All Things Local Celebrated During Farm to Pint Week

While Farm to Pint primarily celebrates Western New York’s rich history of brewing, our region is also home to many vineyards, heritage hog farms, cheese makers, meaderies, cideries and distilleries, all of which will be celebrated during Farm to Pint week, which continues through May 20. The celebration casts the spotlight on the growing farm-to-table, and farm-to-glass, movement in the worlds of both food and drink.

The third annual Full Circle Fest at 42 North Brewing, which is sold out, takes place on Saturday, May 19 (2-6pm). The event features beer tastings from over a dozen local breweries, live music with the Tyler Wescott trio, and a pig roast with a pig raised on 42 North’s spent grains. Root’s Kitchen will provide sides and sauces for the roast.

“F2P celebrates Buffalo Niagara’s exciting new growth of hops and small grains farming which has given local brewing companies the ability to produce craft beer from local sources right here at home,” Willard Brooks, Chairman of the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association Board of Directors, said. “The addition of so many independent, locally owned breweries is truly making Western New York a real tourist draw for craft beer and food enthusiasts alike.”

The fifth annual Farm to Pint, the annual celebration of beer created exclusively from local ingredients, returns for a fifth year on May 20 at Hamburg Brewing Company, 12-5pm. Limited edition and one-off brews will be available from 12 Gates, 42 North, Big Ditch Brewing, Community Beer Works, Ellicottville Brewing Company, Five & 20 Brewing & Distilling, Flying Bison, Four Mile, Gordon Biersch, Hamburg, New York Beer Project, Old First Ward, Pearl Street Brewery, Resurgence Brewing, Rusty Nickel, Southern Tier Brewing, Woodcock Brothers and Windy Brew. The event is ticketed this year ($30 presale, $40 day of, $10 Designated Driver), which include a 10oz. Belgian Tulip F2P tasting glass, samplings of all beers available, an order of pretzel bites and live music by Max Muscato. Full pints and growlers fills will be available after 5pm. Presale tickets can be purchased at Hamburgbrewing.com.

Farm to Pint tentative tap list:

Thin Man Brewery – Aura
Resurgence Brewing Company – Black Currant Kettle Sour
Community Beer Works – Frank
42 North Brewing Company – Buckwheat Brown Ale
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant – NYS IPA
Big Ditch Brewing Company – Orange Blossom Honey Ale
Rusty Nickel Brewing Co. – Pickle Pail Palletizer Pae Ale
Gene McCarthy’s/Old First Ward Brewing Co. – Therapy Session Pale Ale
Buffalo Brewing Company – 2008 Rye Maple Bitter
BlackBird Cider Works – Estate Reserve – Semi Dry Hard Cider
WINDY BREW – FolsomPale
Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing – Grape Lakes
Sato Brewpub – Farm 2 Bento
Four Mile Brewing – Maple Brown Ale
West Shore Brewing Company – Rust Belt Copper Haze IPA
Southern Tier Brewing Company – Concord Grape Gose
Woodcock Brothers Brewery – North 425 Pilsner
Pressure Drop Brewing – Mother Rucker
New York Beer Project – Hop Technique: Code I
Ellicottville Brewing Company – Cashmaster
Ellicottville Brewing Company – Whiney Wheat
Flying Bison Brewing Company – Best Bitter
Hamburg Brewing Company – Ground and Glazed

Also as part of Farm to Pint Week, Lilly Belle Meads will have their Honey and Hops Mead on tap all week long at Pizza Plant.

“It’s important to use locally grown ingredients because it supports those around us who do grow local ingredients and to let the consumer know ‘Hey, this stuff was grown down the road,’” Russo says. “It’s for the same reason people purchase food at farmers markets, fresh locally grown product. It’s also not just about hops and barley. This region is great for extracting maple sap from trees and making the commonly known maple syrup! We want to promote Farm to Pint because it draws attention to a topic that is sometimes overlooked when it comes to beer. Most people do not realize that you can make beer from ingredients grown in your own backyard. The idea of farm to pint is more than just beer. It’s a fun way to interact with those who make up the different steps it takes to get the liquid in your glass.”

