It’s that time again; the time when thousands upon thousands of diehard Buffalo Bills fans, aka the Bills Mafia, descend upon Orchard Park to fill the parking lots of New Era Field, Erie Community College and every vacant lot and field you can fit a group of cars in within walking distance of the stadium.
Buffalo fans are serious about their tailgating, and are just as serious about the beer that fuels the game before the game. Grills, games and great beers are the name of the game before the clock strikes kickoff each week, and while there are more beer options out there than you can shake a stick at, we compiled a list of seven Buffalo born beers that would make a great addition to any tailgating lineup. You won’t find any fizzy yellow macro stuff here (not to name names, but *cough* Labatt Blue *cough*).
This list offers a pretty good variety of beer styles too, from a bigger bodied beer like a coffee porter and New England IPA to brews that go down a bit easier, like a light lager and pilsner. So, before you hit your local beer store for Sunday morning, let us help you write your shopping list.
12 Gates Brewing Coffee Porter (5.8%): Skip the drive thru at Tim Hortons. Just find a parking spot, set up your tailgating accoutrements and crack one of these bad boys to get your coffee intake for the morning. It’s smooth and roasty, making for a good first beer to grab out of the cooler.
42 North LuchaBrew Mexican Lager (5%): Whether you’re playing beer pong, flip cup, Kan Jam, cornhole or just simple catch, this is the beer to reach for. LuchaBrew is light and easy drinking, so stock up on these if you plan on imbibing more than a few before the game.
Big Ditch Cinnamon Apple Amber Ale (6.8%): Fall game days call for fall beer, so why not get something sweet and deceptively strong with some body, like Big Ditch’s Cinnamon Apple Amber. They use locally pressed cider from New York state grown apples along with cinnamon, allspice, oatmeal and brown sugar in this one. This is a nice change of pace beer.
Flying Bison Brewing Juice Caboose (7.5%): I could not not include an IPA on this list, right? And what better IPA to enjoy before heading into New Era Field than Flying Bison’s latest creation Juice Caboose, a juicy New England style IPA with major notes of citrus, pineapple and melon. Another good reason for Juice Caboose on this list? If you happen to enjoy a few of them, it might not matter to you what happens on the field.
Hamburg Brewing 550 Game Time Pale Ale (5.2%): Well, this one was essentially a no brainer – a pale ale brewed specially to bring tailgating? Sounds like something that should be on this list. Subtle citrus and mild malt bitterness with a crisp finish. Pun time! Drink a Game Time before game time. Boom.
Resurgence Brewing Vanilla Cappuccino Pumpkin Ale (6.2%): Tailgating starts early, we know this. So why not treat yourself to 16 ounces of cappuccino, and some spices, pumpkin and vanilla to go along with it. This is a sweet and delicious fall beer for a fall Sunday morning.
Southern Tier Brewing Pilsner (5%): Another beer perfectly suited for your tailgating gaming needs because STBC Pils is crisp and refreshing with a great dry finish. This one is crushable in so many words and will pair well with hot dogs, burgers, sausages, and diving through folding tables.
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.