Buffalo Beer Buzz: Big Ditch Brews New Lock Series IPA, New Year’s Eve at Breweries, Next Woodcock XPA, Mead, Wine and Beer at Buffalo Brewshop

Big Ditch Brews the Third Lock Series IPA

Following in the footsteps of Packet and FIP, the third installment of Big Ditch Brewing’s Lock IPA Series, 363, is in the tanks. Named for the number of miles the Erie Canal stretched when originally constructed by hand in the early 1800’s, 363 is brewed with Sacchromyces Trois yeast, which imparts tropical, mango, and pineapple to a beer brewed with Azacca, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Zeus hops. These hops add boatloads of dank, citrusy hop aroma and flavor. The brewery is shooting for the beer to come in at (approximately) 6.8%. Look for this one to be released in cans soon.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at These Breweries

The dawn of a new year calls for parties and party these breweries shall! Ring in the new year at Resurgence Brewing (9pm); $100 ticket includes open bar from 9pm-1am, an exclusive beer release, buffet and champagne toast, Brewed & Bottled in Lewiston (8pm), 42 North Brewing (12pm), who are literally dropping a keg in the brewhouse (or biergarten weather pending) and will have live music from Falling Rock (9pm), New York Beer Project (9pm), who will have a DJ spinning all night and Big Ditch (8pm); $70 ticket includes 4 drink tickets, food stations and beer releases all night.

Woodcock Brothers to Debut Galaxy DDH XPA for Christmas

Woodcock Brothers Brewing will release their next XPA, Galaxy Double Dry Hopped XPA, just in time for Christmas, on December 23 (12pm). Kettle hopped with Mosaic, Citra, Amarillo and Galaxy and double dry hopped with Galaxy, this new version brings tropical, juicy and dank aromas, mango, guava, tangerine and pineapple flavors with soft mouthfeel and minimal bitterness. 12 Pack Jack will perform 12-3pm and there will also be a cask version of the beer available. Free logo beer-can glasses to all those who purchase a case (limit 1 case). Galaxy DDH XPA will also be distributed throughout Western New York.

Mead, Homebrew and Craft Beer, Oh My at Buffalo Brewshop

Mead, craft beer and shopping will join forces at Let’s Do Wine and Buffalo Brewshop on December 17 (12pm), who are hosting a Wine, Beer and Mead Tasting and Shopping extravaganza featuring mead from the recently opened Lilly Belle Meads and beer from Buffalo’s newest brewery, Pressure Drop Brewing. There will also be wine to sample as well as beer and wine gifts from vendors such as Beer Belly Jelly. Let’s Do Wine and Buffalo Brewshop are also currently running a Christmas sale on scores of wine and beer making kits, accessories and much, much more. Come sip and shop!

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 Beers at Pressure Drop, 2nd Anniversary Party at 12 Gates, MyCity Brew Final Selection, Southern Tier Xmas Sale

Pressure Drop Brewing Releases 2 New Beers, Takes Beer on Tour

Buffalo’s newest brewery, Pressure Drop Brewing, have released a pair of new beers, their third and fourth respectively, Space Monkey Double IPA (8.4%), brewed with Simcoe and Mosaic hops for a smooth dankness and crisp finish, and Bruxelles Stout (5.8%), which features loads of chocolate and roast. Both are on tap in the Lakeward Spirits tasting room in the Barrel Factory. The fledgling brewery will also be bringing their wares on the road, to Brewed & Bottled in Lewiston on December 8 (6pm), then Ebenezer Ale House (6pm) in West Seneca and Moor Pat (8pm) in Williamsville on Dec. 9.

Celebrate Two Years of 12 Gates Brewing Company

12 Gates Brewing are celebrating two years of keeping the doors open at their 2nd Anniversary Party on December 12 (12pm). The event marks the release of 2017 Grave Concerns, a heavy and thick Russian Imperial Stout which is a delight to sip. Look for notes of coffee, chocolate, dark oak and vanilla. 100 22oz. bottles will be available for purchase at $12 each. Zak Ward, Last Call and AJ ‘Applejack’ Tetzlaff will also perform through the day, which features extended hours until midnight. There’s no cover and all pints are $5 all night long. See you at the Gates!

