42 North Creating ‘Beer Campus’ Destination in East Aurora

An aerial view of the expansion project

“A lot of breweries are opening satellite locations, which is great, but we’re focused on doubling down on East Aurora and creating a true destination,” 42 North Brewing Owner John Cimperman says. “Between the brewery, 42 Below Barrel House and this new expansion, we have a chance to create a true beer campus.” The new 6,600 square foot expansion will allow 42 North to not only increase their brewing capacity and packaging ability, but will also allow them to up their footprint and investment in their hometown of East Aurora.

“We actually debated it, opening another location in another town,” Cimperman admits. “We had a lot of people trying to pull us into other buildings in other areas of Western New York, but we ultimately wanted to focus our resources here in East Aurora. There is room to grow for us here. This is the Mothership.”

Inside the new production area

With the expansion, 42 North will have the capacity to produce 15,000 barrels of beer annually. They are currently on pace for 3,000bbls this year. “I think that’s a really good sweet spot for a regional brewery,” Cimperman says. “We now have the facilities to not only brew the beer, but also to can it, package it and store it as well.”

To make way for the expansion, 42 North knocked down a neighboring building that they acquired last fall. They then connected their new structure to their existing brewery. The new space will feature an expanded production area with a new dedicated canning line (they plan to continue to bottle manually), additional fermenters and bright tanks and a massive new cooler you can fit a forklift in. The space will also house a new bookable banquet/party/meeting area, offices, storage and four brand new AirBnB units, one handicap accessible unit downstairs and three more upstairs, which overlook the beer garden, as well as one with a window into the brewhouse itself. The new space also features three glass garage doors that will open right into the beer garden.

Garage doors open into the beer garden

“I keep pushing the guys to brew more beer,” Cimperman jokes, “and they kept asking me ‘where are we going to put it?’ The primary reason we built this building is for this area. If we are going to expand, we needed more room for packaging and a much bigger cooler, so that’s the primary reason we bought this space. But we also asked ourselves, as we start to create this destination, what else can we do with this venue? What can we do to drive more people into the taproom and grow our brand, so the big idea was these four AirBnB units.”

The AirBnB units, which measure approximately 400 square feet each, will all have their own theme, Buffalo, Music, Agriculture and Prohibition chiefly among them. “Each room is going to have its own unique feel to it,” Cimperman says. Moving forward, they will be branded The Lofts at 42.

Three upstairs AirBnB units

He explains that when you book one of the units, you’ll check-in at the bar to get your room key and a growler of beer before you head off to your room. The inspiration for the lofts came from his stay at the Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery in Calistoga, California.

“We stayed at the Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery, a beer/brewery hotel, 20 years ago and we never forgot it. Also following most recently, what BrewDog has been doing with their Doghouse hotel in Columbus, Stone Brewing is opening a hotel in San Diego and Dogfish Head’s Inn, inspired us. This helps us bring more people into the brewery and into the taproom, and for us it’s a nice way for people to come here and share their stories.”

The expansion as seen from the beer project

They will also be adding 8-9 parking spots to their parking lot, as well as a backlit giant steel 42 North Compass logo to the outside of the building.

“This [project] just fits this town perfectly,” 42 North’s Brand and Distribution Manager Zach Keller adds. “To stay here in town now, there’s the Roycroft or the Hampton Inn, two very different types of places to stay, and we think we’re somewhere in the middle. The Roycroft truly is the essence of East Aurora, and we feel we are more contemporary. The transparency that these rooms will have, from looking directly into the brewery and out into the beer garden, is going to be educational, fun and sexy. We’re stoked for these. From the lofts to 42 Below, you’re going to be able to walk around this place and experience multiple facets of our process.”

Inside the new building

They are hoping to be open by late July / early August, with Cimperman indicating that they might be open even before that.

“There are a lot of chances for a lot of happenings here for us,” Keller adds. “For instance, there’s the Backyard Bash, which takes place every Tuesday in the summer, where hundreds of people hang out in the parking lot behind Vidlers [5 and 10] and enjoy live music. It fits nicely with everything else that’s going on around here.”

A view from the parking lot

“This definitely fits the vibe of what is currently happening in East Aurora,” Cimperman says.

For more information, visit https://www.42northbrewing.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 for Step Out Buffalo. 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: Froth’s First Can Release, Resurgence’s 5th Anniversary, 2nd Annual People’s Choice Award, CBW’s EVA IPA

Froth Brewing to Hold First Ever Can Release

Froth Brewing Company, one of Buffalo’s newest breweries, will hold their first ever can release on June 9 (10am). The brewery will release Lemon Cherry Sourbet, the next installment of their Sour IPA Sourbet Series, which was done with milk sugar, Mosaic hops, candied lemon peel and sweet cherry purée (think cherry lemonade sorbet) and DiMaggio, their flagship Double IPA, which is soft, juicy and big bodied. It was brewed with Motueka and Mosaic, then triple dry-hopped with Galaxy. Both Lemon Cherry Sourbet and DiMaggio will be available in 16oz. 4-pack cans. Limits will be officially announced on June 8.

