A Showcase for Hops: Our Favorite Beer from the 3rd Annual Winter Hop Fest

Here’s Mark Jowett himself enjoying some lovely Resurgence beers.

Another year, another sold out Winter Hop Fest at the Gene McCarthy’s, an event that is quickly becoming a must-attend in the Buffalo beer community. Not only is the beer top notch year in and year out, this year very much included, but for the past two years Mother Nature has more than cooperated. Today was a touch on the cold side (when compared to last year’s unseasonable weather), but at least it didn’t rain, or, gasp, snow. It still is February by the way.

Two of our favorite people – Buffalo Brewing’s John Domres, left, and 12 Gates’ Scott Shuler, right.

The 2018 Winter Hop Fest featured the latest and hoppiest of beers from Buffalo Brewing Company, Old First Ward Brewing, 12 Gates, Community Beer Works, Big Ditch, Thin Man, Rusty Nickel, Hamburg Brewing, Four Mile, Flying Bison, 42 North, Resurgence, Buffalo Brewing and Woodcock Brothers, among others.

Presenting the Executive Board of the Buffalo Beer Goddesses.

We know we’re weird. When we go to beer festivals, we take a lot of pictures, keep a lot of lists and take a lot of notes, so articles like this can be possible. With an honorable mention to Woodcock Brothers’ brand new XPA 6.2 (which was damn good in its own right), these were our favorite beers from the 3rd Annual Winter Hop Fest (in no particular order):

Flying Bison’s team was eager to serve. Nice mug Vinny.

42 North Brewing GMO New England IPA: You could put Galaxy and Mosaic hops in just about anything and we’d drink it. We get it, we’re suckers. Maybe even homers. But put those hops into a new 42 North New England IPA pilot and we’re sold. Hence why it made this list – you guys remember Preemption right? Enough said.

Community Beer Works’ Bang a’Uey NEIPA makes its debut.

Community Beer Works Bang A ‘Uey New England IPA: This was a great debut for this beer. Super juicy with loads of oats and sexy Mosaic hops. Looking forward to this being on tap at CBW soon.

The Big Ditch team is all smiles.

Big Ditch Brewing Innovation Series: Dave’s New England IPA: The future Lock IPA #4 makes another one of our favorite beer lists (check out our Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational highlight list). Big Ditch knows their way around hazy IPA’s and this entry into the Innovation Series was no different – a hint of melon with a nice soft finish.

Domres and Jowett with a photobomb from West Shore Brewing’s Josh Dziomba.

Buffalo Brewing 1825 Triple Dry Hopped 1825 IPA: This one was all the hops. El Dorado and Amarillo in the whirlpool and triple dry hopped with Idaho 7 and Azacca. And it was only 5.5%. We’re already planning a trip to the brewery to drink some more of this bad boy.

OFW Head Brewer Bryan Kirchmeyer, right, leads Team OFW into battle.

Old First Ward Streaker IPA on Cask: MOAR GALAXY HOPS. Just the right amount of dank in this cask version of Streaker. We might have to put Galaxy hops on our toast in the morning to satisfy our addiction.

Thin Man’s Rudy Watkins, left, and SATO Brewpub’s Drew Hardin, right.

Thin Man Amarillo Double IPA: A great representation of Amarillo with some melon notes and a slightly bitter finish.

CBW’s resident photag Kyle gets the camera turned on him.

Above all else, the Winter Hop Fest is not only a celebration of beer, it’s a celebration of friends and community. You’re going to want to buy tickets to the 2019 Winter Hop Fest as soon as they go on sale, because they go fast every year. We’ll see you there.

*****Many thanks to our man-on-the-scene Mark Jowett for the photos and the tasting notes. Without him this would not be possible.

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 at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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Resurgence Brewing Expanding to Massive New Location in Old First Ward

Resurgence Brewing are expanding again, this time in a big way with a move to a new location at 55 Chicago Street in the Old First Ward.

The 25,000 square foot facility, located at the historic Cooperage property near Ohio Street, will allow Resurgence to increase their production, expand distribution throughout New York State and help revitalize the vacant building. Tentative plans call for a 2 story taproom with food service in the existing Pattern Building, banquet space for parties of all sizes, and open air beer gardens for guests to enjoy. They hope to have the facility operational by late summer.

