Buffalo Beer Buzz: Resurgence Duel Can Release, Virtual Tips for Service Workers, Rusty Nickel Crowler Hunt, Buffalo Brewing Cans 1976 Grodziskie

Resurgence Brewing Plans Pair of Can Releases This Saturday

If you need to replenish your beer stockpile before Easter (and who doesn’t really), Resurgence Brewing has you covered with as pair of can releases this weekend. The brewery will be releasing Tiny Juice Monsters, a Buffalo-style IPA brewed with Mosaic, Citra and Simcoe hops, and Pina Colada Sour, a fruited sour aged on toasted coconut and lactose, in 16oz. cans on April 11 at 12pm. Both releases are available for pre-order at HopMule, pull up in front of 55 Chicago St. and the beer will be delivered to you – no need to get out of the car. $13 per 4-pack, $70 for mixed case (tax included).

Help Out Members of the Buffalo Service Industry By Tipping Online

It’s no secret that many of our great service industry professionals are out of work right now and need our help to survive in our new COVID-19 reality. You can now send a virtual tip to a local bar, brewery or restaurant worker. When you enjoy a local drink or meal while social distancing, you can tip a local service worker through Venmo or Cash App. Click this link, an industry professional randomly pops up, and then you send them a tip. If you are a Buffalo service industry worker impacted by this, fill out this form to be included.

Join in on Rusty Nickel Brewing’s Easter Egg Crowler Hunt

Get yourself in the Easter spirit with the Easter Egg Crowler Hunt at Rusty Nickel Brewing, which runs April 8-12. Stop in to the brewery, select your crowlers, have the brewery fill them, then flip them over and check for stickers. If you find one, you’ll have the chance to win one of 20 prizes – find an Easter Egg sticker, win (1) free non-imperial crowler of your choice (16 chances to win), find a bunny sticker, win a $10 gift card (3 chances to win) and find a mouse sticker, and win a $50 gift card (1 chance to win).

Buffalo Brewing to Release 1976 Grodziskie in Cans This Weekend

Buffalo Brewing Company is dropping one of their best beers in my personal opinion, 1976 Grodziskie, in cans for the first time ever on April 11 (12pm). The brewery tweaked the recipe, adding Polish Smoked Wheat malt, while swapping out the German and Czech hops for Polish Lubelski. 1976 Grodziskie is light gold in color with a moderate malt body and bold smoky flavor, brewed to celebrate the year Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II) returned to Buffalo two years before being elected Pope. 1976 Grodziskie will be released in 12oz. six-pack cans for $10 (includes tax and deposit).

Brian Campbell is co-founder and Brand Manager of the 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), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).

 

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Five & 20 Sanitizer, 12 Gates Double Can Release, One-Eyed Cat First Responder Beer, NYBP Now Delivers

Five and 20 Spirits & Brewing Becomes Five & 20 Sanitizer

Five and 20 Spirits & Brewing is temporarily shifting their focus to producing hand sanitizer in order to aid in efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus. They are donating the sanitizer to departments of health, non-profits, local healthcare workers, their staff, and restaurant, bar, and distribution partners. They are also donating product to local non-profit organizations, including North East Community Nurses, Community Resources for Independence, Benedictine Sisters of Erie, amongst others. Sanitizer is also available to consumers (no purchase necessary, one per customer). For orders that are being shipped out, sanitizer will be included in your package upon request.

One-Eyed Cat Brewing Offers Free Beer to Front Line Medical Personnel

One-Eyed Cat Brewing is doing what they can to give back to local medical professionals. They are making two special beers available to front line medical personnel on April 25th and 26th – Front Line IPA (NEIPA with fruity, smooth haze) and Preservation Porter (London porter with coffee notes and lots of roasted malt goodness). 25 22oz. bottles of each of the beers will be available at two drop off points, one in the city (April 25th) and one in the Northtowns (April 26th). If you’re interested in receiving a bottle, visit their Facebook page to comment and sign up.

