For the fourth straight year, three of Buffalo’s brewing’s all-star players – Community Beer Works, Resurgence Brewing and Big Ditch Brewing – are teaming up for the Ballpark Brewers Series, a collection of beers from each brewery as well as a collaboration between all three. The beer packs will feature Big Ditch’s Dayburner Session IPA, Resurgence’s The Surge New England IPA, Community Beer Works’ Czech Swing Pilsner and the collab, Short Hop, a hoppy blonde. Artwork for the Ballpark Brewers Series comes courtesy of CBW’s Chris Groves, who has designed the artwork for the series the past two years. The Ballpark Brewers Series was first released in 2015.
The Ballpark Brewers Series features beers that lean towards the lighter side of the beer spectrum, including a session IPA, hazy NEIPA, Czech-style pilsner and a blonde ale. CBW’s Brendon Van Allen says that the brewery decided to include a new pilsner because they were looking for a lighter drinking beer that differed from the rest of the pack.
“We wanted to offer something light but also pretty special that contrasts the rest of the offerings,” Allen said.
Big Ditch’s Dayburner was previously released as a pilot batch during their Cannon Call Double IPA release party. Even brighter and more drinkable than the original, Dayburner is brewed with Citra, Idaho 7, Cascade and Zeus hops for smooth notes of citrus-forward fruit.
“The beer are going to make for the pack is called Dayburner,” Big Ditch’s Matt Kahn says. “It’s a version of popular flagship Hayburner IPA. It’s a session IPA that’s light and drinkable, pretty crisp and nice and citrusy. It should be nice and juicy, but super drinkable.”
“The two previous years of this series we featured Low Bridge and Hayburner; we did not want to repeat those beers this year,” he adds. “We wanted to keep it light and drinkable, so that ruled out any dark or heavy beers. We will have FC, our summer seasonal, in cans, at the same time, so that didn’t exactly make sense. We’ve been playing with the idea of a low ABV version of Hayburner for a while now. We brewed a pilot batch a while back that we loved, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity as part of this summer Ballpark Series. Truthfully, this beer is more of a derivation of Citraburner than Hayburner (it will feature Citra hops), but they’re all from the same family, so to speak.”
Resurgence’s contribution is The Surge, their recently rebranded CitMo 2.0. Brewery President Jeff Ware says that they wanted to include The Surge because it’s new, and different from the rest of the styles in the Ballpark Brewers Series packs.
“CBW mentioned they wanted to do a lager, BD said they wanted to do a session IPA and we knew the collab was going to be a blonde so we wanted to bring something to the 4 pack that complemented the other beers,” Ware says. “Originally we were thinking a one-off, but The Surge is brand new and will be a new experience for most.”
The collaboration beer, Short Hop Hoppy Blonde, will be brewed at CBW, who will be coming up with the beer’s base recipe. “We’re coming up with the base recipe and the other breweries are going to make changes and also bring their own ingredients,” Allen added. All of the brewers agree that Short Hop will be the perfect accompaniment to watching a ball game this summer.
“The collab will be a nice summer sipper, perfect for watching a game,” Ware adds. “I think we all wanted something that would be approachable and drinkable which a blonde is. And then we decided to hop it because we like hop forward beers!”
“The blonde ale idea completely makes sense – we’ll have an NEIPA, a session IPA, and a pils in the pack – in trying to keep it light, drinkable, and flavorful, this beer should do the trick,” Kahn adds of the collaboration. “I’m expecting Short Hop to be dry but flavorful, and uber-refreshing.”
The Ballpark Brewers Series will be available at Sahlen’s Field during Buffalo Bisons home games, as well as everywhere great beer is sold, such as Wegmans and Consumer’s Beverages. They should be released by Memorial Day.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.