“We have been looking for the right building in the city for a couple years now. This facility will allow us to meet local demand for our products and expand our offerings,” Jeff Ware, Resurgence Brewing president and founder, says. “The plan is to use the new brewery to more efficiently make our core brands, allowing us to focus more on innovation and small batch experimentation over at Niagara Street.”

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 really wanted to stay in the city. We truly believe in the neighborhoods of Buffalo and are excited to be a part of another one!” Ware adds.

As for Resurgence’s current Niagara Street home, which has served as their home for the past four years, the facility will remain open and transition to a pilot research and development facility. Ware says that the Niagara Street location will downsize its tanks to make much smaller batches and lots of them and they are planning to bring in other local beers to have on tap as well. Additionally, Ware says that the opening of their proposed Batavia facility could be pushed backed to late 2018 or 2019.

In addition to a new Resurgence Brewing space, project developers for the former Cooperage building are also planning additional retail spaces, one with 5,000 square feet for a distillery and one with 2,000 square feet that is still available, six apartments with a mix of one, two and three bedrooms and a large enclosed open space with a multi-use gymnasium.

For more information, visit http://www.resurgencebrewing.com/. Resurgence will hold their annual Summer Party, which features new beers on tap, live music and food trucks, on Saturday, June 9. Stay tuned to https://www.facebook.com/events/157312171588004/ as more details will be announced in the coming weeks and months.

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: Resurgence Expands to Old First Ward, New BA Scotch Ale at 42 North, Barrel Room Jam at Five & 20, Windy Brew First Anniversary

Resurgence Brewing Expanding to New Location in Old First Ward

Resurgence Brewing are expanding again, this time in a big way with a move to a new location at 55 Chicago Street in the Old First Ward. The 25,000 square foot facility, located at the historic Cooperage property near Ohio Street, will allow Resurgence to increase production, expand their distribution throughout NYS and help revitalize the vacant building. Tentative plans call for a 2 story taproom with food service in the existing Pattern Building, banquet space for parties of all sizes, and open air beer gardens for guests to enjoy. They hope to have the facility operational by late summer.

42 North Takes Ben Nevis Scotch Ale to the Next Level

42 North are upping their scotch ale game with a new barrel aged version of their Ben Nevis Scotch Ale. Named after the highest mountain in the British Isles located in Scotland, Bourbon Barrel Aged Ben Nevis (7% ABV), which already features notes of sweet caramel, was aged for one month in freshly emptied Woodford Reserve and Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels for a balanced vanilla and bourbon addition. If you missed this oaky, smoky treat at the recent Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational, now is your chance to grab a pour as it will be released on draft on March 3.

First Barrel Room Jam at Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing

The first Barrel Room Jam of 2018 at Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing in Westfield takes place on March 2 (5:30-8:30pm), with singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Charity Nuse, formerly of Big Leg Emma. Best known for her powerful, sultry vocals and unique mandolin sound, she plays a complimentary mixture of blues/country/rock that should pair well with a pint of Five & 20 beer or Mazza wine and food from Bird. The special event will emanate from Five & 20’s barrel room. The next Barrel Room Jam will take place April 27 with Abby & Pat Doyle of Gem City Revival.

Strykersville’s Windy Brew to Celebrate One Year with Party, Expansion

It may be hard to believe, but the doors at Strykersville’s Windy Brew have been open for an entire year already and it’s time to celebrate at the brewery on March 10 (4-9pm). In honor of the special occasion, Windy Brew will release a new Mango Pale Ale, the Party Hounds will provide live music from 4-9pm and Center Street Smoke House food truck will be on hand. Windy Brew have also announced plans to expand their brewhouse from 3 to 10 barrels and are also considering adding food service, including flat bread pizzas, tater tot poutine, and soft pretzels.

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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Resurgence Brewing Ups the Brunch Game with Kegs & Eggs

Brunch is great and all, we all know this, but Resurgence Brewing are looking to take the time honored tradition to the next level with their Kegs & Eggs event, which takes place Sunday, February 25 at 11am (food at 11:30am). So on Sunday, come hungry, but more importantly, come thirsty, because the brewery is prepared to quench said thirst with 10 new and experimental beers.

