they should. I brew to music. I listen to a lot, I mean A LOT, of hip hop – old school hip-hop. I’m a child of the 80s and old school golden era hip-hop. And Wu-Tang is for the children. It has had a huge impact on my life. And I make beer so the music makes a direct impact on my life and what I do.”

“GZA Pale Ale has a nice mellow medium malt forward base I have used in the past,” he adds of the beer. “Like a drum beat that I need to find the right hop harmony to lace over the top with. Tropical hops, a mellow malt bill and a level balance between the two are music to my mouth.”

Hardin only hopes that if GZA enjoys a fresh pint of GZA Pale Ale, he appreciates all of the hard work, time and energy that went into brewing it, just as Hardin appreciates all of those very same qualities that go into each and every one of GZA’s tracks.

“If GZA had this beer what would I hope his reaction be? Well I don’t know if Bobby Digital is a hoppy craft beer drinker. However, I would hope he can appreciate the time and effort put into a beer based on his influence on my life. I don’t know if my beer would touch him the same way his music has touched my life, but I hope he would see the effort put in to make a quality beer just like his time and effort makes a quality track I enjoy.”

Ironically enough, for someone who brewed a beer for a group member and that has vision of brewing a beer for other Wu-Tang members; Hardin doesn’t have one favorite Wu-Tang song.

“I do not have a favorite Wu-Tang song. I love anytime I hear the Wu in a public forum. Wu-Tang fans are a great group of folks that you can never really spot until something like “Da Rockwilder” comes over the jukebox. 36 Chambers. That “Pinky Ring” shit. Liquid Swords. It’s all good.”

GZA will perform at the Waiting Room on February 25 at 8pm with Meyhem Lauren and Short Moscato also set to perform. There are still a limited amount of tickets left ($25 advance, $30 doors) and can be purchased at www.ticketfly.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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Beer for a Good Cause: Seneca Street Community Development Corporation Raises Funds at Resurgence Brewing

The Seneca Street Community Development Corporation is holding a fundraiser to raise money to continue the free programs our organization provides to the South Buffalo community.  The event is on Thursday, February 23, from 6-8pm at Resurgence Brewery.  The purchase of one ticket includes 2 drink tickets at the bar as well as food.  We will also have basket raffles, a silent auction, and a 50/50 raffle. A ticket to the Seneca Street CDC Resurgence Fundraiser is $25.

The Seneca Street Community Development Corporation (CDC) is a small, 501(c)3 non-profit located in the Seneca Babcock neighborhood of South Buffalo. The Seneca Street CDC provides educational After School, summer and Teen Programs free of charge to sixty students and ten teens, many of whom are caught in the cycle of generational poverty.

During the After School program, which is currently in session, the children are comprehensively supported by college student volunteers and community volunteers who assist with homework.  The CDC staff and volunteers also provide recreational and enrichment classes, and by community members who assist in the kitchen to provide the children with both snack and dinner Monday through Thursday throughout the school year.

Seneca Street Community Development Corporation’s services address a variety of serious gaps in the area. Seeing as the Seneca Babcock community has been categorized as a food desert, they ameliorate concerns over food security by providing dinner, which may be the only meal available for the children until breakfast the next morning at their schools. They address concerns of low academic achievement through the presence of college student volunteers who have been thoroughly trained to assist and encourage the children to succeed, health and obesity by providing healthy snacks and meals and by hosting physical enrichment programs such as Girls on the Run and also provide the students with reliable role models and assist them as they grow and develop into teens and adults.