12 Gates Brewing Plans Release of New Fruited Sour & Hazy IPA

12 Gates are doing their part to keep us hydrated with a pair of new beer releases – Lawn Ornament Series #6: Flo-Mingo Fruited Sour, brewed in conjunction with the Coalition for Rapid Consumption, and Lightning Emoji NEIPA – on April 11 (12pm). Flo-Mingo ($2 single 12oz. can / $8.99 6-pack / $31.99 case) features cherry, strawberry, raspberry, and pomegranate, Lightning Emoji ($4 single 16oz. can / $13.99 4-pack / $81 case) is brewed with African Queen, Mosaic, and Galaxy hops and features tropical fruit flavors and aromas. Call 716-906-6600 to order for curbside pick-up or just stop in the taproom.

You Can Now Get New York Beer Project Crowlers Delivered

New York Beer Project has teamed up with Grubhub and you can now order crowlers of their beer and have them delivered right to your doorstep. Visit NYBP’s Grubhub page for pricing and beer availability. Speaking of crowlers, NYBP will be releasing crowlers of their Superhero Sour, brewed to mimic the cherry bubblegum, lemon, and blue raspberry flavors in Perry’s Superhero ice cream, on April 1 (11am), and Hyperjuice Belgian Tripel on April 4 (11am).Grab a crowler of Hyperjuice, then join in on the #HyperjuiceConfessions Party, a virtual happy hour. At 5:08pm, pop open your crowlers at the same time.

Brian Campbell is a Co-Founder and Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).

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Five and 20 Spirits & Brewing Becomes Five & 20 Sanitizer

Five and 20 Spirits & Brewing, Westfield’s brewery, distillery and winery hybrid, is temporarily shifting their focus to producing hand sanitizer in order to aid in efforts to fight the sweeping spread of the coronavirus locally. They plan to donate the sanitizer to departments of health, non-profits, local healthcare workers, their staff, and restaurant, bar, and distribution partners.

Five & 20 will also be donating product to a growing list of non-profit organizations, including North East Community Nurses, Community Resources for Independence, Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Josephite Sisters of Erie, Bay City Cremations and Our Lady of Mercy, amongst others.

The distillery says that they decided to start producing the much-needed sanitizer because they are fortunate to already have the ingredients, equipment, and processes in place to distill a product that will make a real difference in the community.

“Everyone’s just trying to do the best we can in the circumstances,” Mazza Vineyards Vice President Mario Mazza says. “We are fortunate (like many other distilleries) to have the ability to make a key ingredient (ethanol) for something in short supply, so it seemed only logical to help the community (that has supported our businesses for 50 years).”

Plans call for over 400 gallons of hand sanitizer to be produced per week, with over 3,000 gallons in production overall.

“We are ramping up production, not without some hurdles on the supply chain side, so we can provide  health care workers, non-profits and community organizations in need. We’re also providing sanitizer to our customers, staff and accounts as well as they continue to work and service their communities.”

Mazza says that Five & 20 could start selling the sanitizer in the future. The best way to support them is to purchase their beer, spirits and wine during these trying times. You can purchase their whiskies and bourbon online. The distillery is also offering curbside pickup for call-ahead orders. Call (716) 793-9463 to place your order. All sales proceeds will go directly to support the hand sanitizer production.

“We appreciate any support folks can provide by purchasing our beers, spirits or wines to help keep our doors open and keep our staff going.”

For more information, please visit https://fiveand20.com/distilled-with-love/.

Brian Campbell is a Co-Founder and Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).

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42 North Brewing to Host Virtual Happy Hour with the Brewers

As we all adapt to the art of social distancing and cope with being in isolation in order to stop the spread of Covid-19, we can still get together and raise a pint, albeit in a much different setting than before. While we can’t all join forces in brewery taprooms at the moment, we can still spend time with one another in a virtual setting. Enter the idea of Virtual Happy Hours, which more and more breweries and beer fans are accepting as our new normal for comradery.

42 North Brewing is embracing the virtual plane as they host a Virtual Happy Hour with the Brewers on March 25 at 5pm at their Facebook page.

Join Head Brewer Matt Matuszewski, Production Manager Hannah Trujillo and Lab Manager Zach Taggart to chat all things 42 North, talk about what beer they currently have in the tanks, review some of your favorite beers and ask any beer question you’d like.

So grab a beer (I’d recommend a can of their Night Signal Double IPA or a crowler of Dry Irish Stout, both of which I’ll be drinking during the event) and join in on the fun.