Help Select the Ultimate Buffalo Beer with MyCity Brew

The time is finally here to taste what MyCity Brew have been working towards – the ultimate Buffalo beer! On January 23, MyCity Brew are hosting their Final Selection event, and you can win a spot on the selection panel. You can win one of 15 spots by going to any of MCB’s social media pages and commenting on the post at the top of the page. Explain why you’re the perfect person to help and the top 5 responses on each will receive an invitation to the event. Official taste testers will receive an email invitation with all the details.

Southern Tier Brewing Gets Festival with 12 Days of Christmas Sales

Southern Tier Brewing are making shopping for that craft beer fan easier with the 12 Days of Christmas sale, starting December 9 with 50% sale items in their Lakewood brewery. From there, crowlers are BOGO (Dec. 10), One Buffalo blowout sale (Dec. 13), $10 short sleeve shirts (Dec. 14), 30% off sweatshirts (Dec. 15), buy a Drink Tank, get the fill free (Dec. 16), 40% off hats (Dec. 17) BOGO stocking stuffers (Dec. 20) BOGO 50% cases (Dec. 21), 50% growler fills (Dec. 22), BOGO glassware (Dec. 23) and a free $10 gift card with $50 GC purchase (Dec. 24).

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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2017 Buffalo Beer Holiday Shopping Guide

Let’s face it – us beer drinkers are pretty damn easy to shop for when it comes to filling the space the space under the Christmas tree. But beer shopping can be a bit basic. And no one wants to be basic (unless you do, which is cool too). If you want to look beyond buying a bottle and dropping it in a bottle bag (tissue paper optional), then this list is for you. But don’t get us wrong, bottles of beer for Christmas are perfectly fine too. They’re pretty damn cool actually.

But…if you’re looking for a great deal and want to be the toast of your holiday party, then peruse this collection of deals to wow the craft beer fan in your life. And perhaps the best part of this list is that everything is local.

Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational: The Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational returns on February 17 and for 2018 it has a new location at New York Beer Project. This event is very limited and tickets go fast, so get yours now. And they make for the perfect stocking stuffer. Click the link to purchase!

12 Gates Brewing: Official 12 Gates Brewing Christmas ornament. Why not showcase your love of local beer on your Christmas tree? Available in the 12 Gates taproom. Shatterproof and cat-friendly! $7. Grab & Go Gift Bag: 32oz growler + gift certificate for fill & 2 pint glasses. $20.

42 North Brewing: Vagabond Society Membership. Branded Vagabond Society Teku glass, access to quarterly barrel house bottle release and tasting parties, four complimentary special release barrel-aged beers annually, special Happy Hour prices, weekly Secret Tap beers. $250. Annual membership renewal fee of $150 after.

Big Ditch Brewing: Growler gift packs: $25 gift card, 64oz. growler and two Teku glasses for $50.

Ellicottville Brewing: Buy $100 in Gift Cards, Get a Free Tour + Tasting for Two certificate ($30 value). Shop 1-$100 GC, 2-$50 GC, or 4-$25 GC and receive a free tour & tasting for two certificate. Gift cards are redeemable at any EBC location: EBC Ellicottville, EBC West Fredonia, EBOC Bemus Point.

Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing: Gift cards. Good at all Mazza locations on wine, spirits, beer, or gear at Five & 20 in Westfield. Call their main location in North East at 1-800-796-9463 to have a gift card shipped as a gift or pick one up at any Mazza location.

Gene McCarthy’s / Old First Ward Brewing: Prepaid draft and growler cards (draft cards include a logo pint glass and growler cards include a 64 oz. empty growler). Mug Club Membership: Receive a 19oz. ceramic mug with personalized name and number, unlimited pours for the same price, every 10th pour free, annual party, shirt and sticker. $100. Beer School tuition. $25 per class gets you 3 rounds of samplings of a different style beer each class, food pairings and of course… education on the monthly style by the Beer Messiah. Class is in session the third Wednesday of every month at 7pm.

Resurgence Brewing: Holiday packs featuring 22oz. bottle of Imperial Sponge Candy Stout, an exclusive RBC pint glass, and bag of Watson’s Sponge Candy.

