Buffalo Beer Buzz: New York Beer Project Expands, Buffalo Brewing’s 2nd Anniversary, Brews & Wines on the Water 2018, Kegs & Eggs Returns to Resurgence

New York Beer Project to Open Second Location

Lockport’s New York Beer Project are expanding their horizons with a new location up the I-90 in the Rochester suburb of Victor. The new multistory space will feature a full gastropub, indoor beer garden with large communal tables, outdoor patio, small production brewery, mezzanine event space and a rooftop terrace. Developer Fred Rainaldi Jr. will own the building and plans call for NYBP to lease. The entire space will be 25,000 square feet with other tenants planned. Construction on the new location has begun with a tentative opening date is set for late 2018 or early 2019, according to reports.

Buffalo Brewing Company to Celebrate 2nd Anniversary

Hard to believe it’s been two years, but Buffalo’s coolest one-car garage, Buffalo Brewing Company, will celebrate their second anniversary on July 28 (12-8pm). The party will feature live music (3:30-6:30pm), food trucks and a trio of special beer releases – 1825 Triple Dry Hopped Session IPA (El Dorado, Amarillo, Azacca, Idaho 7 & Citra hops), 1817 Triple Dry Hopped DIPA (Chinook, Simcoe, Galaxy, Citra & Mosaic) & 2017 1813 Imperial Porter. There will be special raffles all day long for prizes such as free crowlers for a year, a lighted Buffalo Brewing sign and a Sabres pre-party at the brewery.

Resurgence Brewing’s Kegs & Eggs Returns

It’s an all-out staff battle at the next Resurgence Brewing Kegs & Eggs (July 29, 11am), as members of Resurgence’s entire team will square off against each other for ultimate brewing supremacy. Five teams – Team 1: Kyle, Kelly, Nick, Team 2: Don, Sean, Maggie, Team 3: Beth, Scott, Lauren, Team 4: Melissa, Allie, DJ, Team 5: Admin/Sales – will hit the battlefield armed with a number of experimental beers, featuring French Quarter Inspired Stout, Dunkelweizen, Hibiscus Green Tea IPA, Dark Ale with Frizlen Tea fermented with Kolsch Yeast, and a Summer Ale. Breakfast food will also be available for purchase.

3rd Annual Brews and Wines on the Water Comes to Gratwick Park

There’s nothing better than a beautiful day along the waterfront, which you can enjoy at Brews & Wines on the Water 2018, held in conjunction with the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association, at North Tonawanda’s Gratwick Park (July 28, 2pm). Sample over 100 craft beers from local favorites such as 12 Gates, 42 North, Big Ditch, Pressure Drop, Thin Man, Southern Tier, Community Beer Works, Ellicottville Brewing, Hamburg, Rusty Nickel and many, many more. Brews & Wines on the Water 2018 will also feature live performances from national recording artists Lord Huron and Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. Tickets at GetMyPerks.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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Construction Swings into Full Gear at New Resurgence Brewing Site

Construction work is in full swing at Resurgence Brewing’s future location (the former Cooperage Building at 55 Chicago Street) as the initial site work and necessary demotion has been completed. Resurgence President Jeff Ware says that tangible building at the site should be noticeable in ‘about 5-6 weeks.’ They are shooting for a late summer/early fall opening date.

Resurgence produces around roughly 3,000 barrels annually at their current Niagara Street location and are forecasting a jump up to approximately 10-12,000 barrels in their first production year at the Cooperage site. The brewery has hired a Director of Brewing Operations to help handle the increase in production.

The 25,000 square foot facility will allow Resurgence to not only increase production but also expand distribution throughout the state. Tentative plans call for a 2-story taproom with food service in the existing Pattern Building, banquet space and open air beer gardens. Project developers are also planning additional retail spaces, six apartments with a mix of one, two and three bedrooms, and a large enclosed open space with a multi-use gymnasium.

Ware says that they explored the option of expanding at Niagara Street, but found that was more of a band-aid option than anything else, because the bottom line for them was that they just flat out needed more space that what was possible at their current location.

“When we first opened we thought we could take more space, but there are other things going on in our building,” he says. “It would really have amounted to putting smaller additions in and it would have only helped us for a few months or maybe a few years, but long term we needed more space for canning and other things as well.”

As far as new locations go, Ware said that Resurgence was willing to look at anything, including in the Old First Ward/Lackawanna area further down Route 5 as well as some spaces on the East Side, but the Cooperage building was the obvious choice in the end.