The brewery has also launched 42GO, a drive-thru beer store which will allow customers to safely purchase beer without leaving their vehicles. I recently hit the brewery to test drive (driving pun!) the new curbside service and found it convenient. You pull around the brewery and use the alley to get in line, someone comes out to take your order and your credit card for payment, then hand you your beer to-go, all without having to leave your car. Cans, crowlers and 42 Below bottles are available (quantities and selections may vary). 42N are also partnering with East Aurora restaurants – take out customers will receive a $1 offer coupon for 4/6 pack and $5 off a case.

“It’s critical that local breweries and businesses band together to make it through these challenging times,” Owner John Cimperman says. “Hopefully, even small efforts like these can help keep businesses going and their associates employed. If anyone can get through this, the ‘City of Good Neighbors’ can.”

Be sure to check out 42 North’s Facebook page for daily specials, beer available and hours.

Brian Campbell is a Co-Founder and Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: CBW Curbside Pickup/Delivery, Pressure Drop & Resurgence Can Releases, More Brewery Delivery Services

Community Beer Works Running Daily Curbside Beer Pickups, Delivery Service

For the foreseeable future, Community Beer Works will be running daily curbside beer pickups at their 7th Street taproom (3-8pm). Available to-go beer includes 6-packs of That IPA, The Whale or Let’s Go Pils for $8.99. Score a free 6-pack of The Whale when you fill a case. You can also grab 16oz. 4-packs at regular price – Thick & Sticky DIPA, Interrobang IPA, Fat Rips DIPA (Pressure Drop Brewing collaboration) and more. Stay tuned to https://www.facebook.com/communitybeerworks/ for daily specials. They also will deliver their beer directly to you! $50 minimum order ($10 delivery fee). Visit communitybeerworks.com/deliveries for more info.

Pressure Drop Sets Curbside Release for Volcano Bunny Pineapple Sour

In what has become our new normal for beer releases, Pressure Drop Brewing will release Volcano Bunny, a dry-hopped pineapple sour, in cans to-go at the curb on March 25 (3pm). 4-packs of 16oz. cans available for purchase in front of the Barrel Factory on Republic St. The brewery is encouraging contact-less payment for the release – Venmo, PayPal or swiping your own credit card and opting not to sign. They are NOT encouraging cash transactions. 4-packs of Sticky Trees, Buckstar, Strummer, Solenya, Beyond Neptune, More Greener, and Space Monkey Ep. 4 16oz. cans will also be available for purchase.

Resurgence Brewing Celebrates Social Distancing With New Beer

Resurgence Brewing wants us all to practice some safe social distancing and are helping to raise awareness with a brand new beer of the same name. Social Distancing is a hazy Buffalo-Style IPA brewed and dry-hopped with Mosaic, Citra, Vic Secret, Simcoe Cryo & Palisade hops. The new juicy brew features notes of citrus, resin, dank, stone fruit and ripe berries with a soft malt back bone. Social Distancing IPA will be released on March 28 (12pm) in 16oz. 4-pack cans during Resurgence’s curbside pickup at their 55 Chicago St. location. It is also available for pre-order on HopMule (http://app.myhopmule.com).

Belt Line, Rusty Nickel, Big Ditch, West Shore, Steelbound Now Deliver Beer

Stay home and have beer delivered to your door. Order beer from Rusty Nickel (crowlers/kegs) via phone (716-608-6155) or email (Katie@rustynickelbrewing.com). Deliveries available Fridays/Saturdays within a 10-mile radius ($3 fee, $15 minimum). Belt Line is offering beer (crowlers/cans) for delivery. Email orders to beertogo@belt-linebrewing.com. $50 minimum, free delivery within 20 minutes of brewery. Find Hamburg Brewing’s menu online or call 716-649-3249 x0. Prepay online to ensure no physical contact. Free delivery. Check online for delivery availability. Steelbound Springville is offering beer and spirits delivery within five miles (4-8pm). Order Big Ditch beer to be delivered via Grubhub. 6-packs and crowlers of all Big Ditch beer available. West Shore Brewing is delivering Sunday-Thursday to the Greater Buffalo area. Email orders@westshorebrewing.com and check online for availability. Orders (over $45) must be placed the day before. Read more about these and more, here.