Resurgence Pulling Out All the Stops for Their Fifth Anniversary

In honor of their fifth anniversary, Resurgence Brewing are throwing a circus…er…Beercus, June 8 (12pm). The party will feature everything you could want, including specialty beer releases, live music, food and more. Great Foodini food truck (5-9pm) will be on hand, the Buffalo Aerialists will perform (6:30-9pm), as will the Plagarists Band (8-11pm), throw axes with Hatchet and Hops AxeWagon (1-5) and the first ever RBC Duck Races will be held (1:30-3pm) (proceeds benefit Erie County SPCA Wildlife Dept.). Beer releases include Brut Lager, Anniversary DDH IPA and Raspberry Lemonade Sour. Special anniversary glassware (first pint free) will be sold.

Cast Your Vote for People’s Choice Fruited Sour at Buffalo Brewer’s Festival

The sixth annual Buffalo Brewers Festival, June 22 (3-6p) at Canalside, will feature a special summer brew that each brewery will make their own version of – this year is fruited sour. A number of local breweries will brew a variation of a fruited sour, then you drink them all and cast your vote in the ballot box for your favorite beer! Thanks to a partnership with the New York State Brewers Association, the festival will be a little different this year, as a number of NYS breweries will join all your favorite local breweries. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite.

CBW to Brew Exclusive Beer for 2019 Elmwood-Bidwell Summer Concert Series

Community Beer Works have announced that they will brew the official beer for the 2019 Elmwood-Bidwell Summer Concert Series, EVA IPA, which kicks off June 18 with The Struggle. The series will also play host to performances from RNSM (June 25), Coast Guard Concert Band (July 2), Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (July 9), Workingman’s Dead (July 16), Rabbit Jaw (July 23), Creek Bend (July 30) and Buffalo Brass Machine (August 6). The concerts will be held Tuesdays from 7pm- 9pm in Bidwell Parkway between Elmwood and Potomac Avenues. The concerts are free. Donations and beverage sales support the Elmwood Village Association.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column for Step Out Buffalo. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague) and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).

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Happy Fourth Anniversary to Rusty Nickel Brewing

Rusty Nickel Brewing, the plucky little brewery nestled comfortably behind the Ebenezer Ale House in West Seneca, is turning four years old today. They grow up so fast, don’t they? Soon they’ll have a new second location downtown (36 Broadway if you must know), and we’ll look back on these golden times. Now is a time for celebration and celebrate we shall.

The event will feature plenty of food, including specials such as grilled chicken with Ms. Browns BBQ, sausage sandwich, grilled vegetables, Horns Up beer cheese mac-n-cheese and fruit salad, as well as all of your favorite Rusty Nickel brews on tap, including four special releases such as Pater’s Up! Patersbier, Haberstroh Mango Hefeweizen and a mystery anniversary beer, cocktails and mixologies, bloody marys, wine, spirits, and hard cider.

Honey Nut Beer-I-O’s (6.5% ABV) – One of Rusty Nickel’s most adventurous creations designed to emulate the sensational aroma experienced when approaching the First Ward and Harbor Districts of Buffalo. The secret ingredient is a certain cereal a local manufacturer churns out on a daily basis that are little “O” – shapes and wonderfully delicious. Finished off with a heavy dose of local honey, this is one of the most unique beers.

Pater Up! (4.0% ABV) – A Patersbier, which is also the first of their new Belgian-Style Baseball beer series, also known as an Enkel, is Rusty Nickel’s take on a simple style that uses all NYS base malts paired with Belgian yeast and Belgian hops creating a light. It’s a not too sweet beer that has a crisp finish.

Haberstroh Mango Hefeweizen (5.5% ABV) – This traditional German Hefeweizen is made with fresh mango and traditional German yeast which produces a light banana flavor. A true patio beer that’s also perfect for the oncoming summer months.

Fuzzy Navel (5.5% ABV) – This unique American Wheat made with tons of fresh orange zest and seasonal white peaches has just enough flavor and is an easy summer drinker to rock out on the porch. Ultra-light and refreshing this brew embraces the cloudy haze of a quality wheat and resembles the fresh adult cocktail we all know so well.

There will be live music all day long, starting with an open mic session (12-2pm), MYQ F will then take the stage from 2-4pm, followed by Undercover (4:15-5:15pm), Wacko Fest (5:30-8:45pm), Jokuken (9-10:30pm) and finally a Jam Session with Wacko Fest, Jokuken & Friends (10:30-11pm).

For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/events/553973935098740.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column for Step Out Buffalo. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague) and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).

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Third Times a Charm: Rock the Gates Volume 3 Is Bigger and Better

Rock the Gates, 12 Gates Brewing’s biggest party of the year and one of the unofficial signs of the start of summer, is going to be bigger and even better in its third year. The annual blowout takes place at the brewery on June 1 (11am). You probably don’t need a reason to get out of the house to enjoy the warm weather with a fresh cold beer in your hand, and to save you a few moments, the forecast is calling for a chance of rain early in the morning and later at night, with cloudy skies filling the rest of the day, so it appears as even Mother Nature wants you to go to Rock the Gates.