For anyone who is not familiar with Kegs & Eggs, Resurgence takes half of their ‘everyday’ beers off tap and replace them with special one-off brews. Typically there are 8 new beers plus 2 cask brews in total. There is roughly only 1 keg of each brew available, and most of the time they are never brewed again.

Make sure to skip breakfast before you hit the brewery because they are bringing back their popular Breakfast Garbage Plates – potatoes, mac salad, scrambled eggs, sausage patties, meat sauce, bacon and a biscuit, all for $10, for Kegs & Eggs.

And you know what a Breakfast Garbage Plate would pair well with? Either one of two prepared flights of four experimental beers or either one of two special cask beers that Resurgence will have available for the event.

Flight #1 features Uncle Oatus Pale Ale 2.0 (5.5%), Zythos Single Hop IPA (5.5%), English IPA (5.5%) and Pina Colada Milkshake IPA (6.0%) and Flight #2 has Southern Breakfast Ale (6.5%), Chipotle Bock (7.0%), PB Porter w/ Hefe Yeast (6.0%) and Bacon Stout (7.0%). The cask beers (available by the glass only) are Head in the Clouds DIPA w/ Melons and one still yet to be determined. Flights are priced at $8, each beer by the glass is $6.

For more information, check out Kegs & Eggs event page here.

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 at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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14 Highlights from the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational (In Beer Form)

To put it plainly – there was a lot of great beer at the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational this past weekend, which moved to New York Beer Project for the first time this year. Looking back at the event, we’re over the moon that we decided to keep a list of our favorites, because otherwise, who knows. And thank goodness for Untappd.

From New England IPA’s to barrel aged sours, a 17% Eisbock and even a cask beer, the Brewers Invitational really did offer something for everyone. Great atmosphere, great turnout, great people – it was so much fun to be able to catch up with all of our beer friends under one roof. We also had the chance to meet Patrick from One-Eyed Cat Brewing and sample some of his beers, which was a highlight of the event, as was getting to enjoy the last bottle of 12 Gates Brewing/Woodcock Brothers Brewing seXPAnther Black NEIPA. So there’s that.

Hopefully you were able to spend your Saturday afternoon in Lockport surrounded by hundreds of fellow minded beer drinkers at the Brewers Invitational, but if you didn’t, shame on you, but there’s always next year. As for the beer, here are some of the best we had.

12 Gates Brewing DDH West Coast IPA on Cask with Amarillo and Citra: This one makes the list partially because it was the only cask beer available, but more so because it was so juicy and so bright.

12 Gates Brewing My Aching Bock: Not only was this treat the first true Eisbock we’ve ever had from an American brewer, it also clocked in at 17%. Yes, you read that right. It was a velvety smooth sipper for sure.

42 North Brewing Barrel Aged Ben Nevis Scotch Ale: This one was a little bit smoky and a little bit oaky. The booze shone through too, which made this barrel aged beer stand out.

42 North Brewing Rambler Barrel Aged Brett Saison: Loads of delicious funk in a glass and just the latest memorable release from 42 Below Barrel Room. We had this one first with an unsullied palette, and we’re glad we did.

Big Ditch Brewing Citraburner: Citraburner was the best IPA was drank at the Brewers Invitational. Hands down. It featured bright citrus and ripe melon – just wonderful all around.

Big Ditch Brewing Innovation Series: Dave’s New England-Style IPA: As evidenced by their Lock IPA series, Big Ditch knows their way around hazy IPA’s. This entry into the Innovation Series was good – a hint of melon with a nice soft finish.

New York Beer Project Funky Zombie #4: This is the Zombie Saison aged on 168 pounds of apricots. It was a bit pissy (think wet hay) with a touch of barnyard funk.

New York Beer Project Zombie Saison: Just the right amount of funk and just the right amount of tart. Not a palette wrecker by any means.

Pearl Street Brewery Grapefruit Sabre’s Edge Double IPA: So fresh and so juicy. This was a wonderful beer to drink last because it left us with a smile on our face. We hope they make more of this.

Pressure Drop Brewing Panic Attacks: Enjoyed this one side by side with its sister beer Night Terrors. Pine and citrus highlighted this beer and the clean, crisp finish was a nice change of pace from the haze.