“We were looking around for a while, but we wanted to make sure we found the right building and the right place,” Ware says. “We also really wanted to stay in the city. We were looking at what was going on in the city and looking around for an opportunity to build what we wanted to build; a neighborhood that has the right feel for what we want to be and what we are, and the Old First Ward area was the perfect fit for us. I’ve had my eye on the Cooperage building for a couple of years as we’ve been working on this deal for over two years, and it was just a matter of putting it all together and getting the right players in place.”

The former E&B Holmes Machinery factory, which occupied the building until 2001, is comprised of three sections, which were built at different times around an enclosed central courtyard. The original four-story Mill Building was constructed in 1870, while the three-story Forge Building was added on one side between 1910 and 1912 and the Pattern Building a year later in 1913, with two stories on the other side of Mill. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

“We’re a Buffalo brewery,” Ware adds. “We’ve seen a lot of good things happen over on the West Side and I think the same thing is going to happen in the Old First Ward area because it already is happening down there thanks to Gene McCarthy’s, Pressure Drop Brewing, the Barrel Factory and Riverworks, and we’ll just be another addition to that. It just makes the whole area that much more viable every time someone else moves in.”

As for Niagara, Ware reiterates that the location will look the same, just with smaller tanks as they plan to take some of their 30 barrel tanks over to the Cooperage location. He says they plan to install some 5-7 barrel tanks so that they can cut down on R&D time. The Niagara Street location will remain open to the public as is, save for a few possible minor tweaks in the future. Ware says that it might become something of a ‘communal Niagara Street beer garden’ with tap lines from other local breweries sometime down the road.

“Say we want to test out a new fermentation process or try out some different yeasts, we just don’t have the tank space to do it,” he says, “so if we have a lot smaller tanks we can turn things over a lot quicker and make new beers a lot faster.”

For more information, visit http://www.resurgencebrewing.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: Halfway to Cask Fest, Woodcock XPA 15, Flying Bison’s 2018 Erie County Fair Beer, Pressure Drop Cans Strummer

We’re Halfway To Cask Fest This Weekend at Mr. Goodbar

We’re just a handful of months away from the 2018 Buffalo Cask Fest at Mr. Goodbar, one of Buffalo best beer events of the year, and it’s time to get in cask beer mode at Halfway To Cask Fest, July 20-22 at Goodbar. The preview event will feature a number of casks, including Flying Bison Whiskey Barrel Tart Cherry Spot Stout, Community Beer Works Rutherford B. Haze with Strawberry Rhubarb, Thin Man Minkey Boodle Raspberry Sour and Sato Brewpub Dry-Hopped Urban Samurai White IPA. There will also be casks available from Nine Pin Cider, Lost Borough Brewing and Roc Brewing.

Woodcock Brothers XPA Makes It’s Return with V.15

After a number of months on the sidelines, Woodcock Brothers is bringing back its vaunted XPA line, this time with V.15. The new version, packed with Cashmere, Citra, Azacca and Ekuanot hops, both in the kettle and with multiple dry hops, will be released on draft (no growler fills) and in cans (limit one case/6 4-packs per person (subject to change)) at the brewery on July 21 (12pm). Aroma and tasting notes include tropical fruit salad, lemon cello and pineapple purée. A very limited amount of cans and draft will get some Western New York distribution in the coming weeks.

Pressure Drop to Release Strummer Blonde Ale, Fresh Sticky Trees Cans

Pressure Drop Brewing are wasting no time getting back into the can release game. Just a few weeks after the release of Citra Screamer Cream Ale, they are releasing Strummer Belgian Blonde Ale in cans on July 21 (12pm). Tara Steck, who works at the Barrel Factory, designed the new can art for Strummer. Additionally, they will have another batch of fresh cans of their flagship Sticky Trees IPA, as well as some Citra Screamer cans available for purchase. You will be able to buy all three beers off the loading dock. No purchase limit. ID required if under 35.

Flying Bison Set to Debut 2018 Erie County Fair Beer

Flying Bison Brewing are set to Roll Out the Barrel on July 19 (5pm) as they premiere the 2018 Erie County Fair Beer, a Vienna Lager from Cheektowaga homebrewer Kevin DiTondo that won ‘Best in Show’ at the 2018 Erie County Fair Homebrew Competition. Robert “Freightrain” Parker will supply live music for the occasion and Flying Bison will have John Crossett & Brian Milleville’s Erie County Fair American Pale, the beer that won the initial Erie County Fair Homebrewing Competition a few years ago, on tap. It’s also available in 6-packs. This event is free and open to the public.