Rusty Nickel Brewing: Mug Club Membership. Includes $0.50 off every pint, 2 free birthday beers, 1/2 off a single growler fill, 10% off merch, complimentary RNBC Mug Club t-shirt, complimentary VIP to any RNBC VIP event, invitation to all beer release events with a complimentary beer, charity beer pouring opportunities & access to WNY beer scene events, annual Mug Club Party ticket. $99.New York Beer Project: The Hoppy Package Gift Set: NYBP crowler will free fill, 2 logo pilsner glasses, crowler loyalty card. $19.99. Mug Club VIP Package: NYBP Mug Club membership, 2 logo pilsner glasses, Mug Club membership t-shirt. $75.

Southern Tier Brewing: 12 Days of Christmas. Starting December 9 (50% off sale items), Southern Tier is running a different sale most days through Dec. 24.

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

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Drink in the Holiday Season with 12 Gates Brewing’s 12 Gates of Christmas

Can you think of a better way to both celebrate the holiday season and prepare for Christmas than with 12 straight days of beer releases? Go on, just try and think of a better way. We’ll wait. Well, not really, because you’re reading this long after we’ve typed it. Regardless, you know who does think releasing 12 beers in 12 days to start December is a great idea? 12 Gates Brewing, that’s who. 12 Gates of Christmas, which kicks off on December 1, will see the Williamsville brewery release a new beer each day, culminating in the release of 2017 Grave Concerns Russian Imperial Stout on Dec. 12 (which also happens to be the date of their 2nd Anniversary Party).

12 Gates Head Brewer Scott Shuler admits that the process was certainly a daunting undertaking, though he and his crack brewing team was up for the challenge.

“The process to create 12 special beers for a marathon 12 day release was daunting, but fun. The final beer (2017 Grave Concerns) was the most challenging, but insightful,” Shuler says. “To make a big, thick Russian Imperial Stout on our pilot system we had to create a new process to overcome the logistics. We are thrilled to release the 2017 Grave Concerns on the 12th for our anniversary party.”

12 Gates of Christmas opens up with Pecan Pie Porter (5.8%) on Dec 1., 12 Gates’ base porter beer aged on toasted pecans, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and graham crackers (look for strong notes of toasted pecans and pie spices). Additionally on Dec. 1, 12 Gates will also debut Automail IPA (6.5%), a Winter IPA packed with tangerine and pink lemonade flavors and aromas. The beer is brewed with Mosaic, Amarillo & Azacca and dry hopped with Amarillo, Mosaic, Azacca and El Dorado.

“This Winter IPA was designed to shake off the winter blues with tropical and fruity flavors and aromas,” 12 Gates says of Automail. “The balanced body doesn’t make the beer too smooth or too bitter, but just right. The 6.5% ABV will keep you warm on these chilly winter evenings.”-

Dec. 2 brings Hot Chocolate Amber (4.1%), a pilot amber base aged on cacao nibs and infused with toasted marshmallows (the chocolate notes are offset with sweet and toasty notes from the toasted marshmallows and Cranberry Wheat (4.8%) debut on Dec. 3, a seasonal wheat base treated with organic cranberries (fruity and tart notes).

Peppermint Grave Concerns Russian Imperial Stout (8.4%) comes out Dec. 4, 2016 Grave Concerns infused with peppermint candy canes (the peppermint starts off light then as you drink more the peppermint oils build up on your pallet), Dec. 5 brings Dragon Fruit & Prickly Pear Berliner Weisse (3.6%), 12 Gates’ Berliner Weisse base aged on dragon fruit and prickly pears (this beer is very tropical and tart) and on Dec. 6, Figgy Pudding Porter (5.8%), a base porter aged on (brandy aged) figs, black currants, and treated with nutmeg (with the smooth and English Porter base you will find notes of spice, sweetness, and figs), hits taps.

Wassail Blonde (4.2%) returns on Dec. 7, Barbaric Blonde treated with homemade wassail (oranges, cloves, brandy, cinnamon, ginger, and cider)(this beer is smooth, spicy, with a nice apple finish), Dec. 8 sees the release of Fruitcake Amber (4.1%), Santora’s Amber Ale aged on raisins, cranbeeries, dried cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted walnuts (this beer will give you the experiencing a drinkable fruitcake) and Pumpkin Pie Blonde (4.2%) comes out on Dec. 9, Yoga Pants American Blonde aged on cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, fresh ginger, and nutmeg (this beer drinks like a nice slice of pumpkin pie).