The growth in the craft beer industry is supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s farm brewery bill, which calls for designated “farm breweries” to use, until the end of 2018, at least 20 percent NYS hops and 20 percent of all other ingredients in their beer, a number which rises to 60 percent from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2023 and 90 percent from January 1, 2024. Both Hamburg Brewery and Old First Ward Brewing are now designated as “farm breweries.”

For more information, please visit BuffaloNiagaraBrewersAssociation.Org/F2P.

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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Thin Man Brewery House Favorite Finally Hits Cans

‘I’ve got a doodle in my noodle and its name is Minkey Boodle!’ Alright alright, all Space Ghost references aside, Minkey Boodle, one of Thin Man Brewery’s best selling beers, will finally be released in cans this weekend. The fushia-colored raspberry sour will be released alongside Marble Tulip Juicy Tree, named after a track off of Ween’s 1990 album GodWeenSatan: The Oneness, a New England IPA brewed in collaboration with Hudson Valley’s Captain Lawrence Brewing Company.

Minkey Boodle will be released in 4pk cans for $16.99, while Marble Tulip Juicy Tree will run $15.99 per 4pk. There is a one case per person limit for each (subject to change). The line forms to the left starting at 11am on May 12.

Thin Man’s Rudy Watkins says that the plan has long called for Minkey to be canned, but they weren’t able to pull the trigger on it until right now. “We’ve wanted to keg Minkey for a while, we just haven’t had the time,” he says. “It’s one of our best sellers at Thin Man and we really thought it would do well packaged.”

And this won’t be a one-time thing either with Minkey. As a matter of fact, Watkins says that this release will be the first of a few sours he has planned to can, including another collaboration they did with Brasserie Dunham in Dunham, Quebec, Canada, so that’s something that we can all look forward to.

“Minkey will certainly be canned again – when exactly that happens depends on a million variables, but it’ll certainly be available again once our new location comes on-line, if not sooner. More kettle sours like Minkey will definitely be canned [in the future]. We’re also working on getting some of our long term sours into bottles, and are hoping that the first one will be the collab we did with Dunham a few months back; it’s basically a tart Belgian Golden Ale with Meyer lemon.”

We all know and love Minkey, but as a little refresher to get everyone in the proper mood, expect bright acidity that mingles with a rounded raspberry character and a crisp body. It also looks pretty sitting in a glass. Marble Tulip Juicy Tree, a 7.1% NEIPA, was brewed with lactose and cryo hops, Moteuka, Simcoe, Cryo Citra, and Columbus. Expect this one to be super smooth and super hazy.

“Marble Tulip is a collab with Captain Lawrence – our third collab with them actually!” Watkins says. “This is the first of the three that was brewed here. It’s a lightly hazy IPA with a bunch of Motueka & Citra. Nice & fruity, not overly sweet, with a bit of lactose to round out the body. We’re excited to see what people think about it.”

“In terms of how it came about – we’ve known Scott from Captain Lawrence forever. He’s a great guy and has certainly been an inspiration – he’s one of New York’s OG sour producers – and I’ve been enjoying his beers for years.”

And as if a pair of can releases isn’t enough, Thin Man has also prepared a keg of DDH Burning Money with Azacca for the special occasion. There is a very limited batch of this beer so crowlers or growlers will not be able to be filled.

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/214207082701694/.

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 Releases at Woodcock, Thin Man & Community Beer Works, Steelbound Opens in Ellicottville

Woodcock Brothers to Release New Citra Dry Hopped Woodcock IPA Cans

If you liked the last version of Woodcock Brothers Brewing’s XPA, then you’re going to want to get your hands on cans of Citra Dry Hopped Woodcock IPA when it’s released May 12 (noon). It’s hopped with Chinook, Simcoe and Citra and uses the same malt bill and yeast used in XPA v.6.2. The result is a citrusy intense, full bodied, balanced IPA with minimal bitterness. Citra Dry Hopped Woodcock IPA will available in 4-pks and draft (brewery only) (limit 1 case per person). A limited amount of cans will hit distribution in the coming weeks after the brewery release.