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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Happy 716 Day: Let’s Reflect on the State of the Buffalo Beer Scene

Buffalo, as a whole, is nothing if not a passionate city. From sports and music to food and, of course, beer, this town cares and it often cares deeply, which is why the beer scene here is not only thriving, it’s growing, and at a rather rapid pace. Even though the Buffalo-Niagara region is home to nearly 30 breweries already (with a handful more in planning and/or opening soon), there is still room to expand as Resurgence Brewing, Community Beer Works and Rusty Nickel are all set to grow in the very near future (42 North and Woodcock Brothers also have plans to expand down the line). And what better day to celebrate all of this than on 716 Day, aka July 16, the most Buffalo of all Buffalo holidays.

I am constantly inspired by this beer scene; there is great beer being released on a weekly basis, but beyond that, it’s the people and the friendships that truly inspire me. For me, beer is a profession, a hobby and a true passion – it’s why I write the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz, run this beer blog and it’s why I helped found the Buffalo Beer League years ago. Therefore, it seemed to me that 716 Day would be as good a day as any to reflect.

Two of the questions I’m asked most are, can the Buffalo beer scene support all of this growth? Is the craft beer bubble about to burst? I personally believe it can, to a point obviously, but don’t take my word for it, I’m just a pie-in-the-sky beer blogger who loves this city. Take it straight from the horse’s mouth – from the very people who keep the lights of this beer scene on.

Flying Bison Brewing Company owner Tim Herzog, the man many credit with giving Buffalo beer its groove back, believes there is room for everyone in our beer scene to grow and get their slice of the proverbial pie and thinks it’s as simple as just drinking more local beer.

“If Western New Yorkers put down their (insert major international brand here), or latest, coolest rated beer that you can’t find, and pick up locally brewed craft beer, then there is room for more growth,” Herzog says. “It’s up to consumer preference at this point. The variety of beers brewed and concept of each brewery in Buffalo are among the best around. If you want it; it’s here.”

Big Ditch Brewing President Matt Kahn says that the strength of our beer scene and its ability to adapt to constantly changing trends is the breweries themselves, who strive and succeed in offering a different experience to customers. Like a snowflake, no two are exactly the same, which is why the potential for growth is possible.

“We have many independent breweries, but each has a very different feel,” he says. “Community Beer Works doesn’t feel anything like Resurgence or Flying Bison, which is wide open and very relaxed, which doesn’t feel anything like Thin Man, or Pearl Street, or us, which definitely has more of a food component, or even Old First Ward Brewing, which is more like a classic pub. Also, each of these breweries brings a different feel to their beers, Resurgence more experimental, Flying Bison more classical, and others sort of in between. So, visiting Buffalo will give beer lovers a very diverse experience – but also a high quality experience, as the beer being made here now is maybe better than it has ever been in its history.”

Resurgence Brewing Owner Jeff Ware agrees, adding, “Not only do we have a rich brewing history here, we have a new vibrant brewing scene that is actively part of the resurgence of the city. Breweries are breathing life into long dormant neighborhoods across the region. It is a great time to explore the great things going on in these neighborhoods and catch a local pint in each one!”

Regardless of whether or not the bubble is about to burst or not, one thing is for sure – the Buffalo-Niagara beer scene is only set to grow in the coming months and years.

“Buffalo may be considered late to the game by some of the more recognized beer destinations, but we have the Buffalo Brew Pub, the oldest brewpub in New York State, hosted one of the earliest Craft Brewer Conferences in the country and our first homebrewer’s club was founded in 1987,” Herzog adds. “Buffalo has been quietly growing a beer culture for decades. The recent explosion of breweries might seem ‘late to the game,’ but this momentum has been building for some time.”

It’s never been clearer that we all need to do our part in sustaining this beer scene that we all know and love. It has never been more important to visit a local brewery and order a pint or two, ask for something local in your glass at your corner bar and stock your fridge with any number of great tasting, locally crafted beers. Happy 716 Day everyone, after you’re done putting in your hours at the office today, visit a brewery, hit a bar (Mr. Goodbar or Pizza Plant are good options), and order a fresh, cold pint of something local. Not only are you filling your glass with a delicious handcrafted brew, you’re also doing your part to keep the gears of the Buffalo beer scene turning. And for that I thank you. Cheers.

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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The Larkin Beer Scene Gets Summer Ready

Buffalo Brewing Company’s 1849 Kellerbier in their new beer garden.

From Food Truck Tuesday to Larkin Live, the Larkin neighborhood is home to some of Buffalo’s most beloved events, happenings only enhanced once a fresh beer is in hand. Luckily for all of us, Larkin is home to more than one fine purveyor of the craft, all of which are pulling out all the stops to get ready for this short summer season of ours. Hydraulic Hearth, which you should know by now is home to a Community Beer Works satellite brewery, have added lunch service on Fridays, and the beer gardens at both Flying Bison Brewing and Buffalo Brewing Company have undergone extensive facelifts to ensure every one that enjoys a pint can also enjoy some sun.