Stillhouse Brewery Fat Porter: Speaking of change of pace, this porter was the utter definition of that. The rich chocolate melded well with the sugary sweetness of the honey. Can’t wait for more from these guys.

Southern Tier Brewing Brett Barrel Aged Cherry Gose: This was one of, if not the, best beer I personally drank at the event. It was so well balanced – mouth-puckering with just the right amount of tart fruit. Sadly, I did not grab a second pour of this, although I really wish that I had.

Thin Man Brewery Night Terrors New England IPA: Enjoyed this one side by side with its sister beer Panic Attacks. Juicy tropical fruit was the name of the game here.

West Shore Brewing Green Flyer New England IPA: While we’re fond of their Historical Rail Pale Ale, Green Flyer might just be the best beer West Shore has ever brewed – big tropical hops with a smooth and soft finish. We went back and seconds, and thirds.

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: Can-Am Tickets on Sale, Kegs & Eggs at Resurgence, Spot Coffee Stout at Flying Bison, CBW Beer Cocktails at Hydraulic Hearth

Tickets on Sale Now For Inaugural Can-Am Beer Festival

Tickets for the first ever Canadian American (Can-Am) Beer Festival, which takes place on April 7 (3-7pm) at the Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls, are on sale now ($10-$50). The unique cross-border beer fest will see reps from 40 craft breweries from Ontario and Western New York collaborating on special one-off craft beers. Can-Am will also feature Canadian dishes paired with Can-Am brews as Chef Krista van Wagner will coordinate Meet the Brewer taste sessions and international experts like world renowned beer writer Stephen Beaumont and culinary expert Gary Toraville will also be on hand. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite.

Flying Bison Spot Coffee Stout Is Coming Back This Week

Spot Coffee Stout, one of Flying Bison’s more beloved seasonal releases, will make its 2018 debut on February 24 (12pm) on draft and in bottles. This year’s version features Papua New Guinea Kunjin beans roasted by SPoT Coffee’s roastery at the corner of Delaware & Chippewa. Spot Coffee will be on hand at the beer release party serving cups of coffee brewed from the same batch of beans, bags of whole beans will be available to purchase and take home and 13 ounce hot/cold glass mugs with both Spot & Flying Bison logos will be available for purchase as well.

Beers Meets Breakfast at Resurgence Brewing’s Kegs & Eggs

Resurgence Brewing are back this month with Kegs & Eggs on February 25, 12-5pm. If you don’t know how Kegs & Eggs works, it’s pretty damn simple. Resurgence expands their beer board to include a number of one-off limited brews, and pairs them with breakfast food. IPA’s, fruited beers, barrel aged goodness and maybe even a cask offering or two – everything is fair game when it comes to Kegs & Eggs. Breakfast garbage plates will again be served while you enjoy flights of experimental brews that will be rolled out for the event. Don’t miss out on these limited brews.

Community Beer Works Beers and Craft Cocktails Collide at Hydraulic Hearth

On February 22 (4-10pm), Community Beer Works is taking over the taps at Hydraulic Hearth, but this isn’t your ordinary tap takeover. Each CBW brew will be featured in a cocktail with a purpose to push the boundaries of what beer can do in a cocktail glass. For example, a martini (Beertini perhaps?) made with CBW Dreizehn Pilsner could be among the beer cocktails. Original bar manager Chris Guilmet will return as guest bartender. Make reservations at HydraulicHearth.com. CBW will also have a cask of Citra dry-hopped Interrobang IPA conditioned on sweet orange peels at the brewery on February 21 (3pm).

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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Panic Attacks vs. Night Terrors: Thin Man, Pressure Drop Pit East Coast vs. West Coast With New IPA’s

East Coast vs. West Coast. Tupac vs. Biggie. West Coast-style IPA’s vs. New England-style IPA’s. And now it’s Thin Man Brewery and Pressure Drop Brewing who are keeping the coast-to-coast battle raging by pitting dank against haze with their new duel collaboration series, Panic Attacks and Night Terrors. Both beers will hit taps this week. Pressure Drop will send kegs to Thin Man to serve and vice versa, so both beers will be available at both locales.