Double Can Release at Thin Man With Sour, Hazy IPA

Time to get in line because Thin Man Brewery has finally decided to pull the trigger and can Minkey Boodle, their beloved house fuchsia-hued raspberry sour, and will release it on May 12. And as if one can release wasn’t enough, Thin Man will also be releasing cans of Marble Tulip Juicy Tree, a 7.1% New England IPA they brewed in collaboration with Captain Lawrence. Marble Tulip Juicy Tree was brewed with lactose and cryo hops, Moteuka, Simcoe, Cryo Citra, and Columbus. Expect this one to be super smooth and super hazy. We’ll see you all in line on Saturday.

Community Beer Works Wins Huge Award, Plans Pair of Can Releases

After winning a gold medal at the TapNY Festival, Community Beer Works followed up by winning a bronze medal in the Historical Beer category at the World Beer Cup for their Pantomime Horse Adambier. And the good news just keeps coming from CBW as the brewery is planning to release a pair of Berliner Weisses over the next few weeks. On May 19 (12pm), CBW has a pair of can releases, Lemon Pepper Berliner Weisse, which is refreshingly tart with a balanced lemony-citric profile that hints at white peppercorn spice, and Strawberry Basil Berliner Weisse, featuring a well-balanced strawberry complimented by earthly basil.

Steelbound Brewery and Distillery Opens their Doors in Ellicottville

The number of Western New York area breweries is set to grow by one as Steelbound Brewery and Distillery will officially open their doors this week down in Ellicottville. Starting at 4pm on Monday, Steelbound will hold regular hours all week long (Sun-Thursday 4-10pm, Friday & Saturday 4-12am), including Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday. They will open will a full line of beer on tap, including BETA Juice and Last Minute IPA’s, Double Dog Dare Ya DIPA, Fat Porter, Nutty Blond Blonde Ale and Portly Gentleman Stout. Find them at 6600 US-219 in Ellicottville and online at https://www.facebook.com/SteelboundEvl/ and www.steelboundevl.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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Canadian, American Breweries Team Up at Canadian American Beer Festival: Ontario BETA

After a successful trial run in Western New York at Pizza Plant on April 8, the Canadian American Beer Festival BETA Edition will head across the border to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on May 5 at Augusta’s Winking Judge. The ticketed event will take place from 2-6pm.

The original event, which was scheduled for April 7, 2018 at the Conference and Event Center in Niagara Falls, NY has been postponed to April 13, 2019 at the Conference & Event Center in Niagara Falls USA. The event was pushed back as a result of an issue regarding bringing product over the border that could not be resolved in a timely manner.

Tickets for the Canadian BETA Edition of the event are $50 Canadian and include exclusive samplings of all Ontario-made Can-Am collaborations, food, a commemorative beer stein and the chance to interact with the brewers who made the beers. As well, the week after the event select Can-Am collabs will be on tap at both the Winking Judge as well as at the tap rooms of each producing brewery.

The beers set to be tapped for the special event offers something for every kind of beer drinker, from IPA’s, both hazy and clear, to light drinkers such as kellerbier and kolsch, to all things sour, including gose, kettle sours and even a sour hopfenweisse. Among some of the more special beers set to be featured are Belgian Waffles w/ Blueberries, a Golden Strong Ale from Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing and Lock Street Brewing that clocks in at nearly 10%, Squeeze Across the Border, a New England IPA from Redline Brewing and Thin Man Brewery and O.P. Imperial Pilsner, a heavy hitting 8.4% pilsner from Community Beer Works and Shawn & Ed Brewing Co. Find a tentative list below.