Flying Bison expanded upon their front patio with a full-blown beer garden along the side of the brewery. The new space features soft stone, eight wooden picnic tables, resin Adirondack chairs, barrel tables and plenty of games including locally made OnTop Ball Toss, KanJam, Washers, and six sets of cornhole boards.

The front patio also got a few sets of patio lounge furniture and some more greenery, with new hops plants taking off in planter boxes alongside the pergolas. The extra seating on both patios will come in handy for a busy season of Food Truck Tuesdays. Flying Bison also hosts live acoustic music outdoors every other week. Flying Bison will host Strictly Hip outside in the beer garden on July 12, Scarlet Begonias & Neville Francis and Riddim Posse as part of Summer Sun Splash on July 14, and the Buffalo Booze and Brews Music Festival in conjunction with Buffalo Distilling on August 4 featuring eight bands.

Flying Bison’s new beer garden is summer ready.

Flying Bison patriarch Tim Herzog says that the new space was simply the next step of the plan they have been working on for the last three years, and adds that they have been looking to add more outdoor space for customers.

“For the patio Biergarten on the front of the building, we finished what we have been slowly working on over the last 3 years,” Herzog says. “We planted some hops to show people what an incredible plant they are, and some flowers to soften the look of all the stone work. We got some comfortable furniture so our guests can relax a bit, and on the side, we added some seating in the form of picnic tables, and put a decorative, yet S.L.A. approved [barrel and chain] fence. Our guests wanted more outside space, so we made it. We also added a giant planter box, and space for outdoor beer friendly games. Our whole motivation is to give our visitors a comfortable space to sample our beer and enjoy time with family and friends.”

The brewery had also extended their summer hours so everyone can take advantage of the new beer garden area. Flying Bison’s new hours are 4-9pm, Tuesday through Thursday, and 12-10pm Friday and Saturday.

Order any of these at Hydraulic Hearth for lunch…

Around the corner from Flying Bison, Larkin brewery neighbor Buffalo Brewing has also revamped their outdoor space in a continual effort to ensure we all spend more time out in the sun drinking beer. The new space, located along the side of the brewery, features plenty of seating (owner John Domres say roughly 40), including picnic tables, custom made high top keg tables and wooden Adirondack chairs, all housed under a giant shade sail. Domres says that this project has been something he has been working towards since shortly after they opened a few years back.

“The beer garden has been a project in the works since August of 2016 shortly after we opened. We knew we needed a spot for people to enjoy the outdoors as Buffalo has an extremely short summer, or so it feels like,” Domres says. “We began planning and ran into some obstacles along the way, but it’s a fun place with lots of games; a dog friendly space for them to use the bathroom and drink some water with plenty of seating for enjoying numerous BBC beers. It is large enough to house 40 people yet still feels intimate.”

And you are going to want to get to Hydraulic Hearth before, or after for that matter, you visit both Flying Bison and Buffalo Brewing, especially on Fridays, because you can now enjoy lunch in the beer garden as part of Casual Fridays. Every Friday, Hydraulic Hearth sets up the grill in the beer garden for lunch to serve their take on a classic fast food burger menu, which includes the Larkin Burger, a classic double cheeseburger, a regular Cheeseburger, Veggie Burger, Hot Dog, Italian Sausage and Grilled Potatoes, all of which pair pretty damn perfectly with any one of the Community Beer Works’ beers that are brewed in house at Hydraulic Hearth.

…then grab a Community Beer Works brew and eat here.

“Summer in Buffalo is a magical thing,” Flying Bison adds. “Make it count enjoy the outdoors! Do not forget the bug spray and sunblock, but if you do, we will have both available next to the doors leading outside to both our patios. Gotta soak up the sun while it’s available.”

Flying Bison, Buffalo Brewing, Hydraulic Hearth, and that’s not even to mention Buffalo Distilling Company (their Straight Bourbon Whiskey is fantastic) and Tommyrotter Distilling, who also call the Larkin neighborhood home. Great locally crafted beer, food and spirits – what else could you possibly ask for? How about warm temps, sunshine, good friends and laughter? While the Larkin craft scene and Mother Nature can supply most of those, it’s up to you to supply the latter two. Spend a day in Larkin sometime soon and you can thank me in the future, preferable over a pint.