Brian Campbell is a Co-Founder and Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).

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42 North’s First ‘Drive-Thru’ Can Release With Night Signal DIPA

With breweries now having to resort to to-go can sales, 42 North Brewing is having their first can release during 42GO Beer Drive-Thru hours on Friday. The next installment of the Pre-Emption Series, Night Signal DIPA, will be available to pick-up right from your car starting Friday from 4pm-7pm. Night Signal will be available everywhere else starting next week. Bottle shops like Aurora Brew Works and beverage centers like Consumers Beverages are still selling beer to-go.

Night Signal is the second DIPA in the Pre-Emption Series. Using Mosaic, Cashmere, and Sabro hops that were never boiled, this incredibly juicy Double IPA expresses a silky mango mouthfeel and melon aroma. A strong 9% ABV is hidden by the refreshing fruity body of this DIPA.

The 42GO Beer Drive-Thru was created to give the local community a chance to continuing purchasing craft beer during these tough times amid the COVID-19 virus that has all small businesses feeling the pressure. Follow 42 North Brewing on social media to find out when the drive-thru is open. The brewery has also partnered up with local restaurants Wallenwein’s, Leo’s Pizzeria, The Globe, Arriba Tortilla (with more to come) where you will receive a coupon for $1 OFF a 4-pack with purchase of a takeout meal.

For more information on 42 North Brewing Company, visit www. 42northbrewing.com.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Bars & Breweries Shut Down, ABW / Fattey Beer Delivery Services, In the Mix Crowler Delivery, 42 North Drive-Thru Beer Store

Governor Andrew Cuomo Orders Bars, Breweries, Restaurants & More to Close

Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered that all bars, breweries and restaurants in New York State be closed effective immediately in order to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus / COVID-19. The closings also include gyms, casinos and movie theatres, while essential businesses like supermarkets and gas stations will be able to stay open. Breweries will be able to remain open [for now] for to-go sales of cans and bottles, as well as crowler and growler fills. In order to see when and if your favorite local brewery will be open for to-go beer sales, check their social media pages.

Have Beer Delivered to Your Door By Aurora Brew Works and Fattey Beer Co.

With breweries, bars and restaurants are closed across the state, Aurora Brew Works and Fattey Beer Co. want to make sure your pint glasses remain full with new delivery services. For ABW, pick from 650+ options from the inventory (https://tinyurl.com/qpzq4z9) and fill out the order form (at least $75 worth of product) (https://forms.gle/ZY3RsAXyCtNQVZnt7). They’ll call you when payment is needed and arrange delivery within a 20 mile radius of East Aurora. For Fattey’s, order via https://fattey-beer.myshopify.com/ and you’ll be contacted via text.  Valid for Amherst, Aurora, Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Elma, Grand Island, Hamburg, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Tonawanda and West Seneca.

Barker’s In The Mix Brewing to Launch Crowler Delivery Service

While Barker, NY’s In the Mix Brewing and Creamery will close as part of the ongoing efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, you can still stock your fridge with their beer and you can get it delivered. Pickups will be available this week with free delivery for orders of over $30 within 10 miles of the brewery ($75+ within Niagara or Erie County (Saturday delivery only)). Beers available include Double IPA #1 & #2, Maple Espresso Brown Ale, Cupid’s Brew Pastry Stout and Illemonati Sour (Blackberry Sage). They will also be open for orders Wednesday-Sunday from 4-7pm.

42 North Sets Up Beer Drive-Thru, Partners with Local Restaurants

If you need fresh beer and don’t want to get out of your car, head down to 42 North Brewing. The brewery has launched 42GO, a drive-thru beer store which will allow customers to safely purchase beer without leaving their vehicles. “It’s critical that local breweries and businesses band together to make it through these challenging times,” Owner John Cimperman says. “Hopefully, even small efforts like these can help keep businesses going and their associates employed. If anyone can get through this, the ‘City of Good Neighbors’ can.” 42N are also partnering with East Aurora restaurants – take out customers will receive a $1 offer coupon for 4/6 pack and $5 off a case.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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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Masters of the IPAiverse: Thin Man Brewery, Other Half Brew Up Hoppy Treat

