While Farm to Pint primarily celebrates Western New York’s rich history of brewing, our region is also home to many vineyards, heritage hog farms, cheese makers, cideries and distilleries, all of which will be celebrated during Farm to Pint week, which takes place May 13 through May 20. The weeklong celebration casts the spotlight on the growing farm-to-table, and farm-to-glass, movement in the worlds of both food and drink.
The First Annual Farm to Pint Expo officially kick starts F2P Week. The inaugural event takes place May 13 (12pm-3pm) at Pizza Plant Transit and brings together a diverse group of farmers & artisans of local craft food and drink. Meet the tastemakers and drink and sample and buy their wares as representatives from Blackbird Cider Works, Dispenza’s farm-to-table sausage, Reverie Creamery artisanal cheeses and Flat #12 locally-grown mushrooms will be on hand, as will F2P brewers from Southern Tier, Windy Brew, Rusty Nickel & Four Mile. Pizza Plant will be running food and drink specials, including F2P beer specials as well as a special F2P pod, during the entirety of F2P week! Experience the true taste of the Empire State at the F2P Expo.
“F2P celebrates Buffalo Niagara’s exciting new growth of hops and small grains farming which has given local brewing companies the ability to produce craft beer from local sources right here at home,” Willard Brooks, Chairman of the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association Board of Directors, said. “The addition of so many independent, locally owned breweries is truly making Western New York a real tourist draw for craft beer and food enthusiasts alike.”
Then, the very next day, the 4th Annual Farm to Pint (F2P) event celebrates beer created exclusively from exclusively locally sourced ingredients, will feature 20 beers from Buffalo-Niagara breweries. Limited edition and one-off brews will be available from 12 Gates, 42 North, Big Ditch Brewing, Community Beer Works, Ellicottville Brewing Company, Five & 20 Brewing & Distilling, Flying Bison, Four Mile, Gordon Biersch, Hamburg, New York Beer Project, Old First Ward, Pearl Street Brewery, Resurgence Brewing, Rusty Nickel, Southern Tier Brewing, Woodcock Brothers and Windy Brew. The event is free and open to the public and takes place at Hamburg Brewing Company on May 14, 12pm-8pm. Additionally, locally raised meat and vegetarian grilled skewers will be available throughout the day and growler fills can be purchased starting at 6pm.
“It’s important to use locally grown ingredients because it supports those around us who do grow local ingredients and to let the consumer know ‘Hey, this stuff was grown down the road,’” Russo says. “It’s for the same reason people purchase food at farmers markets, fresh locally grown product. It’s also not just about hops and barley. This region is great for extracting maple sap from trees and making the commonly known maple syrup! We want to promote Farm to Pint because it draws attention to a topic that is sometimes overlooked when it comes to beer. Most people do not realize that you can make beer from ingredients grown in your own backyard. The idea of farm to pint is more than just beer. It’s a fun way to interact with those who make up the different steps it takes to get the liquid in your glass.”
The growth in the craft beer industry is supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s farm brewery bill, which calls for designated “farm breweries” to use, until the end of 2018, at least 20 percent NYS hops and 20 percent of all other ingredients in their beer, a number which rises to 60 percent from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2023 and 90 percent from January 1, 2024. Both Hamburg Brewery and Old First Ward Brewing are now designated as “farm breweries.”
Rounding out the week is Full Circle Fest at 42 North Brewing. Back for a second year, the Full Circle Fest takes place May 20 (2pm-6pm) at 42 North Brewing. The festival, which focuses on sustainability in the craft brewing industry, will include 16 local craft businesses sampling their products, along with a pig roast, live music and an all-around community celebration. Tickets are $30 pre-sale at FCF2017.eventbrite.com and in the 42 North taproom, and include beer sampling, live music from Tyler Wescott, Sean McNamara & Patrick Johnson, a souvenir tasting glass and a plate of pig roast & sides. The pig roast will include pigs from a local farm raised off spent grain donated from the 42 North brewhouse. All remaining tickets will be sold for $35 at the door on the day of the event.
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 email@example.com, on Twitter at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.