As has become custom, Rock the Gates will feature the release of a special beer, and this year is no different. Hop on the Mic IPA will be released via 4-pack 16oz. cans. This 6.5% ABV American IPA loaded with Galaxy, Citra, and El Dorado hops for a punch of tropical fruit and citrus. You can also purchase the beer by the case.

Speaking of beer releases, Rock the Gates will feature eight more new beers, if you purchase a VIP ticket (more info on that below). The Exclusive VIP Tent tap list includes:

10-Ply Milkshake IPA (6.0% ABV): This IPA is packed with lactose, strawberry puree, and vanilla beans for a thick and delicious finish.  12 Gates used copious amounts of Michigan Copper and Belma hops to give it an extra kick of strawberry and fruit punch. ****CONTAINS LACTOSE****

Breaking the Seal Micro IPA (2.8%): Below the threshold of a Session IPA resides the Micro IPA. Coming in at a skinny 2.8% ABV but packing loads of fruitiness, this beer makes the promise that you will break the seal before the alcohol kicks in.

Dirty Dangles DIPA (9.0%): This Double IPA features two malts (Perl and Golden Promise) and one hop (Mosaic) to create a sticky pineapple juice bomb with a clean finish.

It’s Pronounced Goh-Zah (3.5%): A slightly tart, slightly lemony (coriander), and slightly saline beer that is refreshing and effervescent and great on a sunny Buffalo day.

Mr. Finish Line Rye IPA (6.3%): This IPA was brewed by Brewer Dave as part of the Co-Pilot Series. Look for prominent tropical citrus and pineapple complimented with soft spiciness from the rye malt.

Pertnear East Coast Style IPA (7.6%): This softly bittered IPA is hopped with Mosaic, Citra, and Galaxy. It is nice and hazy, super fruity, and slightly giggly. ****CONTAINS LACTOSE****

Tacocat (Wood and fruit aged German Pilsener) (5.3%): A palindrome of a beer that makes its appearance only a few times a year. We take our base Pilsner and age it on tequila oak and limes to create a super summery easy drinking beer. Or maybe we just like to put sombreros on cats and take pictures. You decide.

Under the Blood Orange Moon Blood Orange Wit (5.0%): Summer in a glass. This light Belgian Witbeer was fermented with Belgian Blood Orange Candi Syrup to yield a citrusy and spritzy summertime beer.

You can also expect a full bill of live music as Rock the Gates will feature all tribute acts this year. The All or Nothin Band, a Tom Petty tribute, will open things up (12-2:30pm), before Unleash the Lion, a Pearl Jam tribute, returns to the RTG stage (3-5:30pm). Later on, AC/DC tribute act OCD/C (6-8:30pm) performs, before The Hip Experience, a Tragically Hip tribute band, closes the night at 9pm. The band will perform the Hip’s Fully Completely album in its entirety during the first set, and then a medley of hits during the second set.

There will be prize giveaways throughout, including a raffle for a one-of-a-kind 12 Gates branded kegerator. Proceeds from the raffle will go to benefit WNYHeroes.org.

Amongst the food options available, Sahlen’s hot dogs will be served and the Coyote Café food truck will also be on hand.

Tickets for Rock the Gates Volume 3 are $15 presale ($20 door) and include a voucher for a 12 Gates pint glass (while supplies last) and 1 beer, while VIP tickets ($50 pre-sale / $60 door) include a limited edition swag bag, 12 Gates branded Teku glass, 2 beers, snacks and VIP Tent Access, which includes all eight exclusive beers. Admission is free for active military and veterans (must show a valid government issued I.D. at the gate).

For more information, click 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 (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.12

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42 North Brewing Launches Day Trekker IPA, Proceeds to Benefit Trail Maintenance

42 North Brewing Company has launched Day Trekker IPA and is partnering with the local mountain bike community to support its launch. The Day Trekker IPA is described as a ‘crushable’ IPA that complements a day in the great outdoors of Western New York.

42 North has partnered with the Western New York Mountain Biking Association (WNYMBA) to support their goals of designing and maintaining trails, as well as promoting responsible trail use. As part of the partnership, 42 North will donate a portion of sales of the Day Trekker IPA to WNYMBA and help promote additional volunteerism and membership for WNYMBA.

“The 42 North brand is strongly associated with the outdoors. Our customers, and our staff, are all outdoor enthusiasts and we thought we’d create a beer that complements one of their passions,” stated John Cimperman, Founder of 42 North. “WNYMBA does great work in the community. Whether you mountain bike, hike, or snowshoe, we have all benefited from their upkeep and maintenance of our parks and trails,” Cimperman adds.

WNYMBA actively hosts trail maintenance days every spring. In addition to their work at Hunter’s Creek, the Darien Lake State Park trails, and Sprague Brook Park, WNYMBA is undertaking an aggressive project to construct the Stone Tower Trail in Allegany State Park. Joe Crumlish, President of WNYMBA, states, “We have always been great partners with 42 North. This partnership goes to the next level and will be a big help is providing some additional funding to support our mission.”