Introducing Dollar Slice Satellite

It was inevitable really. Buffalo’s Thin Man Brewery and Bloomfield’s Other Half Brewing, two of the top (if not the top two) IPA producers in Western New York, have finally joined forces to brew, what else, a Double IPA brimming with bounteous amounts of hops. Seriously though, what else would you expect of these preeminent purveyors of hoppy liquid? The beer, Dollar Slice Satellite, is a hazy Imperial IPA packed with Simcoe, Belma, Motueka and Hallertau Blanc hops, and was brewed as homage to the pizza satellite dish above the old Casa Di Pizza across from Thin Man’s Elmwood location. Dollar Slice Satellite was brewed in Bloomfield at Other Half’s facility.

Dollar Slice Satellite will be available at Other Half Bloomfield (cans, draft) at noon on March 13 and then at Thin Man Elmwood (11am) and Thin Man Transit (12pm) on March 14 (cans, draft). Thin Man will have approximately 30 cases of cans at each location.

Thin Man Head Brewer Rudy Watkins says that the hoppy collab had been worked on and discussed for some time, and once the stars and planets finally aligned, the busy brewers were able to finally get together and brew up something special.

“We’ve known the folks at OH for a while and had been talking about this for some time, but schedules finally aligned & we were able to get this in the tanks,” Watkins says. “Obviously we’re excited to brew a beer with some of the forefathers of hazy IPA.  It was great to see their brewhouse up close & discuss beer in 2020!”

Inside the brewhouse with Thin Man & Other Half

Other Half COO Andrew Burman calls Dollar Slice Satellite a ‘cute beer,’ and adds that the decision to brew an imperial IPA was made after some consternation between the two breweries. They ultimately went with the style because it falls in each brewery’s wheelhouse.

“Dollar Slice Satellite is one of the cuter beers we’ve had fun with. Those guys at Thin Man are just so great. They are known for a lot of styles of beers, as are we, but I think people just gravitate towards Double IPAs and we wanted to do something that both breweries brew well. We had talked about maybe doing a Berliner [Weisse] or something different, but we ended up feeling that this beer would be the best thing for everybody.”

“In terms of styles, IPA or IIPA seemed to be the obvious choice to brew,” Thin Man Brand Ambassador Mike Shatzel adds. He adds that getting the chance to brew with Other Half was a ‘huge opportunity and experience’ for Thin Man. “Brewing with one of the biggest names In craft beer, not only in the US but the whole world, is a huge step forward for Thin Man.”

Dollar Slice Satellite joins a potent stable of Double / Imperial IPAs from each brewery, including Bliss, one of Thin Man’s core beers, as well as Dank You Easter Bunny and Up Up To the Sky, a collab with Interboro Spirits & Ales and, on the Other Half side, Space Daydream, Space Hallucinations, Vapor Ringz, Citra + Mosaic and High Brightness, just to name a few.

Other Half’s Bloomfield taproom

“Discussions on this happening have been going on quite a while between me and the 3 owners of Other Half,” Shatzel adds. “Over the past few years, I’ve gotten to know & spend some time over pints with Matt Monahan, Sam Richardson and Andrew Burman through many trips to Brooklyn to grab kegs for Moor Pat, ABV and Colter Bay. We also spent a lot of time with the OH crew in Buffalo during the various can releases Other Half held at my locations. Once Thin Man came to fruition, Other Half certainly became one of the big names we hoped to brew with. The Shelton Fest in Buffalo really amped those talks up and we finally figured out a date that would work for both breweries.”

Burman reiterates the long-standing friendship between the breweries, adding that Dollar Slice Satellite is really a beer born out of that relationship Thin Man and Other Half have shared for some time.

“We’ve been friends with Mike for a long time and we [have been] wanting to get together,” Burman says. “Mike has been one of our biggest supporters. I remember seeing him at one of our early anniversary parties before he even had Thin Man and he was always a supporter of us. Before we even started sending kegs of our beer to Western New York, he was always driving down to [Brooklyn] to get them and when we started doing our mobile cans sales, he was one of the first ones we ever worked with.”

If you think that Dollar Slice Satellite is the last we hear from the OH/TM hive mind, you are dead wrong as Burman has already confirmed plans to make the trip to Buffalo and brew another beer together in the coming months, this time at Thin Man.