The series features the same beer brewed at each location, with Panic Attacks, a filtered West Coast-style IPA, being brewed at Pressure Drop and Night Terrors, a hazy New England-style IPA, brewed at Thin Man. Each beer features the same grain bill and hop bill, Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe and CTZ (all extract, dry hopped with pellet), but the true difference is that Panic Attacks is brewed with West Coast Ale Yeast and Night Terrors is brewed with London Ale III yeast.

Thin Man/Pressure Drop’s Night Terrors

“It’s a beer experiment,” Pressure Drop Head Brewer Karl Kolbe says. “We want people to be able to have these side by side and taste both the beers.” According to Kolbe, Thin Man’s Night Terrors is a ‘fruit salad’ that features tropical pineapple notes, while Panic Attack is crystal clear and very crisp with a clean finish.

“Why the same beer? It’s fun and informative to both the customer and us,” Thin Man’s Rudy Watkins adds, “to see the impacts of process and a few different ingredients on a beer. There are going to be similarities for sure, but lots of differences too. So basically all grain and hops were the same. We used different yeast (his is American, ours in English) l treated our water differently & I added the whirlpool hops at a lower temperature than he did. He’s filtering his beer & ours will be hazy. I think that you’re gonna see more bitterness come through on Pressure Drop’s version, a bit more juicy on ours. Karl’s will also be a little higher in ABV and drier. It’ll be fun to see which the customer prefers.”

Watkins says that the genesis of the collaborations dates back to well before Kolbe moved back to Buffalo for good. “Karl and I had talked about doing a beer together forever ago. We first met when he was home visiting from California and came into CBW. It just didn’t come together until now!”

Thin Man/Pressure Drop’s Panic Attacks

And as for the names of the beers, Watkins admits that those were inspired by the life of a brewer and the stress that comes with the job. “Both Karl and I are… stressed people. At one point we were having a conversation where we realized we both wake up in the middle of the night fretting about our beers and just can’t get back to sleep.”

“When Rudy and I were coming up with the recipes, I said to him that we should name the beers something similar but different,” Kolbe adds. “And I said what if we called it Panic Attacks and Night Terrors, and he liked it, so he picked Night Terrors. I mean, how many times have we [as brewers] woken up in the middle of the night to wonder how the yeast is doing and then don’t fall asleep for like three hours. Sometimes you lose a little sleep over you beer.”

Regardless of your IPA preference, grab a pint of both Night Terrors and Panic Attacks and judge for yourself. Do you like the haze and the juice or do you prefer the dank? Take part in the experiment and who knows, you might find out something entirely new about yourself. Or at least about the IPA’s you drink.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/pressurebrewers/ and https://www.facebook.com/ThinManBrewery/. You can also find out more about the beer release at https://www.facebook.com/events/1763189783990043/.

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: Buffalo Winter Hop Fest, New Woodcock XPA’s, Belgian Beer and Chocolate Fest, New Brewery Planning for West Side

Celebrate All Things Hops at the Buffalo Winter Hop Fest

The Buffalo Winter Hop Fest returns to Gene McCarthy’s for its second year on February 24 (1-4pm). The annual celebration will feature beer from OFW Brewing, 12 Gates, Community Beer Works, Big Ditch, Thin Man, Rusty Nickel, Hamburg Brewing, Four Mile, Flying Bison, 42 North, Resurgence, Buffalo Brewing, Pressure Drop and Woodcock Brothers. You can also enjoy samples of hop infused spirits from Lockhouse. For $25 you will receive a logo tasting glass for sampling, hopped up hot chili will be for sale and $5 growler fills will be available at the end of the festival. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite.

Two New Versions of Woodcock XPA Coming

The next two iterations of Woodcock Brothers Brewing’s beloved XPA series, XPA 6.2 and Galaxy Dry Hopped XPA 6.2, will be released at the brewery on Feb. 24. Version 6.2 is hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Azacca, then double dry hopped with all three for citrusy, tropical and dank flavors. XPA 6.2 is draft only and will be distributed throughout WNY. Galaxy Dry Hopped XPA 6.2 is brewed the same, but is dry hopped with Galaxy. A small amount of cans will also see distribution throughout WNY. Cans and draft go on sale at noon (limits 1 case per person).