The Seneca Street CDC provides these services free of charge; by charging families for this care, they fear that many of the students in the neighborhood would be unable to attend the program leaving them without a safe place to spend their afterschool hours, without homework help and without extracurricular activities. In order to provide these services, however, they have become dependent on grants, fundraisers, and private donations.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Hamburg & Ellicottville Brewing get tart on the 219, the History of Brewing Beer is told, CBW & Rare Form team, Pan-Am gets fruity with new cask

Hamburg Brewing and Ellicottville Brewing Connect via the 219

Hamburg Brewing Company and Ellicottville Brewing Company have again teamed up, this time for the latest entry into their collaborative 219 Series, a Tart IPA (7.3% ABV). This 7.3% tart IPA is brewed with Simcoe, Galaxy and Mosaic hops and is the hybrid offspring of a kettle sour and an IPA together, which was then dry-hopped. The fourth installment of the 219 Series, following the Jasmine IPA, Chai Saison and GalaxTea, was crafted with mild malts, juicy hops and a touch of tartness provided by sour wort. The Tart IPA is an easy drinker, even at 7.3%, with notes of tropical fruit and melon with a subtle tart touch. Find it on tap at HBC right now.

Relive the History of Brewing Beer with Sullivan’s Brewing Master Brewer

If you’re interested in learning more about beer history, don’t miss ‘The History of Brewing Beer,’ which will be held at the Tewksbury Lodge on February 25th (3-5pm) with Sullivan’s Brewing Master Brewer Ian Hamilton, who is making his way to Buffalo from Kilkenny, Ireland. “Sullivan’s Brewing Company officially debuted in the United States in December 2016, and it was because of a commitment to Buffalo’s renaissance that this city was selected as our first U.S. market,” Hamilton said. “It is a pleasure to visit once again to discuss the history of brewing with the beer-loving people of Buffalo.” The event is open to the public and you’re encouraged to register by calling (716) 840-2866. A limited food menu will be available.

Drink All Things New York with Community Beer Works and Rare Form

Community Beer Works and Troy’s Rare Form Brewing Company are keeping things nice and local with the release of R3! Resistance Raw Rye Pale Ale, the second beer in their ‘West meets East’ series on Thursday, Feb. 23 (3-8pm). CBW’s Ryan Demler was sent to Troy to brew this pale ale, which uses raw rye from Rensselaer County, malt from Niagara Malt LLC and hops from Whipple Brothers Farms and local farms in the Finger Lakes region. Rare Form owner Kevin Mullen will be on hand for the release, as will a keg of their Sexy Beats IPA. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to grab a pint and help celebrate all things New York!

Pan-Am Brewery Casks up Grapefruit Terminator IPA

Pan-Am Brewery will be tapping a cask of Grapefruit Terminator IPA, their house made West-Coast style Terminator IPA infused with real grapefruit, at 4pm on Friday, Feb. 24. Terminator IPA is described as ‘a traditional pale ale pushed to the line between IPA and pale ale with loads of high-powered Pacific Northwest hops that provide bitterness, flavor, and aroma.’ The name is an homage to Mr. Rocco Termini, Pan-Am’s partner in the Hotel Lafayette project. And while you’re enjoying a fresh cask pull, check out Pan-Am’s newly renovated game room including shuffleboard, two pinball machines, a pool table and a dart board.

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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‘Braving’ the Weather in the Name of Hops: Our Favorite Beer from the 2nd Annual Winter Hop Fest

You’ve heard it before – Buffalo is a drinking town, through and through. Hell, even Mother Nature must be fan of beer, especially after the unseasonable weather she bestowed upon us for the 2nd Annual Winter Hop Fest, held in the biergarten at Old First Ward Brewing and Gene McCarthy’s.

The sold out event brought together only the hoppiest of boozy wares poured by the best of the best locally, including 12 Gates, Community Beer Works, Big Ditch, Thin Man, Rusty Nickel Brewing, Hamburg Brewing, Ellicottville Brewing, Four Mile Brewing, Flying Bison, 42 North Brewing, Woodcock Brothers and Resurgence Brewing.

We were floored by a number of beers at the event, but somehow managed to whittle our list down to five, with honorable mention to 42 North’s Mosaic Enforcer and Hamburg/Ellicottville Brewing’s Tart IPA, the latest in their 219 Series. So, without any further ado, these were our favorite beers from the 2nd Annual Winter Hop Fest (in no particular order):

Big Ditch Trois IPA – Huge juicy hits of tropical fruit and melon and reminiscent of a New England-style IPA. One of the day’s best. This is the latest in Big Ditch’s Innovation Series and uses Saccharomyces Trois, a “wild” strain of Saccharomyces yeast.