Beer list (subject to change):

  • Brimstone & Rusty Nickel –  Mountie & Buffalo Walk into Bar, Belgian IPA 6.3%
  • Beau’s & Flying Bison – Great Planes, Biere de Garde, 7%
  • Block 3 & Resurgence – Angels & Apricots, Oak Aged Gose – 4%
  • Cowbell & New York Beer Project – Crazy Hazy IPA, NEIPA 7.5%
  • Grand River & 12 Gates – Life on Marzen, Märzen, 5.7%
  • Collective Arts & Hamburg – Maybe Next Year, Citra-Denali DDH Kettle Sour 5%
  • Flying Monkeys & Woodcock Brothers – Slam Dunkel, Dunkelweizen 4.75%
  • Niagara Teaching Brewery & Buffalo Brewing Co – Salt & Pepper Gose, 4.4%
  • Oast House & Southern Tier – Mixed-Ferment Farmhouse Mosaic IPA 6%
  • Nickel Brook & Ellicottville Brewing Company – Only Nerds Will Know, Kettle Soured Hopfenweisse, 4.9%
  • Shawn & Ed Brewing Co & Community Beer Works – O.P. Imperial Pilsner, 8.4%
  • Railway City & West Shore Brewing Company –  Border Crossing, Galaxy Kolsch, 5.5%
  • Redline Brewhouse & Thin Man Brewing – Squeeze Across the Border, NEIPA, 6.4%
  • Royal City & 42 North –  New World Saison
  • Wellington & 4 Mile – Walk 4 Miles, Dry Hopped Kellerbier, 5%
  • Lock Street &  Five & 20 –  Belgian Waffles w/ Blueberries, Golden Strong Ale, 9.5%

Augusta’s Winking Judge craft beer bar is located at 25 Augusta St in Hamilton Ontario (1-905-524-5626). For more information on the Can-Am Fest, please visit https://canadianamericanbeerfestival.com/.

The Can-Am is organized by the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association, with the assistance of the Ontario Craft Brewers, Niagara College Teaching Brewery, the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, and Consumers Beverages as well as event partner, Lyft.

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: TapNY Fest Medal Wins, Kegs & Eggs, Derby Day, Award-Winning Homebrews

5 Buffalo Breweries Win Medals at TapNY Beer Festival

Buffalo beer was well represented at the TAP New York Craft Beer & Food Festival this past weekend as a handful of local beers won medals. In no particular order, Community Beer Works (Gold/IPA, Interrobang), Resurgence Brewing Company (Bronze/DIPA, Head in the Clouds), Thin Man Brewery (Silver/Porter, Black Frances, Silver/Barrel Aged Beer, Double Barrel Ookla Porter), New York Beer Project (Silver/English Style Stout, Aberdeen Tropical Stout) and Southern Tier Brewing Company (Silver/Barrel Aged Beer, Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout) all took home awards. There are special things happening in Buffalo beer right now and people are starting to take notice.

Kegs & Eggs Makes Its Return to Resurgence

Kegs & Eggs makes it return to Resurgence Brewing on May 6 (11am). As usual, come hungry because breakfast garbage plates will be served while you enjoy flights of experimental brews that will be rolled out for the event. Now, onto the important part, the beer. Flight 1 will feature Plum Gose, Flemish Red, White Wine Barrel Aged Brett Saison and Chocolate, Dark Cherry & Vanilla Kettle Sour, while Flight 2 will feature White Wine Barrel Aged Head in the Clouds DIPA, Pineapple Pilsner, Kottbusser (German Spring Beer) and Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian Dubbel. There will also be cask beer.

Celebrate Derby Day at Flying Bison with Barrel Aged Stout

There’s more to do on May 5 than watch the ‘most exciting two minutes in sports,’ aka the Kentucky Derby, like enjoy a bottle of Barrel Aged Spot Coffee Stout, which has aged for nearly a year in freshly-emptied whiskey barrels. Well, you can do both at Flying Bison’s Derby Day Jam (2pm), held in conjunction with neighbors Buffalo Distilling, the Sportsmens Americana Music Foundation and Dirty Bird Chicken N’ Waffles. Derby Jam will feature two stages of live bluegrass music, traditional mint juleps at the distillery, Barrel-Aged Spot Coffee Stout at the brewery, and fresh fried chicken & waffles.