42 North Brewing Company, based in East Aurora, is frequented by many outdoor enthusiasts due to its close proximity to Knox Farm State Park, Hunter’s Creek, and Sprague Brook Park. 42 North also hosts a weekly run from the brewery every Thursday and is a sponsor of the 42 North Cycling team, also based in East Aurora.

The brewery officially kicks off the partnership on National Trails Day on June 1st. In addition to a portion of each case sold through distribution going to WNYMBA, 42 North is donating $1 from each pint sold in their East Aurora, NY taproom to the cause throughout the month of June.

Day Trekker IPA is a 4.9% sessionable IPA brewed with cascade, cashmere, and aurora hops and, as the brewery states, the “ideal beer for a day of hiking, biking, or paddling the streams of Western New York”. The Day Trekker is available on tap and in cans and will be available at Consumer’s Beverage, Wegman’s, and other select retailers in the region.

You can watch the partnership video here: https://youtu.be/HekMqKjaW8E.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: Jamestown Brewing Grand Opening, Ballpark Brewers Series Release, Kolsch Day at 42 North, Rock the Gates at 12 Gates, Rusty Nickel’s 4th Anniversary

Jamestown Brewing Company Sets Grand Opening Date

After a few delays, Jamestown Brewing will now hold their official grand opening on July 12. “We want to thank you for your patience over the past few months,” the brewery announced recently. “We love our loyal fans and appreciate you sticking around.” The brewpub and restaurant will feature craft beers, helmed by former Gordon Biersch and Woodcock Brothers Head Brewer Matt Redpath, as well as wine and mead paired with farm-to-table food sourced directly from local farmers. Jamestown Brewing Company is located at 119 W. 3rd Street in Jamestown. More information is expected soon. Visit https://jamestownbrewery.com or email info@jamestownbrewery.com.

2019 Ballpark Brewers Series Beer Packs Now on Sale

The 2019 Ballpark Brewers Series, which features beers from Community Beer Works, Resurgence Brewing and Big Ditch Brewing, as well as a collaboration between all three, are currently on sale at Consumers Beverages. The packs feature Big Ditch’s Dayburner Session IPA, Resurgence’s The Surge New England IPA, Community Beer Works’ Czech Swing Pilsner and the collab, Short Hop, a hoppy blonde ale. You can also enjoy the Ballpark Brewers Series beers during Buffalo Bisons home games at Sahlen Field beginning on May 28 and in all three taprooms on May 31. The Ballpark Brewers Series was first released in 2015.

Third Annual Kolsch Day at 42 North Brewing

42 North Brewing are celebrating all things kolsch at their 3rd Annual Kolsch Day on June 2 (12-8pm). In honor of the beer style, they will be serving their Westphalia German-style Kölsch in traditional stange glassware, and running tabs for those participating until they are finished. “We’ll give you a punch card, every refill of the Stange glass is a punch,” the brewery says. “Pretend you’re in Cologne and add up your punches at the end to see which one of your friends likes Kolsch them most.” There will also be music by The Auslanders, as well as German-themed food.

Happy Fourth Anniversary to Rusty Nickel Brewing

Rusty Nickel Brewing is celebrating their fourth anniversary on June 1 (12pm). The event will feature plenty of food, all of your favorite Rusty Nickel brews on tap, including four special releases such as Pater’s Up! Patersbier, Haberstroh Mango Hefeweizen and a mystery anniversary beer, cocktails and mixologies, bloody marys, wine, spirits, and hard cider. There will be live music all day long, starting with an open mic session (12-2pm), MYQ F will then take the stage from 2-4pm, followed by Undercover (4:15-5:15pm), Wacko Fest (5:30-8:45pm), Jokuken (9-10:30pm) and finally a Jam Session with Wacko Fest, Jokuken & Friends (10:30-11pm).

Ring in the Summer with Rock The Gates at 12 Gates Brewing

Usher in summer at 12 Gates with the Rock the Gates Volume 3, a day of entertainment and special beer releases, on June 1 (11am-11pm). The event will feature the exclusive release of Hop on the Mic IPA (16oz. 4-packs). Tickets are $15 presale ($20 at the door) for General Admission and include a 12 Gates pint glass and 1 beer and VIP tickets ($50 pre-sale / $60 door) include swag bag, Rock the Gates t-shirt, 12 Gates teku glass, 2 beers and VIP Tent Access (8 exclusive beers). There will also be live music all day. Tickets at EventBrite.

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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Farm-to-Pint: New York State Brewers Go Local – Q&A with Aaron McLeod and Chris Holden

Last week, the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association held their First Annual Farm-to-Pint Brewers Symposium, hosted by Flying Bison Brewery. This was a free event open to BNBA member brewing professionals.

“We wanted to put on an event that not only showcased farm-to-pint craft beer, but also advance the knowledge among industry professionals,” said Willard Brooks, co-chair of Farm-to-Pint week. “When you get brewers together like this, it can get a little competitive!”