Indulge in Belgian Beers and Chocolates at Pizza Plant

Pizza Plant’s Belgian Beer and Chocolate Fest, an annual February tradition and favorite of beer fans, returns for a ninth year on Feb. 13 (7pm) at the Plant’s Transit Road location. The annual event pairs locally made decadent chocolates from Chow Chocolat with equally decadent true-to-form Belgian beers from the likes of Ommegang and Duvel (which would pair perfectly with a stuffed pizza and a pod). There might also be some surprise Belgian beers on tap and in bottles as well. Hey, you never know. Beer is pay-as-you-go and will also be available in flights. For more information, visit www.pizzaplant.com.

Historic West Side Fire House Targeted for New Brewery

A historic former West Side fire house that sits at 310 Jersey Street, located near Symphony Circle, may soon be transformed into Buffalo’s newest brewery. Project X Holdings LLC, who purchased the 12,400 sq. ft. building last February for $435,000 after previous plans to turn it into apartments fell through, are looking to turn the former Engine Hose No. 2/Hook & Ladder No. 9 firehouse into a brewery/restaurant. Plans call for a studio apartment, one-story addition, façade alterations, and the addition of an outdoor dining patio out front. The project has been referred to the Common Council Committee on Legislation.

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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12 Gates, Woodcock Brothers Bring the Sexy With seXPAnther

Picture it – the lights are dimmed, the candles are lit, Earth, Wind and Fire or maybe some Barry White is emanating throughout the room; it’s Valentine’s Day and the chocolate covered strawberries have already been nibbled, the long stem roses are in water. You reach for something bubbly, but it’s not champagne or red wine, it’s a different adult libation to help set the mood, a Black New England IPA called seXPAnther.

Or as Paul Rudd’s Brian Fantana says in Anchorman, “It’s called Sex Panther by Odeon. It’s illegal in nine countries. Yep, it’s made with bits of real panther. So you know it’s good. They’ve done studies you know. 60% of the time, it works, every time.”

This sexy little number will be released at 12 Gates Brewing on Valentine’s Day, February 14, at 4pm. The beer will also be available in Woodcock’s taproom as well.

seXPAnther is the brainchild of 12 Gates Head Brewer Scott Shuler and Woodcock Brothers Head Brewer Matt Redpath, who were looking for a unique new project to partner on, one that would pair well with quoting Anchorman and roaring like a panther while pawing the air. And in all honesty, isn’t that what we are all looking for?

“seXPAnther has been an ongoing conversation with Matt [Redpath],” Shuler says. “We wanted to brew something fun, unique, and expressive. The timing worked out for a Valentine’s Day release so we played off the holiday. And Matt and I love quoting lines from movies and emulating wild animals.”

The crux of the beer was to combine Woodcock’s XPA series with black IPA’s that Shuler enjoys brewing into relatively new style, Black New England IPA.

“It came up as a joke when we watched that scene out of Anchorman,” Redpath adds. “I always thought it would be a great name for a beer and began envisioning what seXPAnther would look like as a beer. We had joke of using XPA in seXPA and doing the collab, but when he texted me to do the seXPA collab, immediately I saw Panther. So I responded about doing seXPAnther and we began brainstorming the recipe.”

While black IPA’s lend themselves to dark malts, big hops and more roast, NEIPA’s are more fruit forward leaning towards juicier flavors. Redpath says he always envisioned this beer as a truly hoppy one and made sure that each hop that went into the kettle served a purpose. They even added in some sugar to punch it up a bit.

“I [always] envisioned it as a hoppy beer,” Redpath says. “The first hop that came to me immediately was Summit, for its pungent catty profile. We decided on Summit, Mosaic and Citra. Summit for its catty essence, Citra and Mosaic for their muskiness that they exude. The idea evolved into a Black IPA because it is a panther. However, we wanted it to be strong, so it had to be higher alcohol. We decided to throw dextrose sugar in the kettle to give it a nice high octane and maybe a little fusel to give some heat, like a seXPAnther should be. In the end, we’re hoping for a catty musky high octane seXPAnther, hoping that it will tingle the nostrils and water your eyes.”

“We are shooting for 8.0% ABV, 69 IBU, and 60% of the time it works every time,” Shuler quips.

“Hopefully, it won’t taste like bigfoots dick or a burnt hair on a turd,” Redpath jokes.