Winding down 12 Gates of Christmas is Gingerbread Wheat (4.8%) on Dec. 10, a seasonal wheat aged on ginger and spices to create gingerbread (this beer is balanced and will drink like liquid gingerbread), Dec. 11 brings Vitriol (Coffee, Cacao, Grave Concerns), 2016 Grave Concerns Double Stout aged on cacao nibs, whisky aged coffee beans, and Irish Whiskey French Oak (big, dark, roasty, look for notes of chocolate, dark oak, and coffee) and finally on Dec. 12, 2017 Grave Concerns arrives.

“The culmination of the 12 Gates of Christmas finishes on our 2 year anniversary party,” the brewery says. “We made a special pilot batch of Grave Concerns. The 2017 iteration of our Grave Concerns Stout bumps up the Double Stout to a Russian Imperial Stout. This beer is heavy, thick, and a delight to sip. Look for notes of coffee, chocolate, dark oak, and vanilla.  We will have a limited bottle release along with a special keg tapping on the 12th at 12:12pm.”

Try them all to win bragging rights for conquering the entire list and get a free commemorative custom shirt for doing so. Oh, and you also get to enjoy 12 pretty kick ass beers in the process, so, you know, that’s pretty cool too.

“We began the 12 Gates beers back in October with a brainstorming session with the production staff,” Shuler adds. “I wanted everyone’s input and ideas to make a nice well-rounded beer list. The only beer we brought back from last year was the Wassail Blonde. We enjoyed making this one and the brewery smells lovely while preparing the Wassail. The other 11 beers are new and unique.

Ask your bartender for a punch card to participate. Shirts will be custom made following the promotion. 

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/535674450120844/.

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: Hamburg Brewing, 12 Gates Celebrate Christmas, Resurgence CitMo IPA Cans Are Back, Pressure Drop Brewing Opens

12 Gates Brews Up The 12 Gates of Christmas

12 Gates are kicking off December with the 12 Gates of Christmas, a 12-day stretch where the brewery will release a new beer daily. Starting December 1, 12 Gates will release Pecan Pie Porter, Hot Chocolate Amber (Dec. 2), Cranberry Wheat (Dec. 3), Peppermint Grave Concerns (Dec. 4), Dragon Fruit & Prickly Pear Berliner Weisse (Dec. 5), Figgy Pudding Porter (Dec. 6), Wassail Blonde (Dec. 7), Fruitcake Amber (Dec. 8), Pumpkin Pie Blonde (Dec. 9), Gingerbread Wheat (Dec. 10), Vitriol (Coffee, Cacao, Grave Concerns) (Dec. 11) and Grave Concerns 2017 (Dec. 12). Try them all for a free custom t-shirt.

Hamburg Brewing’s 25 Days of Christmas Returns

For the third year, Hamburg Brewing’s 25 Days of Christmas returns! Starting December 1 and running through Christmas Eve, different promotions will take place daily at the brewery. Here’s how it works – start by picking up a loyalty card and promotion sheet at the brewery on Dec. 1, then visit the taproom to participate in the daily promotions throughout the month of December to get your loyalty card punched. Get at least 12 punches to receive a $50 gift certificate and gain entry to the Grand Prize drawing (drawn Dec. 27). For a list of daily promotions, please visit www.hamburgbrewing.com/25days.

Resurgence CitMo IPA is Back in Cans

Remember Resurgence Brewing’s CitMo IPA (6.5% ABV)? Its back again in can form. Now you can take home CitMo IPA, or give it as a gift, in limited handy dandy 16oz. 4-pack cans on December 2 at 1pm. The New England-style IPA is brewed with, you guessed it, Citra and Mosaic hops to give it fresh, white grapefruit and spicy tropical fruit flavors with pine resin and zesty bitterness. “This brew will slap you in the face with its huge aromatics of pineapple and citrus,” the brewery says of CitMo. “It’s a little “heady,” if you know what we mean.”