The event was an opportunity to meet with Farm-to-Pint experts from across the state. Featured speakers included Aaron McLeod, Director of the Hartwick College Center for Craft Food and Beverage, Chris Holden, Owner, Crooked Creek Hop Farm and President of Hop Growers of New York and Jason Sahler, Owner, Strong Rope Brewery, Brooklyn, New York. All three shared their insights and experiences into the Farm-to-Pint industry in New York.

“This is a great opportunity for our Buffalo brewers to learn more about New York State ingredients,” said Ted Hawley, Owner, New York Craft Malt. “They can talk directly to people involved in the industry and share success stories among themselves.”

I got the chance to sit down with Aaron, Chris and Jason and they share some of their wisdom with me as well.

What is Farm-to-Pint and what does it mean to you?

Chris: Farm-to-Pint is just the beginning of a local/regionalization of ingredients that can be sourced in the areas of which those ingredients grow well. With New York State being a great place to grow hops and malt, I feel that events like this are the pathway to future success for both the breweries and the Farms and them working together for generations to come.

Jason: For a brewer it means a couple of things. First, I can let my customers know where the ingredients come from for a specific beer we’re brewing. We’re 100% Farm-to-Pint at Strong Rope. What they’re consuming comes from New York State, not from halfway across the US or halfway around the world. Second, it means you have to make the beers that go best with the ingredients that you’re using. That doesn’t mean you can’t make an IPA. It just means that you need to optimize the flavor of your ingredients. Further down the road, I think we’d all like to see beers that are unique to what our region has to offer. That is our own version of the New England IPA.

From left to right: Jason Sahler, Chris Holden, Aaron McLeod at the First Annual Farm-to-Pint Brewers Symposium

Why is it important to New York State?

Chris: There are a lot of farms in NYS that are looking to diversify into new industries. Whether they’re dairy, grain, fruit or vegetable farmers, there’s a lot of farmers taking notice of the different craft alcohol industries that are currently looking to source locally. These industries have the ability to support many farms in the region and give them the ability to thrive under the current market and leave a lasting impression for ours and future generations.

Jason: From an economic perspective, the state is investing heavily in this space. Both craft beer and farming are huge industries in New York. Brewers have more incentives to use local ingredients and local farms have incentives to produce high quality ingredients for those brewers. For this to continue to grow, we will have to continue to strengthen the partnership between brewers and farmers.

Where are we on the path to adoption?

Chris: Across the state, the adoption level varies. Most of the farms and companies that have started or expanded since 2012 are still too small to do a lot of self promotion and expose themselves to the 100’s of producers across the state. As they begin to grow and expand, this will help with that exposure level and also help the craft producers to realize that they can confidently source locally for high quality products for the foreseeable future.

Aaron: Demand for local malts is increasing steadily.  There are a number of factors driving this demand. First, with such dramatic growth in the number of craft breweries in New York, brewers need to find ways to be distinct and competitive. Second, craft brewers pride themselves on being independent, and by using craft malt they support other small and independent businesses and farms. So like Chris said, this is Craft Connecting with Craft. Finally, on a broader scale, there is increasing interest in locally produced products. Consumers are keen to know where their food and drink comes from. Craft malt fills the production gap for locally produced brewing materials.

Jason: We’re still pretty early in the adoption phase. There are many breweries starting to produce beers using New York State ingredients, but the threshold levels are still pretty low. We’ll see adoption increase in the next couple years as brewer’s with farm licenses will have to increase their usage of local to meet their requirements. But, as we’ve been saying all along here, it will really take off as the ingredients are uniquely New York. That is, you’re not using New York grown Cascade hops, but rather some as-yet-named hop that is grown natively in New York and produces great beer.

Farm-to-Pint Brewers Symposium attendees quaffing beers and listening intently

What are the challenges to more breweries adopting Farm-to-Pint?

Chris: On the hop market side, the main challenge is variety and or experimenting. With the surge of New England-style IPA’s, certain hops have stolen the show and of course these are hops unobtainable for the hop farmers in New York State to grow. The other challenge is keeping up with demand with these styles, so experimenting can be very difficult for the craft breweries to learn and or experience different combinations of hops from different regions in the state and see what the different regions can produce with their unique terroir.

Aaron: Generally, craft malt is more expensive; up to four times the price of bulk commercial malt due to their smaller scale of production. But craft maltsters are adding a lot of extra value to command this price, whether it be locally sourced grains, hand-crafting, artisan or traditional methods, small batch, innovative, etc.

Smaller breweries are more flexible and can adapt to work with different raw materials. For example, the winter barley varieties grown in New York are lower protein than the standard spring varieties grown in the Western US. As a result, the malt has lower enzymes, more like a UK style pale malt. Still very high quality, just different. By modifying their mashing program (using a multi-step infusion) a brewer can achieve very good results.

Jason: I think from a brewing perspective, it’s all about a willingness to dive in and take part in something that’s bigger than your brewery. Yes, the malt is more expensive. Yes, there are hop limitations. And no, you can’t charge more. But you can stand behind great locally sourced and produced beer that represents New York. I look at it as a challenge to my skills as a brewer.

Symposium attendees sample and share Farm-to-Pint Beers from breweries across New York State

Who is doing Farm-to-Pint well?