Community Beer Works Hoppy Porter – A solid porter with soft hops and a good blend of roast and dark malt. It’s an approachable beer for the style without being too simplistic flavor-wise.

Old First Ward #Mashtag IPA on cask – Another IPA in the New England style. A nice balance between grapefruit and pine, which was only enhanced by the cask.

Rusty Nickel Melon Hop IPA – Loads of melon-forward citrus, as you’d expect given its name, with an unexpected yet pleasant tart bite. This was a fun beer.

Thin Man Oat, No You Didn’t Double IPA – Drank up to every percent of its massive 9.5 ABV. It’s big with notes of sweet, flaky oats on the body.

It’s just further proof that beer, especially the hoppy stuff, is truly a universal language, one that everyone speaks. It’s safe to say that we’re already looking forward to next year.


*Written in conjunction with Mark Jowett. All photos courtesy of Mark Jowett.

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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What A Year For Beer: The Buffalo-Niagara Beer Scene’s Elite Share Their Favorite Beers From 2016

In terms of beer, 2016 was one hell of a year. New breweries popped up at every turn, new beers were released seemingly every day and, no matter what type or style of beer you’re into, you could easily find something tasty to imbibe. Yes, 2016 was indeed a banner year for beer, local or otherwise.

The Brewers Association reports that, as of June 2016, there were a record high of 4,656 breweries in the U.S. (with an estimated 2,200 breweries in planning), an increase of 917 breweries over the previous year, a number that now stands north of 5,000. Perhaps most importantly however is the fact that craft brewers currently employ an estimated 121,843 full-time and part-time workers throughout the U.S.

As for individual beer styles, the Brewers Association reports that IPA’s currently represent one-quarter of the craft beer market. And not far behind are golden ales, pilsners and pale lagers, which are up 33%.

So on that note, we spoke with a number of Buffalo beer luminaries, including a number of our friends from the scene as well as brewers, brewery owners and managers, about their favorite beers from the past 365 days, whether it be their own, other local offerings and even non-local beers.

Willard Brooks, Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association President: My number one beer of 2016 was the Wise PA. Beyond that, my favorites included Blackberry Farms Brett Fruit Blend, Kerkom Reuss, Old First Ward Streaker, Flying Bison Brindle Porter, Suarez Family Brewery Pilsner, Thin Man Thin Geist Adambier, Woodcock Brothers XPA, Ommegang Rossetta Flemish Red, Industrial Arts Power Tools, Big Ditch Bidwell Sour and Gordon Biersch Enkel, to name a few.”

Jason Crossett, New York Beer Project Brewer: “New York Beer Project Righteous Dude, one of the best beers we make at the brewery, Three Floyds Gumballhead, a perfect summer drinking beer, Allagash Brewing Belfius (2014), a refreshing sour ale lending a fresh peach and apricot character alongside a wet hay and light grainy sweetness, Wise PA (“I was honored to be part of this great collaboration honoring our late friend, Kevin Wise. He was a tremendous person with a big heart who loved his IPA’s. Wise IPA was fantastically delicious with a complex juicy hop profile. I know he would have approved!”), Night Shift Darkling Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (2015), Woodcock XPA 6.0 “(My favorite of the XPA series. Juicy malt backbone enhances the citrus and fruit character from the hops”), Mettle by Trillium Brewing, Head in the Clouds DIPA by Resurgence, Asylum Porter by 42 North and Ex-Patriot Pale Ale – Sour Pale Ale by Big Slide Brewery (sister brewery to Lake Placid).”

Scott Donovan, Blackbird Cider Works Founder/President: “Our current favorite is our Wood Aged Dry Cider, made with estate grown certified organic apples. Also of note is our New England Style Cider, a strong 10% ABV cider, double fermented with brown sugar, raisins, and local honey.”