The new batch of Thin Man’s Diplomatic Immunity IPA

“We are really excited for the release and hope to see a bunch of Western New York beer lovers coming to try it,” Shatzel adds.

In addition to Dollar Slice Satellite, Thin Man will also have fresh cans of a new batch of their Diplomatic Immunity IPA. I had the chance to sample the beer recently and consider it superior to the original batch; noticeably brighter and fruitier with notes of pink grapefruit and citrus capped off by a pleasant, smooth finish. If the first batch turned you off, might I suggest trying it again.

For more information on Dollar Slice Satellite, click here.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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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Ellicottville Brewing Company Buys Empire Brewing

Ellicottville Brewing is expanding their portfolio with the purchase of former Upstate New York brewery Empire Brewing, which shut down last fall. Empire Brewing’s brewpub headquarters in Syracuse’s Armory Square closed in October after it lost its lease and the Empire Farm Brewery in Cazenovia closed soon after it was purchased in a bankruptcy auction. Following the major acquisition, Empire beer will return to draft towers this month, while cans will be available by April.

According to reports, a number of Empire beers, including Black Magic Nitro Stout, Skinny Atlas Light (a kölsch) and Local Grind (a coffee ale), will be returning to the market following the acquisition. Additionally, a new Empire beer, State of Mind New England IPA, is in production at Ellicottville.

Ellicottville Brewing recently completed a major expansion project in Little Valley, NY to allow it to increase capacity. The multi-million dollar project was the next phase for the Western New York brand whose main brewery is attached to its Ellicottville, NY headquarters. The Little Valley Project followed a large expansion at its main location in 2012 and the addition of a new brew pub in Bemus Point in 2016.

EBC Founder and Owner Peter Kreinheder says that the driving force behind the new acquisition was to keep the Empire brand and name alive, while aiding in the growth of Ellicottville Brewing’s distribution throughout New York, especially the central region, and the surrounding states.

“The combined company will allow EBC through the Empire Brand to really get a foothold in Central New York,” Kreinheder says. “I really love the age and depth of Empire’s brand and believed that it needed to live on. With the Little Valley expansion behind us, it was the perfect time to take on the new brand. Our team and capacity will allow us to continue the growth of the Ellicottville brand in NY, Pennsylvania, Ohio and points west and the Empire Brand in NY, PA, New Jersey and points east.”

He adds that the new deal should increase their annual production by approximately 30 percent or about 5,000 barrels. EBC currently produces approximately 14,000 annually. The combined company will move Ellicottville Brewing beyond 20,000 barrels in the next few years.

“I’ve known Empire’s founder David Kateleski for many years, and David plowed the path for many of us NYS Brewers by helping found the NYS Craft Brewers Association,” Kreinheder adds. “The 50 years of experience that David and I bring to the table will be a great asset for our employees and customers as we move forward.”

Empire was founded in 1994, while Ellicottville Brewing was founded in 1995. For more information, please visit https://ellicottvillebrewing.com/.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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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Big Ditch Brewing Announces Plans for New $47 Million Brewery and Taproom  

Big Ditch Brewing Company has unveiled plans to open an opulent new facility on Transit Road, located adjacent to the I-90. The proposed $47 million, 105,000 square foot facility will house a two-story taproom and dining space, beer hall, retail store (beer and merchandise), dynamic outdoor beer garden, company offices and production area.

Big Ditch co-founder Paul Iskalo says that the brewery have filed for all of the necessary permits and hope to begin demotion of the vacant building that are currently at the site in approximately 60 days and start construction mid-Summer. They are hoping to have the new facility ready to open by the end of 2021.

The expansion will upgrade Big Ditch’s brew capacity from 15,000bbls to [approximately] 50,000bbls. Big Ditch President Matt Kahn says that they will be looking to add approximately 250 full and part time employees once the new taproom opens. They currently employ approximately 100 people.

Iskalo explains that the 9-acre site is an assemblage of two parcels, the larger of which is the site of the former Clarion Hotel. The second formerly housed a car dealership. “When our project is complete, it will be a vast improvement over the existing shuttered buildings currently on the site,” he says. It is the very first parcel on land on Cheektowaga as you are leaving Amherst on Transit. “The Transit Road site is exceptional real estate. We acted quickly to secure the property when it first became available, as we could see beyond its current appearance to envision its outstanding potential.”