Chris: Across the state we see multiple breweries thriving using the farm-to-pint model and even using 100% NYS ingredients. Breweries like Strong Rope Brewery (Brooklyn, NY), Plan Bee Farm Brewery (Poughkeepsie, NY), Newburgh Brewing Company (Newburgh, NY), Steuben Brewing Company and The Brewery of Broken Dreams (Hammondsport, NY) and Grimm Artisanal Ales (Brooklyn, NY). Here in Western New York, there are also a number that have taken advantage of the growing hop industry and have worked on using as much NYS ingredients as possible and also doing a few 100% NYS Beers. They would include Big Ditch, Four Mile, Rusty Nickel, Five and 20 and 42 North, with more to follow I’m sure!

Aaron: Here is a great example of traceability: Most craft malthouses can point to the exact field where their grain is grown and name the farmer who grew each batch. For example, From the Ground Brewery in the Hudson Valley uses grain that is grown and malted within 10 miles of the brewery!

Jason: I’d like to think we are (laughs).

Biographies

Aaron McLeod has been involved with malting and brewing quality testing and research for nearly 15 years and is currently the Director of the Hartwick College Center for Craft Food and Beverage.  The Center provides quality testing for beer and brewing raw materials such as barley, malt and hops. Aaron is also a member of the Technical Committee of the American Society of Brewing Chemists and presents frequently on topics related to malting and brewing science and quality testing methods.

Jason Sahler is the owner and brewer of Strong Rope Brewery in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Originally from Rochester, New York, Jason has lived in Brooklyn for the last 15 years and graduated from New York University with a degree in Sustainable Development. Jason is dedicated to promoting New York ingredients and travels extensively throughout New York state, working with malt, hop, and beer producers from the Southern Tier, to the Adirondack Region, to Long Island’s North Fork. Strong Rope Brewery recently transitioned to 100% New York ingredients for all their beers.

Chris Holden is the owner of Crooked Creek Hops Farm, which operates on the Holden family farm going back to the early 1800’s. Chris is also the Manager of the New York Hop Guild and President of the Hop Growers of New York.

www.buffaloniagarabrewersassociation.org/f2p
https://www.hartwick.edu/about-us/centers-institutes/center-for-craft-food-and-beverage/
http://www.crookedcreekhopsfarm.com/
http://strongropebrewery.com/

Story contributed by BNBA Marketing Chair Clint Perez

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Riverworks Partners with Buffalo Sabres Legend for Biggest Beer Release Yet

Riverworks Brewing have teamed with NHL Hall of Fame goalie and Buffalo Sabres legend Dominik Hasek on a special new beer, The Dominator Czech Pilsner, marking their first time ever in cans and their biggest beer release to date. It’s also a partnership for a good cause as $1 from the sale of each can will be donated to Hasek’s foundation, Hasek’s Heroes, which gives kids under 15 the opportunity to learn to skate and to play hockey, free of charge.

The Dominator will be released on May 23 at 11am. The beer will be exclusively available at Riverworks and will retail for $14.99 per 4-pack ($7 per single can (on-site consumption)) with no limit. There is a possibility that it could go to retail in the future. There are around approximately 270 cases available. Riverworks also plans to have t-shirts and other Dominator merchandise available.

The beer is brewed with Czech Saaz and Tettnang hops, which help to impart a hearty, malty body with a touch of spice and light hops. It features a smooth, clean finish.

“Since Dominik lives in the Czech Republic, we figured a Czech Pilsner would be the natural choice,” Riverworks Brewing Head Brewer Chris Herr says. “Plus when we told Dominik that we wanted to brew a Czech Pilsner, he said he loved the style, so we went with it. And to keep it authentic, we brewed Dominator with imported grain from the Czech Republic, Czech Saaz and Tettnang hops. It tastes great and pairs great with pizza.”

Herr says that The Dominator is doubly exciting for him and the entire Pearl Street family because it marks the very first time they’ve canned any of their product at any of their locations – Pearl Street, Riverworks or Lafayette Brewing.

“This is very special for us because this is our first time canning a beer, ever. This is our 22nd year of brewing beer at Pearl Street and this is the first time we’ve canned a product. We’ve never canned a beer in all these years at Pearl. It’s really special for me because I’ve been the head brewer here for ten years and this is the first time I’ve ever had one of my beers available in a can.”

The Dominator also marks the first release of a bigger beer series dedicated to giving back to local charities as they help to Rebuild Buffalo, One Pint at a Time, a phrase they’ve recently readopted as their company slogan.

“It’s going to be part of a larger theme of beers we’re doing that will help to benefit those people that help to support our company’s larger goal of rebuilding Buffalo one pint at a time. If you actually look on the bottom of the can, it actually says ‘Rebuilding Buffalo, One Pint at a Time.’ We’re hoping this will be the first of a whole series with local Buffalo celebrities and foundations that are part of our goal of rebuilding. We think it’s going to be really cool. We’d love to partner with maybe Jim Kelly, Josh Allen, Jack Eichel, or whoever is interested in working with us. If their general message is to help build the city up, then we want to work with them and we want to donate to their foundation. Maybe a Habitat for Humanity beer would work.”