Matt Kahn, Big Ditch Brewing President: “What’s pretty cool is that this year we can focus just on NY State beers alone, because NYS is truly making some great beers. Here’s a short list – anything from Grimm Artisanal Ales, Hand & Seal from Brooklyn, Squeaker from Suarez, Sunday from The North, Double from Upstate (these guys have come a long way – congrats!), Hard Core Leaf Peeping from Common Roots, Solera and Without Regarde from Good Nature, who are one of our favorite breweries in NYS right now, Run Like an Apricot from Prison City (our other favorite), Toasted Coconut Kareem from Stoneyard (‘sup Jason!).  And, let’s not forget how much great beer is being made locally these days! Sky High Rye from EBC, Spot Coffee Stout from Flying Bison, Cosmic Truth and Irish Breakfast from Resurgence, Dreizehn from CBW (one of my favorite pilsners ever and I love pilsners), and Bliss from Thin Man, who blew us away with that beer.”

Andrew Pentheros, Woodcock Brothers Brewing Marketing, Public Relations and Consumer Insights Manager: Tree House Brewing King Jjjjulius (“Bursting with intense, complex flavors, balanced from start to finish, but somehow does not make mincemeat out of your palate. Just pure, clean, almost decadent drinkability. Really the new pinnacle of IPA’s for me”), Bullfrog Brewery: LeRoar Grzzz, Apricot variant (“Not too clawing, not too sweet, subtle, yet distinct flavor of the apricot sour. So clean and definitive on the palate. Best American sour I’ve had in terms of pure drinkability all year”), Casey Brewing & Blending: Saison (“This oak aged Saison really blew me away in terms of pushing the boundaries of what a Saison could be. Mouthwateringly tart and crisp. Citrus, oak and yeast in perfect balance. Maybe the most intensely flavored saison I’ve had to date”).

Matt Redpath, Woodcock Brothers Lead Brewer: WisePA (“This is one of my favorites of the year, not because of the beer itself, but because it was done with a cooperation of many WNY breweries and remembering a dear friend and advocate for the local beer scene”), Elements of Composition – Collaboration of De Garde, Jester King and Sante Adairius (“In a weird way I have many connections to this beer. My parents live in Tillamook and have a working relationship with De Garde. I worked with one of the founders of Sante Adairius. And on a long shot have a friend who owns a brewery in TX and went and visited him and was introduced to Jester King. Nice complexity, yet approachable”), Beer Cocktails at Hydraulic Hearth (“Many WNY beers are featured there and crafted into amazing creations that shows how beer can be a part of the cocktail scene and the versatility of beer in general”).

Clay Keel, 42 North Lead Brewer: Grimm Lambo Door (“Simply the most balanced, refreshing, juicy, ‘man that’s good’ IPA I’ve had all year”), Prison City Passion Fruit Berliner Weiss (“I’m a huge Berliner fan and they know how to do the kettle sour for real and the passion fruit works amazingly well”). “The Wise PA was such an awesome experience to be a part of and it came it out very well. A beer people will remember for a very long time for many reasons. Like Kevin did, it truly brought Buffalo breweries together. For 42 North beers I’d have to say the Enforcer Galaxy Double IPA we released in November. We went for the New England style and think we hit the marks well. Smooth but complex and popping with galaxy goodness.”

Justine Powers, 42 North Brewing Marketing and Events Coordinator: Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break- Imperial Stout (“I have a sweet tooth and love sipping beers so this was perfect during the fall this year”), Jolly Pumpkin Hamajang – Collaboration with Leelanau Evil Twin & Mikkeller (“Had the pleasure of making it to Blue Monk while they had this collab on tap. RIP Blue Monk”), To Ol Sur Simcoe (“Pretty sure I bought out Aurora Brew Works’ entire stock of this one”), Stillwater Artisanal Hopvine Bling (“Was in the mood for a good Berliner Weisse and I certainly got what I asked for! The bottle design was pretty sweet as well”), 42 North Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale (“I’m pretty much obsessed with this beer. If I could marry a beer, I would marry the Oatmeal Cookie”).