The two-story front portion of the new building will feature dining areas on both floors. The taproom and beer hall areas will be located on the first floor together with a private dining room and retail store. The second floor will house additional taproom seating, Brewer’s Lounge, three additional private dining/meeting rooms and a private event venue with a capacity for over 200 guests. There will also be a Tasting and Education Room on the second floor leading to viewing area above the viewing area for group tours. More than half of the brewery will be dedicated to the production brewery. As with their current home, the new space will also pay homage to the Erie Canal in terms of theme and decor.

“It’s time for Big Ditch to take the next step,” Iskalo said.

Kahn says that the new facility was needed to not only increase the brewery’s market visibility and distribution footprint, but to also keep up with increasing demand for their product and aid in their long-term growth plan. Their flagship Hayburner IPA, one of the most widely available and best-selling beers in the city, is a true market leader.

“The new brewery will have outstanding sight visibility from both Transit Road and the interstate,” Kahn adds, “which will add significant exposure for the Big Ditch Brewing brand and will be large enough to accommodate our long term growth. The impotence for the project is the increasing demand for Big Ditch beer, via existing and new products, as well as a continued expansion of our distribution footprint to new markets. Our downtown brewery is currently operating at full capacity as were currently three shifts, 24 hours a day, to meet current demands. A new facility is needed to meet increasing demands and therefore grow our business. That’s why this site expansion is so timely and necessary, as it will allow us to really ramp-up production.”

 The current downtown taproom will remain in operation during and after construction of the new facility, when it will transition to more research and development on the brewery side.

“The capacity freed up at the downtown brewery will allow us to increase our focus on R&D of new and innovative beers, which is the part of the business we really enjoy,” Kahn says. He adds that the currently taproom will be used for small batch beers, which could then be scaled up at the new facility depending on demand.

Kahn explains that another reason for the new taproom is to help anchor and increase craft beer tourism traffic in the area. It will also allow for the brewery to host larger gatherings than they are currently equipped for.

“At 105,000 square feet, the new brewery is envisioned to anchor the burgeoning craft beer tourism industry that is blossomed in our region over the past decade. The new taproom will serve as a suburban complement to our highly successful downtown taproom and the event venues in the new building will allow us to host larger events than we are currently able to accommodate at our downtown facility. The planning for this new facility has been extremely exciting as a big step for our company.”

There are still some steps to get through before the project can officially proceed, Kahn admits. Iskalo says that they have filed for their approvals with the Town of Cheektowaga, as well as for sales, property and mortgage incentives with the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for the non-retail portion of the project, which will be passed along to Big Ditch upon approval, which should come within 60-90 days.

“The scale of this project, and its location and visibility, will further cement our region as a must-do, must-see location for beer tourism and for craft beer enthusiasts. It is our hope that through this facility and the growth of beer tourism in our area that all craft breweries will benefit. Big Ditch has earned a reputation for making great craft beer, Iskalo has a reputation for developing for great projects and I can share that both companies work hard to protect this reputation and will settle for nothing less than excellence. Working together, we hope to create an exceptional brewery that our region can be proud of and enjoy.”

Kahn says that they have confidence in this project’s success and that they will be able to grow their brand through that success. He adds that, with all of the breweries in the area expanding and opening second and even third locations, the thought of market saturation didn’t scare them.

“We’ve been growing at a pretty fast rate for years now and we’ve been talking about this project for years. Being that we are currently at full capacity, we have a lot of demand from our existing markets, distributors and retailers and even more increasing demand from outside of our existing markets, we have good confidence that once we open this new brewery we will be able to add new products and new markets quickly.”

“We’ve been talking about and planning this for some time. We’ve done research with our retail partners and distributor partners and compared our region to other similarly sized regions and we know that there is a lot more room for local craft beer to grow in our region. This is a calculated move, knowing that there is that room, but regardless of that, we know that Big Ditch beer has room to grow. Our distributors have been asking us for more products, we have a lot of great ideas in the tank we’d like to move forward with and regardless of saturation, there is room for all of our local breweries to grow and thrive here.”

For more information, visit http://www.bigditchbrewing.com.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBAs 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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