For more information, head over to www.flyingbisonbrewing.com,   https://hydraulichearth.com and http://www.buffalo-brewing-company.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: Enchanted Mountains Fest, Thin Man/People Like Us Collab, New CBW Beers, Unique Beer Tour

Four Mile Presents 3rd Annual Enchanted Mountains Brew Fest

Four Mile Brewing are bringing together the brightest of the Buffalo-Niagara beer scene for the third annual Enchanted Mountains Brew Fest, July 14 (2-5pm). Sample over 20 small batch beers brewed by members of the WNY beer scene, who will showcase their locally made products in the beer garden at Four Mile. Live music by DJ Gilroy, and an After Party with live music by the Stick Tights. Tickets are $40 and are available at Eventbrite.com (includes souvenir glass, beer tastings, after party access, exclusive prize raffles and food options). $10 Designated Driver tickets will be available at the door.

Community Beer Works to Release Grapefruit Gosaic Sour in Cans

Community Beer Works are releasing cans of Grapefruit Gosaic, a sour ale double dry-hopped with Mosaic hops, on July 14 (12pm). Brewed with grapefruit peel, Grapefruit Gosaic is crisp and effervescent with notes of citrus. 750ml cans (limit of 4) run $10 (no 64oz. growler fills) and the beer will also be on tap. Meanwhile, at Hydraulic Hearth, Grey Lady, a grisette with lemongrass, brewed with the recipe Sultans of Swig Homebrew Club member/Buffalo Beer Goddesses 2018 Cicerone Scholarship winner Kait Prendergast used for her brew at Santas of Swig back in December, will be tapped on July 19 (6pm).

Another Week, Yet Another Thin Man Collaboration Beer

A week after releasing To Heck With The Fruit, a collaboration with Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing, Thin Man is back in the collaboratory, this time with Denmark’s People Like Us, a brewery supported by Mikkeller and run entirely by people with autism. The result of the partnership is The Best Defense Is A Good Defense, a juicy New England IPA hopped with Nelson, Citra, and Motueka for notes of orange, pineapple, mango, and some light vanilla. The special beer will be tapped at Thin Man on July 14 (11am). The Best Defense Is A Good Defense was brewed in Buffalo.

Learn More About How Your Beer Is Made on The Grain Gurus Twilight Tour

Spend an evening following the life cycle of your beer on the Grain Gurus Twilight Tour, July 18 (6-9pm). The event, hosted by Batavia’s New York Craft Malt, will begin by touring Cornell University’s malting barley variety trials with Cornell’s field crops program scientists showcasing New York’s newest malting grains. The next stop is New York Craft Malt for a Malthouse tour and taste of beer using their malted grain, before hitting Eli Fish Brewing Co. for a brewery tour with brewmaster Jon Mager. Participants get one free drink chip. There is no cost for this event. Register at pub.cce.cornell.edu.

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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Favorite Moments & Beer: Recapping the Fifth Annual Buffalo Brewers Festival

Another Buffalo Brewers Festival is in the books, and given all of the hard work that went into it, it’s hard to believe it’s already come and gone. I had to take a few weeks to get my wits about me and also needed to find time to write this because if you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot going on in Buffalo beer right now. This year’s festival, which was pared down from last year to include a slate of all local breweries, cideries and meaderies, was a true labor of love for yours truly, one that really did pay off in the end. And in a true showcase of this city’s brewing scene, these brewers really did step up.

An exciting new feature this year was the People’s Choice Competition, which featured participating breweries all making the same beer style, which the public then drank and voted for their favorite. This year’s beer style was saison and 42 North Brewing took home to coveted one-of-a-kind trophy (which was graciously created by Kyle Anderson) thanks to their delicious Island Farmhouse Sour Saison, one of our highlights of the festival, just as it was last year. It’s just a fantastic beer. New York Beer Project finished in second place with their refreshing Watermelon Saison, Pearl Street (Gin & Tonic Saison) and West Shore Brewing (Magnolia Mountain Saison) tied for third, Rusty Nickel placed fourth with their Farmhouse Saison (more on this beer below), one of the best beers we had at the festival, and Resurgence Brewing rounded out the top five with their Cucumber Saison, which kept us as hydrated as a bottle of water.

The addition of the People’s Choice Competition was a welcome one, as was the addition of the Consumer’s Beverages Pint Tent, which allowed festivalgoers to purchase pints of their favorite beer right at the festival. When I spent time at the tent, I grabbed pints of 12 Gates Cherry Vanilla Wheat and German Radler. More bathrooms and more beer available also made for a great time, and if I had a nickel for how many times people complimented the food – cheers Ru’s Pierogis and Lloyd’s Tacos – I’d be rich.