Ethan Cox, Community Beer Works President/Co-Founder: “Favorite CBW brew of 2016, probably either the revival of The IPA, Across The Border Porter collab w/Brimstone, or Pantomime Horse, our Adambier. Favorite beer at all of 2016? Had some brilliant stuff from Plan Bee, enjoyed everything I had from Swiftwater and Prison City; Threes’ Vleit is a great pilsner. Outside of NYS, I enjoyed some Trillium, everything Allagash makes is tip-top and this year was no exception; same goes for De Garde. Upright Brewing’s saisons are marvelous. As for local favorites: [Big Ditch] Hayburner, [Resurgence] Cosmic Truth, [Hamburg Brewing] Hoppenstance, 12 Gates West Coast, [Rusty Nickel] Chai Tea Milk Stout, [New York Beer Project] Righteous Dude.”

Phillip Badger, World of Beer Product Manager: “Here’s a list of my favorite beers of the year; mix of local and national – Lagunitas Born Yesterday, Troegs Nimble Giant, Stone Citracado, Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion, Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown, Westbrook Key Lime Pie Gose, Woodcock Brothers XPA, Big Ditch Deep Cut, Sloop Juice Bomb.”

Lizz Schumer, Resurgence Brewing Marketing Manager: “As for me, my favorite RBC beer of the year is always the next one we release! That said, I think I can narrow it down to Biere de Noel, our coffee-aged holiday ale. This dark ale is loaded with toasted malt flavor and fruity esters of the Belgian yeast. It’s aged over Jingle Bell Java beans, made by the Mystic Monk Coffee Company in Wyoming, which added white chocolate, bourbon and coffee to its festive spices. And at 11% ABV, it keeps me nice and toasty when it’s nasty outside!”

Jeff Ware, Resurgence Brewing President: “I would have to say I am really enjoying our IPAs overall this year. The New England-style R&D series has beer killer all year in my opinion. Super juicy, fresh and drinkable, they have all hit the spot. The Resurgence IPA is as good as ever with dank aromatics and juicy flavor with a nice bitter punch… especially fresh at the tap room. The 2nd Anniversary Ale, which was a Galaxy Hopped Imperial Blood Orange Saison, was a delicious juice bomb with huge carbonation from bottle conditioning that I could drink all night. Looking forward to our dry hopped kettle sour that will hit the tap room soon and R&D 4.1 with galaxy hops amongst others. Should go best while drinking in constant eye contact with Brian Campbell!”

Dave Collins, Resurgence Brewing Beer Baron: “I would say the R+D series has been my go-to tap room beer since we started that up. Also, the Biere De Noel is one of my personal favorites; it’s like candy in a glass. The 8 hour boil gave it a huge caramel and toffee flavor that blended amazingly well with the Jingle Bell Java from Mystic Monk, all mixed with the dark fruit flavors of the Belgian yeast made for one hugely flavored monster of a beer. I was also very pleased about how the kettle soured Lime Berliner Weiss came out, and cannot wait to make it again this summer!”

John Russo, Hamburg Brewing Owner: “Selfishly, I have been drinking a lot of our Blackberry Gose at the brewery. So that and I am also a big fan of Firestone Pivo Pils. It’s hands down one of the most well-made beers available.”

Scott McMillan, Buffalo Beer League Co-Founder: “We had a ton of great local beer in 2016. Wise PA, Big Ditch Bourbon Barrel Aged Towpath, Resurgence’s Red Wine Barrel Aged Flemish Red, Community Beer Works Double IPA, Flying Bison Pineapple Buffalo IPA, Thin Man Bliss and Woodcock XPA 9.0 come to mind.”

Chris Herr, Pearl Street/Pan American/Riverworks Lead Brewer: “From our Pearl Street family of beers, my favorites were the Green Tea beer, Gin Spiced Saison and our Session IPA we called the Summer SIPA. I also really like our Terminator at Pan Am now that we’ve pushed it more into a classic west coast IPA style, as well as the robust porter, Rough Rider. Our 19th Anniversary Imperial Stout stands out too. As far as the local breweries go, I always enjoy the wide range of IPA’s coming from CBW, including bringing back the original recipe for The IPA.  Deep Cut from Big Ditch is always a treat. Southern Tier Pumking and their Blackwater beers are always a go to. I also love to see some of the more experimental brews coming from the likes of Resurgence with some of their kettle sours and their Irish Breakfast. For other breweries that aren’t local, I must admit I haven’t been drinking as much of them since we have such great selection locally and I like to support them as much as I can.”