Pressure Drop Brewing Opens in Barrel Factory

Pressure Drop Brewing, helmed by former Knee Deep Brewing hopsmeister and Buffalo native Karl Kolbe, is now open in the Barrel Factory in the Old First Ward. The new brewery, which will focus on hoppy West Coast style beers, has a pair of beers on tap in the Lakeward Spirits tasting room, Strummer, a Belgian Blonde Ale and Sticky Trees, a 6% single hop IPA with Mosaic hops. Kolbe says that a Simcoe/Mosaic Double IPA, Brown Ale, Coffee Cream Porter, possibly an ESB, Triple IPA and a Belgian Imperial Stout are coming soon. For more info, stay tuned to https://www.facebook.com/pressurebrewers/.

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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Pressure Drop Brewing Brings the Hops to the Old First Ward

Pressure Drop Brewing, helmed by former Knee Deep Brewing hopsmeister and Buffalo native Karl Kolbe, is set to open in the Barrel Factory in the Old First Ward. The new brewery, which will focus on hoppy West Coast style beers, will debut a pair of beers on Thanksgiving Eve, 5pm, in the Lakeward Spirits tasting room.

Strummer, a Belgian Blonde Ale and Sticky Trees, a 6% single hop IPA with Mosaic hops, will serve as the first two Pressure Drop offerings. “Real heavy on wheat, real crisp, real dry,” Kolbe says of Sticky Trees. “Tons of hops coming through; it’s really effervescent.” Of Strummer, he says, “it’s a little milder than most Belgians, but its real crisp and real clean. A little bit of clove and spice note, this is a lawnmower beer.”

As for what’s next, he says that he’s planning an all Simcoe/Mosaic Double IPA that should clock in near 9%, a Brown Ale, Coffee Cream Porter and possibly an ESB, which he says would be perfect for watching the Bills play on Sundays. “I’m a huge fan of ESB’s,” he says, “because they have a ton of flavor and you can drink them all day. You’re watching football on Sunday and you have three games to get through? You need a keg of ESB. It’s so drinkable.” He also wants to try and release a Triple IPA relatively soon (Kolbe says he’d like that beer in the neighborhood of 12% and 140-145 IBUs), as well as a Belgian Imperial Stout.

Knee Socks DIPA, Pressure Drop’s collaboration with OFW Brewing. On tap at Gene McCarthy’s.

“I love a big IPA. I know a lot of people either haven’t experienced a big IPA or haven’t experienced a good big IPA, so I want to release an 11% beer that tastes like a 7% beer,” he says. “Something that really blows people away.”

“I love all beers. I love just about every single beer style there is. Big beers are close to my heart, that’s really where I come from. We looking for real West Coast in terms of clarity. I’m not opposed to doing some East Coast style, I love a good juice bomb, but where my heart and soul is at, what I was raised on, are big, hoppy West Coast style beers.”

Kolbe, a Tonawanda native, moved to California and began homebrewing (he won the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Homebrew Competition), before taking a position at Knee Deep. He was looking to open a brewery in northern California, but decided to move back to Buffalo to do it instead.  “Really, mad respect to everyone in the beer scene here. Everyone in the beer scene has been more than gracious, more than helpful, going out of their way to make my life less stressful. All day, every day. It’s rad.”

“I have mad respect for [Flying Bison’s] Tim Herzog,” he adds, raving about just how welcoming Herzog was to him when they first met. “The love that he put out into the community resonates really hardcore with me.”

Pressure Drop Brewing’s COO Lexi Craine says that when it came down to where they wanted to house the brewery, the Barrel Factory itself pretty much did all of the work.

“Steve Bystran’s (the landlord) vision for the Barrel Factory was the ultimate sell – being a destination for consumers of all types: spirits, beer, wine, etc. Also, the spirit that every business in the building makes something – a maker fair, if you will. We’re super excited to be opening in Buffalo. We are extremely grateful for the support from the community and fellow breweries, and exceedingly optimistic about the future of craft beer in WNY.”

Pressure Drop Brewing houses five 13′ 30-barrel fermenters (“Well, they’re 34 barrel capacity actually,” Kolbe points out) with a 4,000 liter brewing capacity. The brewery anticipates producing 2,200-2,500 barrels in their first year. While they will brew bigger batches, Kolbe adds that they will also brew smaller, ‘pilot batch brews,’ which will be 15 barrels. Their beer will primarily be on tap in the Lakeward Spirits tasting room in the Barrel Factory (though they have signed with some distributors Kolbe says), eight taps worth, with an additional eight taps upstairs.