So, come this Valentine’s Day, remember the name – seXPAnther. And no, it does not smell like pure gasoline, a used diaper filled with Indian food, a turd covered in burnt hair or even Bigfoot’s dick. We can promise you that. So, this Valentine’s Day, don’t reach for a pint of London Gentleman, or Blackbird’s Delight – reach for an ice cold seXPAnther.

For more information on the seXPAnther release, visit the event page. 12 Gates will also be serving be serving 10oz. pours of the beer paired with 4 samples of Antoinette’s Sweets Chocolates for $6.90.

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 Niagara Brewers Invitational Returns with a Bang

After taking a year off, the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational is making a triumphant return in 2018, with the second iteration of the intimate festival shaping up to be both bigger and better than the first. The event will take place Saturday, February 17 at New York Beer Project (3-7pm General Admission, 2-7pm for Buffalo Beer League members).

The goal of the Brewers Invitational is to bring together the very best the Buffalo-Niagara region has to offer via dozens and dozens of rare, one-off beers you won’t find anywhere else, many of which were brewed specifically for the BNBI. Representatives from each brewery will also be on hand to answer all of your pertinent beer questions.

This unique event will feature beer from 12 Gates Brewing, 42 North Brewing, Big Ditch Brewing, Community Beer Works, Ellicottville Brewing, Five and 20 Spirits and Brewing, Flying Bison Brewing, Four Mile Brewing, Gordon Biersch, Hamburg Brewing, New York Beer Project, Pan Am Grill & Brewery, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, Resurgence Brewing, Southern Tier Brewing, Woodcock Brothers Brewing and more.

The tentative beer list has been announced (subject to change) and is as follows:

12 Gates: My Aching Bock Eisbock, DDH West Coast Style IPA (cask)
42 North: Rambler Barrel-Aged Brett Saison, Barrel Aged Ben Nevis Scotch Ale
Big Ditch Brewing Company: Innovation Series Beer: Daves New England IPA, Citraburner
Blackbird Cider Works: Buffalo Bluegrass Bourbon Barrel Aged Semi-Dry Cider, Dabinett
Brickyard Brewing Company: White Bronco NE IPA, Stained Glass No. 1 Belgian Quad
Buffalo Brewing Company: DDH Rye IPA, Oatmeal DDH Session IPA
Community Beer Works: Jeanie’s Table Beer (Belgian Table Beer), Beer is for Closers Espresso Milk Stout
Ellicottville Brewing Company: St. Jacob’s Oak Aged Stout, Somethin’ Hazee NEIPA
Five and 20: Rhiskey Business Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Rye Pale Ale, Imperial Stout
Flying Bison: Bourbon Bean Stout, Thundersnow IPA
Four Mile Brewing: Russian Imperial Stout, Pale Ale #13
Gordon Biersch: Roggenbier, Provocative Porter
Hamburg Brewing Company: No Lux, Hamburg Lager
Lafayette Brewing Company: Teddy’s Tripel
New York Beer Project: Farmhouse/Saison, Belgian Quad
Pearl Street Brewery: Sabre’s Edge DIPA with Grapefruit
Pressure Drop Brewing: Sticky Trees IPA, Death Lettuce DIPA
Resurgence: R&D 10 New England IPA, Peanut Butter Porter
Rusty Nickel: Hometown Heroes IPA, TBD
Southern Tier: Brett Barrel Aged Cherry Gose, 2017 Manhattan Barrel Aged Strong
Stillhouse Brewery: Alpha Ralpha IPA, Fat Porter
Thin Man Brewery: Mulled Belgian Ale, Apple Brandy Imperial Stout, Dark Mild Brown Ale
West Shore Brewing Company: Green Flyer New England IPA, Paczki Day Belgian Dubbel
Windy Brew: Farmer’s Juice, Chocolate Cherry Stout
Woodcock Brothers: Saving Private Rye’n Ale, Lake Town Brown Ale

Tickets for the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational are on sale now for $45 and can be purchased at Eventbrite (Designated Driver tickets are also available for $10). This will be a limited attendance 3 hour event (4 hours for card carrying BNBA Enthusiasts) where guests will be treated to a VIP style event experience the entire duration of the event. Guests will receive a commemorative festival glass, a $5 voucher (good for any beer themed plates from NYBP’s menu) and access to all beer. Only 400 tickets will be on sale.

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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