So yes, 2016 was one hell of a year for beer. Here’s to another successful year in 2017.

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: 2nd Annual Winter Hop Fest, BA Irish Breakfast Ale at Resurgence, new Hybrid IPA from 12 Gates, WNYMBA raises funds with Thin Man

Calling all Hop Heads! The 2nd Annual Winter Hop Fest is Coming

Hop heads of the world unite! The 2nd Annual Winter Hop Fest at Gene McCarthy’s/Old First Ward Brewing (February 18, 1-4pm) is bringing together all of your favorite local breweries, including 12 Gates, Community Beer Works, Big Ditch, Thin Man, Rusty Nickel Brewing, Hamburg Brewing, Ellicottville Brewing, Four Mile Brewing, Flying Bison, 42 North Brewing, Woodcock Brothers and Resurgence Brewing, all of who will be serving their hoppiest wares. For $25, you’ll receive a logo tasting glass, samples from brewers until they are gone and the chance at winning brewery swag and 4 or 6 packs of rare IPAs from all over the country. There will be hopped chili for sale to keep you warm and $5 growler fills at the end of the festival. Tickets at www.eventbrite.com.

Have Breakfast at Resurgence: [Barrel Aged] Irish Breakfast That Is

On Feb. 18, Resurgence is taking their beloved Irish Breakfast Ale, which is brewed with maple and coffee, to the next level with the release of Barrel Aged Irish Breakfast Ale. Aged in bourbon barrels, the 9.5% ABV boasts flavors of smoked bacon, maple syrup and fresh roasted coffee.  Bottles of the barrel aged version are $12 and four-pack cans of the regular version are $10. They all go on sale at noon. After you secure your beer, join the Outdoor Shuffleboard Tournament, which begins at 1pm. For $10 per team, you get your first round of drinks and entry into the tourney. Winners take home an RBC prize pack and bragging rights.

12 Gates Drops New Hybrid IPA

With the release of their Wind Forge IPA, 12 Gates Brewing sought to answer the age old question of what happens when you cross a Belgian Wit and a New England Style IPA. Using a combination of Warrior, Amarillo, Rakau, Waimea, Citra and Mosaic hops, Wind Forge was brewed simply to try something different. “Instead of trying to jump on the NE IPA bandwagon I wanted to do something different and push myself to learn new brewing techniques,” Head Brewer Scott Shuler says. “It’s packed with a blend of fruity and flavorful hops added during the whirlpooling process and even more hops throughout fermentation. This resulted in strong grapefruit, pineapple, and light citrus notes and a smooth finish.” Get it on tap now at the Williamsville brewery.

Help Raise Funds for WNY Mountain Biking Association with Rare Thin Man Beer

If you want to get your hands on a limited, one-off beer from Thin Man Brewery and help raise monies for the Western New York Mountain Biking Association in the process, then head down to Mr. Goodbar on Feb. 22 (7pm, upstairs) for the WNYMBA fundraiser. The beer is a Smoked ‘Pulaski’ Porter, which was brewed in conjunction with Thin Man and named in honor of trail tool inventor Ed Pulaski. Also, if the weather cooperates, you can meet at Campus Wheelworks on Elmwood for a ceremonial ride to the event. $20 will get you two beer tickets, pizza, salads, and access to all our raffles and drawings. Pre-sale tickets are available at www.eventbrite.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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Resurgence Brewing launches new can line

Resurgence Brewing will release its new line of 16-ounce cans, starting with Irish Breakfast Ale, on February 18. The cans will be sold in packs of four for $10 at the taproom, as well as in local retailers wherever RBC beer is sold.