A limited number of cans are stamped with the saying ‘No Goal,’ because if you’re a Sabres fan, I don’t need to explain it to you. “We had to have a few cans that said ‘No Goal,’ because those of us who remember, remember,” Herr adds.

Herr explains that Riverworks’ Director of Operations, Sean Green, who previously ran Hasek’s Heroes for 10 years, was a major catalyst for The Dominator happening in the first place. “We had this idea where we wanted to can a beer, partner with a local celebrity and make it matter. Dominik was our first choice and he was totally into the idea because he has never had a beer brewed in his name before. At the end of this, we’re hoping to have about a $5,000 to Hasek’s Heroes.”

Herr adds that the brewery hopes to can some of their other beer in the near future as well, in addition to their ‘Rebuilding Buffalo’ series.

“I’m making a really hard push for us to get back to our roots,” Herr adds of their general message. “We opened the Hotel Lafayette, which was slated for demolition, paired with Rocco Termini and put $52 million into renovating that building back in 2011. Then we opened Riverworks, a $37 million project, which allows us to be able to do this. Now that we’re starting to see this change in the area, we want to give back and support other foundations that are part of this goal. We paired with Buffalo Waterkeeper and are opening a new restaurant near Tesla called Riverbend, a $6 million renovation project to benefit the river and help rebuild the waterfront. We think this is an important message.”

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/RiverWorksBuffalo/.

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 to Open New Home in Old First Ward in June

Resurgence Brewing are readying their massive new home in the Old First Ward, which they plan to open to the public early next month. Located at the historic Cooperage complex (55 Chicago Street), the space features a two-story taproom, kitchen, banquet spaces for parties of all sizes, open-air beer garden, rooftop patio and so much more. Central Rock Gym, a rock climbing and fitness facility, is currently open at the property and plans call for a distillery to open in the future.

There is a large vault and double-sided fireplace original to the Cooperage that sit near the entrance to the taproom, both of which the brewery decided to leave in. The entrance area will also house a lounge with a couch and seating, retail area with beer to-go and brewery merchandise, host stand, and waiting area.

From there, you can enter into the taproom, which can see out into the brewhouse on one side and the beer garden on the other. There will be high top tables down the middle of the room, low top tables off to the side and half tables coming off the wall, as well as a handful of televisions (there will also be a TV upstairs and one outside).

Resurgence Brewing Owner Jeff Ware says that he wanted the new taproom to have the feel of a major metropolitan city, just without any of the pretentiousness.

There are two bars, which will ‘function as one long bar’ according to Ware, with tap towers (12 taps on each, with 10 more taps upstairs) behind each and barstools lining the bar. The taproom will feature chandeliers and colorful furniture, a design element Ware calls ‘Buffalo chic.’ “We want you to feel like you’re walking into a swanky Los Angeles hotspot, but you can go in with cargo shorts and a t-shirt. So nice, but not fancy.”

“You’ll be sitting here at the bar and we can see out into the brewhouse through all of these windows,” Ware says. “All of the windows are functional, so we can open all of them up and you can effectively be in this space. For beer, we’re looking at about 14-16 beers on tap at any time. We don’t want to be a place with 50 beers on tap. If we have a gap in production, we’ll bring on a guest beer.”

There will be a kitchen nestled in the corner of the taproom. “We will be doing a full kitchen and a full bar with cocktails, wine and liquor. The kitchen will feature a limited menu with around 10-15 items. We’re thinking like gastropub style dishes, like a few styles of chicken wings for example. We won’t have a ton of items, but what we do we will do really, really well.” Resurgence is planning the ability to order food from your phone, and you will receive a text when your food is done and ready to be picked up.

The beer garden will sit in-between buildings, and will feature strung lights, tables, a trio of firepits (one seven foot and two three foot), as well as access to not only Resurgence’s taproom, but also the neighboring gym and distillery.

“My whole thing has always been, I want people to be in the brewery itself,” Ware says. “This building was vacant for 30 years before we moved in and I don’t think it would have lasted through another winter. It was in really rough shape and it cost a lot more than I thought to fix up, but that’s cool with me because this space has a story behind it. It was a Cooperage; they were the company that made materials for the companies that made barrels. It’s a really fun thing to be able to bring this building back to life.”

And, just as Ware wanted, you can literally sit in the brewery. Sitting off the taproom is another full service seating area inside the brewhouse with tables and a full-length drink rail separating the brewhouse from the dining area. Directly on the other side of the rail sits the dedicated in-house canning line.

Heading upstairs, you’ll walk past a massive elevator shaft original to the building, before entering the banquet space, complete with bathrooms, kitchen and a bar. There’s a conference room that will double as party space for smaller events as well as for the brewery’s sensory/tasting panels. The banquet area has room for about 300-400 in total, including the mezzanine section off the main banquet room that overlooks the brewery. The space will be open to the public if it is not booked by a private party, though some portion of the space should be open to the public at all times. There is also a rooftop patio off of banquet area that will make for some of the best brewery views in the entire city.