Homebrew Winners to Brew Beer at Windy Brew, Flying Bison

A pair of homebrewers will hit the brewhouses at Windy Brew and Flying Bison to brew their award winning beer. Kevin DiTondo won the Erie County Fair Homebrew Competition with his Vienna Lager. The beer will be brewed at Flying Bison and will serve as the official beer for the 2018 Erie County Fair. Ian Calder’s American Amber won Das Hausbrauers Von Buffalo Homebrew Club’s homebrew competition, sponsored by Hamm and Fattey’s and Windy Brew Custom Beer Center. The beer will be brewed at Windy Brew and will be available on tap at Hamm and Fattey later in the spring.

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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It’s Derby Day & Cinco de Mayo in Buffalo on May 5

Let me set the scene – come Saturday, Buffalo will be awash in big hats, fast horses, mint juleps, margaritas, tequila shots and craft beer, because the drinking stars have aligned and Derby Day, the day the Kentucky Derby, the fastest two minutes in sports, is annually run, and Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of all things Mexican food and drink, fall on the same day this year, May 5.

Actually, Cinco de Mayo is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza, but I digress.

It’s no small secret that Buffalo is a drinking town. While mint juleps and margaritas will be aplenty this weekend in the Queen City, it should come as no shock that there will be plenty of great craft beer available around town to help celebrate, so I thought it in everyone’s best interest if I compiled all of those beers, including some of our local favorites to help celebrate the occasion, into one place for quick and easy reference. Some beers are new, just for this weekend, and some are tried and true classics for Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo.

Amidst all your drinking, don’t forget about the Kentucky Derby itself though, because, you know, it’s only two minutes and it’s pretty damn exciting.

This is already a great list and it’s not even mentioning new beers released in honor of Star Wars Day on May the 4th, a nice little collection that includes Chew-Bock-A, a 17.5% Eisbock from 12 Gates and the first release in Brickyard Brewing’s Exit 25A series, a rotating series of hoppy session IPAs, a 5% IPA with a blend of Galaxy, Mosaic and Summit hops.

  • Flying Bison Brewing Barrel Aged Spot Coffee Stout: Their spot Coffee Stout that was aged for nearly a year in freshly-emptied whiskey barrels.
  • Thin Man Brewery Cinco de Cryo: A double dry-hopped New England Double IPA brewed with Citra, Mosaic Cryo and Galaxy hops.
  • Pressure Drop Brewing / West Shore Brewing Sketchy IPA & Hella Sketchy DIPA: Sketchy (6%) is brewed with Centennial, Mosaic and Simcoe hops for crisp notes of fruity and dank. Hella Sketchy (8.5%) features Centennial, Simcoe Oil and Mosaic hops, and was dry hopped with Simcoe during active fermentation and Mosaic after. Sketchy will be available at both locations, while Hella Sketchy will be on tap at West Shore this weekend (and Pressure Drop soon after).
  • New York Beer Project Kentucky Rye Imperial Stout & Mexican Lager: The perfect combination of beer for this day – a never-before-tasted pilot batch of Mexican Lager for Cinco de Mayo, and an Imperial Stout aged in Kentucky Rye Whiskey barrelsfor Derby Day.

If you need us come Saturday, chances are we will be imbibing on some of the latest and freshest batch of 42 North’s LuchaBrew Mexican Lager, so there’s yet another beer to consider enjoying this weekend. So, did May 5 just officially become our favorite day of the year?

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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Pearl Street Throwdown: Pearl Street, SATO Brewpub to Wage War at Battle of the Bruts

Pearl Street Brewery and SATO Brewpub are bringing Brut IPA’s, a brand new beer style that originated on the West Coast, to Buffalo. This new beer, which uses an enzyme to break down sugars so the beer is lighter than water to create something of a hop champagne, will be on display at the Battle of the Brut’s on April 27th at SATO (4:30-7:30pm).