The new packaging features a sleek, modern design that showcases RBC’s signature Buffalo head as a nod to the ongoing Resurgence of the brewing industry in Western New York, and will be filled and distributed from the brewery’s Niagara Street taproom. Future styles will include Cosmic Truth Session IPA, Lime Berliner Weisse, Citra Mosaic IPA, and Vanilla Cappuccino Ale.

“Demand for new take-home packages, as well as outside the greater Buffalo area continues to grow” owner Jeff Ware said of the release. “These four-pack cans allow us the opportunity to better meet that need while maintaining our quality specifications. Of course. We don’t expect these to get too far!”

The cans will be released in limited quantities both at the brewery and in the market, one style at a time. Release dates will coordinate roughly with holidays and events, starting with Irish Breakfast Ale’s focus on being on the shelves in time for St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Flying Bison releases Crossover, 42 North cans some nitro porter, Pizza Plant pairs chocolate and big beer, Thawfest tickets on sale

Flying Bison to Debut Special Crossover Power Ale

Flying Bison is set to release Crossover Power Ale, the latest in their aviation-themed brews (I.E. Aviator Red, HERC C-130 Barleywine, Blackbird Oatmeal Stout), a 7% ABV robust brown ale with coffee beans added post-fermentation, on Saturday, February 11 (1pm). The new small batch offering is the first from the newest Flying Bison crew member Ian McLennan, who came to the brewery through ECC’s new Brewmaster Certification Program after years of service in the United States Air Force. Flying Bison is inviting all active-duty and retired USAF personnel to enjoy discounted pints for the occasion, their way of saying cheers to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on their refueling mission with new KC-135 tanker planes. All proceeds from the Crossover Power Ale will go to Hospice Buffalo.


42 North Puts the Nitro in Asylum For New Can Release

42 North Brewing will unleash a limited batch of Nitro Asylum Porter (6.8% ABV), which was produced by adding a drop of liquid nitrogen during the canning process, in 4-packs of 16oz cans on Wednesday, Feb. 8th in the taproom for $12.99. “After purchasing, please pour vigorously into the proper pub glass to ensure adequate nitro cascading!” the brewery proclaims. “There are only a few cases of these, so we expect them to sell rather quickly.” The beer will be released just in time for the first annual Brewski on Feb. 18 (12-3pm) at Knox State Park, a two-mile cross country ski while drinking 42 North beers. Immediately following, the brewery will unveil their Five Cows Farm Maple Porter. To pre-register, log onto to www.thinkrink.org.

Indulge in Belgian Beers and Chocolates at Pizza Plant

Pizza Plant’s Chocolate and Belgian Beer Fest, an annual February tradition, returns for an eighth year on Feb. 8 (7-10pm) at the Plant’s Transit Road location. The annual event pairs decadent chocolates from Chow Chocolat with equally decadent beers from the likes of Ommegang and Duvel (and maybe some stuffed pizza and a pod as well?). Additionally this year, the event will double as a fundraiser for the Queen City Roller Girls, who will be on hand for a special 50/50 raffle in order to raise money for their team. For more information, email beertasting@pizzaplant.com or visit www.pizzaplant.com.

Tickets On Sale For Second Annual Thawfest

Although we [thankfully] haven’t had much to thaw out from thus far this winter season, at least we have something to look forward to in spring as tickets for the second annual Thawfest are now on sale. The celebration of all things local, which includes breweries, wineries and distilleries, takes place at Buffalo Riverworks on April 8 at 6:30pm. There will be over 50 local breweries, distilleries and vineyards to sample from (with more being added every day), while Kurt and The Loders provide live music. A wider selection of rare and limited beers, as well as more food, will be available in the VIP section. Tickets can be had at www.thawfest.com (General Admission – $39, VIP – $59).

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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Resurgence represents Buffalo with Two Medals in National Competition

Resurgence Brewing Company took home a pair of bronze medals from the 2017 Best of Craft Beer Awards competition, held this week in Bend, Oregon.

Ice Boom Bock and Cucumber Saison were both honored, in the Bock and Field Beer categories respectively. Resurgence was one of 145 breweries who achieved medals in 84 award categories.