The 2018 Buffalo Brewers Festival also featured a number of debuts, including that of Ellicottville’s Steelbound Brewery, Batavia’s Eli Fish, Pressure Drop Brewing and Brickyard Brewing Company. All were a welcome addition to the party to say the least.

For my most memorable beer from the Brewers Fest, I kept notes the best I could in-between running back and forth getting people ice and water. I also had to make sure I was able to try all of the beer I wanted to try.

Blackbird Cider Works Lakeside Loganberry – As juicy and refreshing as it was dry, I could not tell you how many times I had to make a run to the Blackbird booth for this to keep my wife’s glass full. One of the more memorable ciders I’ve had lately.

Brickyard Brewing White Bronco New England IPA – A favorite of mine from both the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational in February and Thawfest in April, the latest batch of White Bronco might be the best yet. I’m becoming a broken record with this beer, but it is straight fire – all mango, white grapefruit and pineapple.

Buffalo Brewing Company Charlie’s Boatyard Brew – I am falling in love with Vic Secret hops. This one features massive citrus and is dangerously smooth. It’s only available at Charlie’s Boatyard and might be one of the best beers I’ve had from John and his crew at BBC.

Eli Fish Brewing Awry Saison – Mild spice notes with a bit of faint citrus. It’s a crusher and doesn’t even drink to its 5% ABV. This was a nice introduction to these guys’ beer for me and I believe a road trip up the 90 is in store soon.

Four Mile Brewing Tropical Wheat – Hands down one of the best beers I had at the Brewers Festival. A little lactose made for a clean, creamy smoothness with notes of pineapple and mango. This was great. I might say this is the best beer I’ve had from Four Mile.

Lilly Belle Nutty Helen Mead – I’m admittedly just getting into mead, but I had at least two people tell me this was the best beverage they enjoyed at the festival. A little syrupy sweet with notes of smoky, roasted honey. This was the most unique drink I had there.

Rusty Nickel Farmhouse Saison – Talk about Buffalo brewers stepping their game up for this festival – Rusty Nickel was no different. Quite possibly the best beer I’ve had from them, this Farmhouse Saison was light and crisp, though it maintained some earthy, more traditional saison characteristics. This was the other beer that I voted for in the top three on my People’s Choice Competition ballot.

Steelbound Brewery Kickin’ Back Kolsch – This kolsch was insanely crisp and one of the most drinkable beers of the entire festival. I also really liked the Subabrew IPA and Heff Another One Hefeweizen. These guys are making some solid beers already.

West Shore Brewing Dark Cherry Sour – Tart dark cherries with a little pucker to back them up. This one was so smooth and refreshing. I had to get one sour on this list and Josh up at West Shore is brewing some quality fruited sours right now.

Windy Brew Raspberry Farmhouse Saison – As refreshing as refreshing gets. I haven’t had many beers from them, but this was the best Windy Brew beer I’ve had yet. Huge fresh raspberries all the way through from the aromas to the flavor to the aftertaste. This one was consistent. I voted for this beer in the top three on my People’s Choice Competition ballot.

Here’s hoping that next year is bigger and better than this year. I know I’ll be there next summer and I hope to see all of you there as well.

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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West Shore Brewing to Cap off Year One at First Ever West Fest

West Shore Brewing Company, Clarence’s only brewery, is celebrating their first year at the first annual West Fest on July 7. The daylong celebration will feature a number of rotating beer releases, craft spirit and mead tastings, live music and food. West Fest kicks off at 2pm.

Live music will take place all day long during West Fest, with entertainment being provided by The Gavin Petrie Band, The Springfield Incident and The Big Sauce Trio. West Shore owner Josh Dziomba will also take to the stage for the special occasion, teaming up with musicians from other bands on the bill in a band he is calling the West Shore All Stars. West Shore’s neighbors Lilly Belle Meads will be on hand sampling their wares, as will Black Button Distilling, and food will be available from Lloyd Tacos, BABZ BBQ, Smoke, Fire, & Spice and Gianni Mazia’s On Main.

“Festivals are fun,” Dziomba says, “but honestly we wanted to do one because a lot of people don’t know we’re there yet. We’re on the outskirts of Clarence and even most of Clarence doesn’t know we’re there yet. We’ve been open for a year and are only open a few days a week, so we’re just entering the next phase. We’re always going to be small but we’re going momentum. People have been asking us to do a festival, so we’ll see how this goes.”

Music will take place outside in West Shore’s brand new beer garden, which features picnic tables, round communal tables, string lights, Adirondack chairs and cornhole boards.