“This is my favorite part of the taproom,” Ware says of the mezzanine space. “This is really the perfect tie-in of both the old and the new. Standing up here with a pint overlooking the brewery, it makes you feel like you are actually standing in the brewery.”

As for the brewhouse, Resurgence’s new houses a number of oversized 60bbl fermenters, which makes for easier processing for dry-hopping. Their opening capacity will be about 15,000bbls, though Ware doesn’t believe they’ll hit that mark the first year. “We’re looking at probably around 10,000bbls in 2020. We can pretty much double what we are doing in Buffalo just by being able to have the beer itself available. We should probably get to about 5-6,000bbls just in Buffalo alone. We will have the ability to double a lot of our current batches.” Resurgence was operating at 3,000bbl at their Niagara Street home. “We’ve been hovering around that 3,000bbl mark since we opened over there. The first year we did around 1,500, and by year two, we added all of the tanks we could add. We were fluctuating around 2,700-2,800bbls.”

“We didn’t want to rush this process. We wanted to make sure that it was the right product and the right experience in the right area. And that’s what this space is for us. We first identified that Old First Ward was our market and where we knew we wanted to go. I have had my eye on this building for a long time. Putting everything together and making sure everything worked took a long time. This capacity is a little bit bigger than what we were working with so we can do everything more efficiently. So, for example, instead of brewing Resurgence IPA four times a week, we can now brew it once a week. And that’s what I’m really excited about, we’re just scaling appropriately.”

Ware says that they left themselves with the option to get bigger in their new space if they choose to, or possibly take on some contract brewing. “I think a lot of breweries are going to be in the situation we were in. We now have all of the tools to make clean, well-processed beer and make it affordably and really high quality.”

The increased capacity also allows Resurgence to up their footprint in additional markets. In addition to launching in Rochester, Ware says that their beer could enter Syracuse and Albany, and possibly New York City.

The plan is for Resurgence’s current Niagara Street home to remain open as well. Ware says that one tower at the taproom will feature all of their small-batch and experimental beers and the other tower will feature their favorite local beer from other breweries. Ware adds that if there were to be any major renovation/reconstruction projects at Niagara Street, the space could close for a time over the winter, but nothing is definite as of now.

“We’re trying to make this our forever home,” Ware says of 55 Chicago Street. “And if we somehow outgrow this, we’re going to have a pretty big party.”

For more information, please visit https://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: HofBrauHaus Buffalo to Open, Riverworks Teams with Sabres Great, Brewers Festival Tickets on Sale, Big Ditch, New Belgium Collab Release

HofBrauHaus Buffalo Announce Grand Opening This August

After a number of false starts and setbacks, HofBrauHaus Buffalo, an authentic German beer hall located at 190 Scott Street inside the former Upstate Milk building, has announced that they plan to open this August. The brewery revealed that after ‘clearing a major financial hurdle,’ their remaining brewing equipment will arrive from Bavaria in about 8 weeks and that construction will resume in the meantime. “It is with a confidence tempered by the patience and prudence learned over the last year that we officially announce: Hofbrauhaus Buffalo will be opening in August 2019!” They will be hiring new staff soon.

Riverworks Brewing Teams with Buffalo Sabres Legend on New Beer

Riverworks Brewing have partnered with NHL Hall of Fame goalie and Buffalo Sabres legend Dominik Hasek on a special new beer, The Dominator Czech Pilsner, which will be released on May 23 at 3pm. $1 from the sale of each can will be donated to Hasek’s Heroes, which gives kids under 15 the opportunity to learn to skate and to play hockey, free of charge. The beer is brewed with Czech Saaz and Tettnang hops, which impart a malty body, light hops, clean finish and subtle spice. The beer is available at Riverworks and will retail for $14.99 per 4-pack.

Tickets on Sale Now for 2019 Buffalo Brewers Festival at Canalside

Tickets are on sale for the 2019 Buffalo Brewers Festival, June 22 (2-6pm) at Canalside. Thanks to a partnership with the New York State Brewers Association, the festival will be a little different this year, as a number of NYS breweries, including Finback, Prison City and Singlecut, will join all your favorite local breweries. Tickets, which are available at EventBrite, are $35 (Advance General Admission), $55 (Advance VIP Ticket) and $15 (Designated Drivers). VIP tickets include one hour early entry (2pm) and access to exclusive VIP beers. There will also be food trucks and pint sales immediately after the festival.

Big Ditch to Release New Belgium Collab, Folly IPA, This Week

Big Ditch Brewing will release Folly IPA, a new collaboration with New Belgium Brewing, on May 24 at noon. The latest entry into Big Ditch’s Lock IPA Series features Appalachian Wheat from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, NC, New Belgium’s second home, in addition to Galaxy, Amarillo, and experimental HBC-522 hops, which yield a drinkable IPA with tropical, stone fruit, and citrus. This beer celebrates the presumed folly of people with great vision, including New Belgium co-founders Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch and those behind the original plans for the Erie Canal. Folly was brewed May 2 at Big Ditch.

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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