“I’m honored to have our beers recognized by a national panel and to see how we rank
alongside beers from breweries across the country,” said owner Jeff Ware. “It’s a great
experience for us to see how we’re doing on a broader scale, and we’re excited to share
our beers with a wider audience. Competitions like these are a great opportunity to get
an objective analysis of our beer, and it’s a great feeling to know they stack up well not
only in Western New York, but nationally, as well.”

Beers were judged by 88 Beer Judge Certification Program judges, the industry
standard that certifies individuals to rank and provide feedback on beer. According to
the Best of Craft Beer Awards, breweries in 35 states sent beer to be evaluated,
resulting in 245 medals to 145 winning breweries.

Ice Boom Bock is on tap at RBC’s Niagara Street taproom right now, and Cucumber
Saison will be back in several weeks to kick off the spring season. Both beers will also
be available throughout the Western New York area, in bars and restaurants where
RBC beer is sold.

The good news coincides with the release of the brewery’s Peter B. Porter, making its rounds for another. The beer description reads “balanced doses of chocolate, cocoa and toasted peanut butter…try it with some toast and jam and get yourself a real grown-up blast to the past!” Find it on tap now.

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Celebrate the Super Bowl with Super [Local] Beer

Let’s face it – if we’re going to have to suffer through yet another Tom Brady Super Bowl victory, then we are going to need loads of great local beer to do so (well, unless you’re a New England Patriots fan). Luckily for all of us, there are a number of breweries running tremendous beer specials this weekend to help us all transform into Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan fans. And finding those beer specials could be a lot of work, so why not let us handle the heavy lifting.

12 Gates Brewing Company

On Super Bowl Sunday, hit up 12 Gates for $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills. They are also offering their West Coast Style IPA in 6 pack cans for $8.99 & cases for $31.99. They have kegs to go for parties – find pricing listed here: http://12gatesbrewing.com/kegs-to-go/.

Big Ditch Brewing Company

The taproom is open 12-6pm on Sunday and has $2 off growlers and $1 off 6-pack cans, all day, excluding Deep Cut.

Buffalo Brewing Company

Not only are they extending their hours to Sundays (12-5pm), for the big gamer you can grab crowler specials – 3/$22 & 3/$25 (IPA).

Community Beer Works

Grab crowlers of their brand new Wide Right Belgian Quad, Oh Snap! Gingerbread Stout and Interrobang IPA for only $20. The brewery are also offering $1 off all growler fills.

Consumers Beverages

Buy a 64oz. growler fill and get a second fill of Southern Tier Tangier for $1.99. You’ll also get the name of a player printed on your receipt and if that player scores the game’s first touchdown then your next growler fill is free (must have Growler Club membership to apply).

Hamburg Brewing Company

Taproom closes at 5pm on Super Bowl Sunday. Grab $5 growler fills of their Oat Is The New Hop Oatmeal Pale Ale (Sunday only). “Oats provide a well-rounded mouth feel while the experimental HBC 291 hops impart a pleasant spice and floral aroma,” the beers description reads.

New York Beer Project

NYBP has a “Take out” special, which features $5 off the total of the combo of any Beer Project pizza combined with a growler fill. And if you want to watch the game at NYBP, all pints of Gameday Belgian White will be just $2.50 for the Super Bowl, beginning at 5pm.

Pan-American Brewery

$3.50 for pints during the game, including their RW New England IPA, and featured seasonals, Vienna Lager, Single Hop Chinook XPA, Coffee Vanilla Creme stout.

Southern Tier Brewing Company

Southern Tier’s Empty Pint is offering 25% off of most of their winter beers, including Old Man, Krampus (12oz. and 22oz. bottles), 2xMas and Choklat (to go beer only).

Thin Man Brewery

Get $2 off all crowlers now until the big game, including their beloved Bliss DIPA and recently released Very Friendly IPA, a 5.5% ABV IPA made with Galaxy, Simcoe, and Mosaic hops.

So whether you’re a Patriots fan (groan), a fan of hating Tom Brady, a Falcons fan, a football fan or are just watching for the commercials, one thing is for sure – we’re all fans of beer, especially great local craft. Go team!

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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