As for the brewery name, Kolbe says that it was partly inspired by science and partly inspired by beer nerdery.

“There’s a couple stories behind the name actually,” he says. “One is, that we live on Lake Erie and when there is a storm coming in, you just watch the barometric pressure drop. The other story behind it is a little bit of beer geekery. Its fluid dynamics; when you transfer a liquid from one vessel to another, there’s a pressure drop. And that’s how we do.”

Kolbe says that he is excited to get his beer on tap and hang out in the Lakeward tasting room talking beer with as many people as he can. So there’s a good chance you know where to find him on any given day, when he’s not brewing said beer of course. “Just grill me, anything you want to know, let’s go for it,” he says. “I love to engage with people. I want to be accountable, I want to be out there talking to people every single day.”

“We like to think of the Buffalo beer scene as collaboration over competition,” Craine adds. “Bringing more beer opportunities to the area will help increase the interest/business for existing breweries. Especially in the Old First Ward – if there are more locations to visit, people will be more likely to make the trip. As far as oversaturation goes, the noted rate of growth of each new brewery proves that Buffalo is not yet close to oversaturation. In comparison to other metro markets, Buffalo has not yet reached its potential.”

“Every single brewer has their own style, and their own take on beer, so there are endless options for experime ntation.”

For more information on Pressure Drop Brewing, please visit http://www.barrelfactory.com/pressure-drop-brewing.html. You can also follow the brewery on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pressurebrewers/.

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: Thanksgiving Eve Parties at 12 Gates, West Shore, Buffalo Cask Fest, Santa’s of Swig Homebrew Fundraiser

12 Gates’ Philosofest Returns on Thanksgiving Eve

12 Gates Brewing are taking full advantage of the night before Thanksgiving, aka the biggest party night of the year, with Philosofest II, their tribute to Sir George Ripley who wrote the Compound of Alchymy (Ripley’s Twelve Gates), on November 22 at 4pm (as legend has it, the Philosopher’s Stone was able to achieve turning base metals into gold and silver and bestow long life or even immortality). The brewery will debut their Pumpkin Amber during the party and will have live music all night from Joe Webber (4-7pm) and Mike and Mandy Music (8-11pm). There is no cover charge.

Cask Beer Flows at Mr. Goodbar’s Buffalo Cask Festival

Bountiful amounts of cask beer are set to flow at the Buffalo Cask Festival at Mr. Goodbar, which is back for another year on December 1-3 (casks will be tapped Friday at noon). Among the casks that will (tentatively) be available are Flying Bison Pineapple Buffalo Kolsch, Community Beer Works #squashgoals, Swiftwater English Pale Ale with Jasmine Flowers, Jack’s Abby Red Tape with Cranberries, Thin Man/Gun Hill 100% Brett New England IPA with Peach & Pineapple and Roc Brewing Ugly Sweater Winter Warmer, among others. Tickets are also on sale for Goodbar’s VIP Local Brewers Night, November 30, for $25.

Santas of Swig Fundraiser Brews Up Homebrew for a Good Cause

The 3rd Annual Santas of Swig Fundraiser, presented by the Sultans of Swig Homebrew Club and Santas of Swig, which seeks to raise money for the Matt Urban Hope Center, takes place December 2 (1pm) at Buffalo Iron Works. A $20 donation buys samples of over 20 beers made by area homebrewers. Vote for your favorite and the winner gets their beer brewed at Pearl Street. Baskets from local breweries will be raffled off (donations of new, unwrapped toys gets you $10 in tickets). Tickets will be available at the door and can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets.

Kick Off Your Thanksgiving Holiday at West Shore Brewing

If you need plans for Thanksgiving eve, look no further than the Pre Gobble Bash at West Shore Brewing, which goes down November 22 at 5pm. The party will feature live music from Tim Britt (6-9pm), food from Babz BBQ (5pm) and drink specials all night long. West Shore will also tap their new Coffee Infused Oatmeal Stout, which is brewed with locally sourced dark roast coffee beans from Goodrich Coffee and Tea, located up the road from the brewery. West Shore will also have a Citra IPA, English Pale Ale, Wet Hopped Pale Ale and Oatmeal Stout on tap.

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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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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