We are now entering the final weekend of the tenth annual Buffalo Beer Week, and today is perhaps the busiest day of them all. Well, at least it has the biggest events. Today marks the start of the weekend-long Borderland Music + Arts Festival in East Aurora, Pumkingfest is happening down at Southern Tier Brewing, the Ballpark Brew Bash returns to Sahlen’s Field and Cocktoberfest is back at Woodcock Brothers in Wilson, and Belt Line Brewery are holding their first ever can release. Are you as exhausted reading that as I am typing it? Probably. There’s a lot here, so let’s just skip the pleasantries and get right to it.
The second annual Borderland Music + Arts Festival, a two-day music and arts festival featuring over 22 bands, local culture, tastemakers, artisans and food at Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora on September 21 & 22, features a bigger emphasis on the local craft beer community this year, with a 100% craft beer lineup. The fest will also host a panel discussion on the local beer scene featuring all local beer experts, samplings from local breweries and even a live brew that will happen onsite, held in conjunction with the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association. Free beer samplings from 12-3pm today and tomorrow. Among the breweries sampling their wares on Day 1 are 42 North, Lilly Belle Meads, West Shore Brewing, Rohrbach, Collective Arts, Resurgence Brewing and Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing.
Belt Line Brewery will hold their first ever can release, A Beer with Citra New England IPA (12pm). A Beer with Citra, the latest in their A Beer With… series, is brewed with a copious amount of Citra hops balanced by Centennial and El Dorado hops. This IPA delivers flavors of orange rind and candied sugar with soft, smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The can art for A Beer With Citra was designed by Buffalo ex-pat Courtney Menard. 4-pack 16oz. cans will cost $16 (plus tax) or $84 (plus tax) for a case.
The ninth annual Ballpark Brew Bash takes place at Sahlen’s Field (4-7pm). The event, sponsored by Consumers Beverages, features over 50 breweries from across the globe, local favorites and New York institutions, including Big Ditch, Thin Man and Pressure Drop, as well as Barrier, Lawson’s Finest, Mikkeller and more. Tickets can be purchased at Tickets.com. General admission ($35 presale, $5 day of) tickets include a souvenir tasting glass and 20 drink tickets. VIP tickets ($75) include access to special VIP section with 20+ special beers and cask ales, food and more.
Southern Tier Brewing Company will hold the fourth annual Pumkingfest (12pm). The event will play host to a number of special features built around the fall beer favorite, including Pumking & Warlock Imperial Stout (with pumpkins) brewery exclusive variants, gourd bowling, seasonally inspired cuisine, live music and more. This event is free and open to the public.
Woodcock Brothers will hold Cocktoberfest, featuring live music (Restless Souls, 1pm, Penny Whiskey, 5pm) and German food specials. $20 gets you a ceramic Woodcock 20oz mug, your first pour free, and every 20oz. mug pour for the price of 16oz. Ein prosit!
Ellicottville Brewing is hitting the taps at World of Beer (2pm), Mick Hayes will perform at 12 Gates (8pm) as part of the Rhythm N Blues Festival (12pm), which features live music at the brewery all day long and the 2nd annual Oktoberfest celebration take place at Eli Fish Brewing (4pm).
Elsewhere during Buffalo Beer Week, as has become custom, Buffalo Brewing Company will be open every single day. Pearl Street (seasonal beers with Beer Week booklet) and Lafayette Brewing are offering $3.50 pints all Beer Week long, and score $2 off pints at Pizza Plant (both locations) and $4 pints at Riverworks Brewing with coupons you can find in the official Beer Week book. Also, Blackbird Cider Works have daily specials, Hamm & Fattey’s and Fattey Beer Co. are running select $3 pint specials (check Buffalobeerweek.com for more details) and Five & 20 will be donating a portion of the proceeds from their specially priced Beer of the Month to Habitat for Humanity during the entire course of Buffalo Beer Week.
If you’re drinking something local during Buffalo Beer Week, post it on social media and tag the BBL – @Buffalobeerleague (Instagram), @Buffbeerleague (Twitter) and @Thebuffalobeerleague (Facebook). Also, use the hashtag #Buffalobeerweek.
Keep it locked to www.buffalobeerweek.com for more daily blog posts regarding all of the beers, all of the events and all of the happenings going on throughout Buffalo Beer Week. To see all the events that are happening over the next 10 days and to read the official Buffalo Beer Week book, visit http://www.buffalobeerweek.com. The theme this year is ‘ten years of craft beer.’ For more information, please visit Buffaloniagarabrewersassociation.org and Facebook.com/BuffaloNiagaraBrewersAssociation.
Above all else, drink responsibly and be safe. If you need a ride home, try Lyft, Uber or Liberty Cab’s Ride Local. There are plenty of options to both drink and get home responsibly.
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 for Step Out Buffalo. 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) and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).