But the true star of West Fest is the beer list. Rotating beer releases will take place all day, including Interlocking Double IPA (hopped with Citra and Chinook), All You Need Is Shandy, Magnolia Mountain Saison (their first ever saison), Green Flyer New England IPA (featuring Lemondrop, Centennial, Citra and Simcoe hops), Turncoat Ale, a hybrid ESB and American Pale Ale, and Citra Hopped Kickstand Kolsch.

West Fest will also feature a number of special beer releases, including Milkshake IPA, 4th of Juluau Christmas Ale, Honey London Brown Ale (a sub 4% ABV beer packed with caramel and dark malts), Cucumber Mint Gose (a new collaboration beer with Old First Ward Brewing) and a special infusion of the Citra DIPA. These special beer releases will only be available for growler fills for VIP ticket holders (more info on that below), but may be available for all West Fest attendees depending on quantity.

“I always bite off more than I can chew,” Dziomba jokes about the amount of beer releases for the event. “I love having people at the brewery, and I’m not even talking about the money aspect of it; it is the best feeling when that place is full. I just love when people are there enjoying the space and the beer and I get to spend some time talking to people. It’s an incredible feeling when you make something and then go over to a tap and pour it into a glass. You would think that feeling would fade, but it doesn’t.”

General Admission tickets ($10 pre-sale, $12 at the door) include the first beer free and the first 300 tickets sold include a free 1-year anniversary glass. VIP Tickets ($25 pre-sale, $30 at the door) include: early admission, 2 crowlers of limited release beers, 1 anniversary glass, plus discounts on merchandise, crowler packages, and crowler or mug club memberships.

“If you haven’t checked us out yet, this is the perfect opportunity to,” Dziomba adds.

For more information on the first ever West Fest, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/2537865409772775/.

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: Thin Man/New Belgium Collab, Flying Bison’s Summer Sun Splash, Brick & Brews, Ballpark Brew Bash Tickets

Special Ballpark Brewbash Ticket Packages on Sale at Consumers

While the 2018 Ballpark Brew Bash is a few months away, a new date this year of September 21 (6-9pm), Consumer’s Beverages is offering a special ticket package (while supplies last). For $30, you’ll receive a general admission ticket to the festival, 2 cans of Resurgence Brewing Conehead IPA (Buffalo Style IPA with Mosaic hops), one flex ticket for a Buffalo Bisons game (except July 3) and a coupon for a free beer at the Consumer’s Craft Corner at the Coca-Cola Field. VIP tickets are also available to purchase for $75. Tickets packages are available at all Consumer’s Beverages locations.

Flying Bison to Celebrate Summer at Summer Sun splash

Enjoy the sun, great craft beer and live music as Flying Bison presents Summer Sun Splash on July 14 (12-5p). The inaugural event will feature music outside by Grateful Dead tribute act Scarlet Begonias and Neville Francis & Riddim Posse with food being provided by the Essex St. Pub. Flying Bison is releasing a special beer, “Beer Garden Party,” a dry-hopped wheat ale. Summer Sun Splash is a free show (all ages are welcome, 21+ to drink). If you’ve been looking for a reason to stop down and check out Flying Bison’s new beer garden, this is the perfect opportunity.

Thin Man Partners With New Belgium on New Beer

Having collaborated with the likes of Mikkeller SD and NYC, Captain Lawrence, Bellwood Brewery, Gun Hill and 3 Sons Brewing, Thin Man are taking their collaborative efforts to the next level with the release of To Heck With The Fruit, a tart Belgian ale with lavender, tarragon & Roiboos tea, brewed in conjunction with New Belgium Brewing. The beer was brewed at Thin Man with Head Brewer Rudy Watkins and New Belgium’s Wood Cellar Supervisor Eric Salazar. To Heck With the Fruit’s nose is floral along with unripe peach, apples, nectarines and some earthiness from the tea & tarragon. Flavor is nectarine, earthy cherry, peaches & honey. Super fruity, which is odd, since there isn’t any fruit in it. Dry peach and nectarine finish. It’s on tap now at Thin Man’s Elmwood taproom.

Local Beer on Display at Bricks & Brews at the Martin House

Bricks & Brews: Outdoor Brewfest at the Martin House returns for 2018 on July 13 (6-9pm). A stellar line-up of breweries will be on hand in a beautiful setting. Among those sampling will be 12 Gates, Lafayette Brewing, 42 North, New York Beer Project, Big Ditch, Pearl Street, Blackbird Cider, Pressure Drop, Buffalo Brewing,  Community Beer Works, Resurgence, Riverworks Brewing, Ellicottville Brewing, Rusty Nickel, Five & 20, Southern Tier, Steelbound Brewery, Four Mile, Hamburg Brewing and Woodcock Brothers. Food provided by Lomo Lomo and Dickey’s BBQ and live music from PA Line. Purchase tickets ($65 / $55 Members) at http://martinhouse.org.

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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Get Pumped: Big Ditch’s Double Dry Hopped Hayburner Cans Are Here

You asked and Big Ditch listened – oh boy did they. Cans of Double Dry Hopped Hayburner, the next level version of the brewery’s much adored flagship IPA, are coming this weekend. No, this is not a drill. This is actually happening. Cans will be made available in the taproom starting at noon on Saturday, and if that isn’t enough, cans of the latest batch of Lock IPA Series #2: Fip and Deep Cut Double IPA will also be available. All beers sold in 4-packs of 16oz. cans (1 case pp limit).

And, yes, there’s more, a limited amount of Bidwell Wild bottles, a mixed fermentation beer made in collaboration with Elmwood Village Farmers Market and Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, will also be available, so don’t sleep on those.

This Double Dry-Hopped version of Hayburner features even more bold citrus, stone fruit, and dank hop flavor and aroma for a more intense hop experience. It’s double dry-hopped with Falconers Flight, Galaxy and Mosaic hops.

Big Ditch President Matt Kahn said that canning this beer, which has previously only been available in casks, is something they have always thought about. He says that the timing just needed to be right so they could make it something truly special.

“We’ve previously done DDH Hayburner in cask several times and people have really seemed to like it,” he says. “With the proliferation of “DDH” as a thing, we thought this was a no-brainer. To clarify – this is a truly Double Dry-Hopped beer, not just a new beer where we split up the dry hops into multiple events (which is a technique brewers have been doing for many, many years). We’ve added 2x the dry hops of regular Hayburner to make this beer. The only other thing we changed was that some portion of the second dry hops added were changed to Galaxy and Mosaic, because those are great hops and we wanted to make sure this was special.”

So, if DDH Hayburner is getting canned, then what other Hayburner variants could be earmarked for a packaging run? Does it open the door for Citraburner or even Hazeburner to be canned in the future? And why stop there? How about 16oz. cans of Hayburner or 12 packs? Kahn says that all options are pretty much on the table right now (including other Hayburner variants he won’t name), well except for 16oz. cans of Hayburner, which he says won’t be happening, and Hazeburner, which, as it turns out, we’ve all been drinking for some time now.

“Hazeburner was a beer we made when were first experimenting with eliminating fining agents in Hayburner. We all liked Hazeburner better than regular Hayburner, and therefore eliminated the fining agents; so, Hayburner really has been Hazeburner for a long time now.”

“I’d be surprised if you didn’t see Citraburner in cans at some point,” he adds. “We have some ideas for a few other Hayburner variants as well. We reserve 16oz. cans for specialty beers, whereas 12oz. cans are for our signatures and seasonals – so regular Hayburner will remain in 12oz. cans. We’ve talked about putting out 12 packs of Hayburner, but have no capacity to fill these in the near future. (Perhaps in the long term future? Difficult to say at the moment!)”

Fip, the second of Big Ditch’s Lock IPA Series, is named after a coin worth about six cents that was used during the days of Canal construction to purchase a glass of ale. Fip is brewed with Mosaic, Citra, Amarillo and Simcoe hops, resulting in an IPA with a burst of citrus, honeydew, and tropical punch flavor. Deep Cut DIPA, named after the final obstacle in constructing the Erie Canal, a 7 mile section of the canal 40 feet deep between the Flight of Five in Lockport and Lake Erie, that needed to be dug by hand, is layered with citrus, tropical punch, and wild berry flavor, with moderate bitterness and a dry finish.

Fip, 363 and Dibble have all been re-released as of late, so does that signal that Packet, one of the most critically acclaimed beers the brewery has ever made, could hit the market once again? Kahn says that yes, there is a chance that could happen.

“As Packet is the beer that everyone keeps constantly asking us to make, yes, there is definitely a chance. We need a lot of Galaxy to make Packet, that’s the main reason we haven’t tried to make it again yet. Hopefully when we actually do make it, it lives up the high bar everyone has set for it!”

And with all of this, the obvious question is, what’s next? “We’re currently piloting Lock #5, but no firm dates yet for release. We may see a little break between this DDH/Fip release and our next 16oz. IPA release.”

“Don’t forget about Bidwell Wild!” Kahn adds. “We still have a few cases left, and it’s not often you’ll see a mixed fermentation, 2-year old barrel-aged beer made with local organisms available! IPAs are great, but there are so many other great styles out there, be sure to diversify the beer styles you’re drinking!”

For more information on the release, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/475142016233158/.

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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