Both Pearl Street’s Brut IPA (5.2%), which is brewed with Cascade and Centennial hops (and dry hopped with 2.2 pounds of hops per barrel) and finished with a final gravity of 1.000 – which is equal to water, and SATO’s Brut IPA, named Source Codes (8.4%), which used Hallertau Blanc and Citra hops with a final gravity of .997, actually lighter than water, will be on tap. Not only are SATO and Pearl the first Buffalo breweries to brew a brut IPA, they are the second and third breweries on the entire East Coast to do so.

Now, just what is a Brut IPA? Social Brewing’s Kim Sturdavant is credited with brewing one of the first (if not the first) brut IPA’s. While beer is (generally) a balance between sweet malt and bitter hops, this new style uses an enzyme to break down all of the sugar so that the beer is literally lighter than water. It’s then hopped with a ton of hops, but in a way that extracts only the flavor and aroma with hardly any bitterness. The result is a super light ‘hop champagne’ that is easy to drink, delightfully aromatic, and even low carb.

“Basically we mashed in, added some alpha amylase to the mash, mashed in for our normal amount of time, mashed out at 170, went into the kettle, added the enzyme in the kettle, which was actually temp tolerant, meaning it didn’t denature until 203F,” SATO Head Brewer Drew Hardin explained. “We had another enzyme rest leaving the mash tun into the kettle, enzyme rest in the kettle until the boil started, denatured that, boiled through for 90 minutes, then turned around and started whirlpooling. We then waited until the whirlpool dropped to 200F, dry hopped, added enzyme, did a 30 minute whirlpool with a 30 minute enzyme rest, then went into the fermenter. We transferred in on yeast with beta gluconates in the fermenter. The beer never stopped chugging and once it got down to .997, we stopped it.”

“Ours is mostly pale malt with a little pilsner malt and then we threw a bag of wheat malt in as well, with the idea that there wasn’t going to be any residual sweetness but we still wanted there to be body to it,” Pearl Street Head Brewer Chris Herr says of his brut. “The wheat helped with the head retention. We mashed like normal at a lower temperature to get it nice and dry to begin with, then didn’t boil any bittering hops, added 50 ounces of Wakatu hops, and whirlpooled with 11 pounds, half each, of Cascade and Centennial, and it got very dry on its own after it fermented down. We added the enzyme with the dry hop and it fermented for another three days and it dropped down to the same gravity as water.”

I was lucky enough to sample each of the brut IPA’s ahead of the battle. Source Codes features dry white wine aromas with a white grape, peach and stone fruit bouquet and a lively dry finish that leads to a floral aftertaste. It’s the anti-session session IPA.

“It’s weird, it’s got negative mouthfeel,” Hardin adds. “There’s nothing else that I can really compare it to other than a dry white wine or a champagne. It’s stupidly crushable. I never in my life that thought I would have an 8% beer that is so drinkable. I’m interested to see what Buffalo beer drinkers will think; a lot of people complain about IPA’s not having enough body as they are right now. Most breweries have a problem not getting body in their beer, this is meant to not have body. So, that’s different. I don’t think that’s a negative. This is the first run, so we will see.”

As for Pearl Street’s Brut IPA, it has aromas of a typical West Coast Session IPA. It’s fruity up front before the dryness kicks in, but the dryness doesn’t ruin your palette, it leaves just enough that you want to take another sip. Suffice to say, the pint goes quick.

“To me, it’s very well balanced,” Herr says on his own brut concoction, “because as far as this style goes it would be way too easy to overshoot it. I’m pretty happy with it and I think it’s going to go quick. It will be great for the summer on the patio. I think people are going to really like this and with any luck we might even get some white and champagne drinkers to try it.”

After reaching out to Sturdavant himself to tell him their plans, Hardin and Herr are sending crowlers to San Francisco to him to get his thoughts on their versions.

“I try and keep my thumb on the pulse; anything that I can find or read. I always try and keep an eye on what’s going on, who’s doing what, what’s weird, what’s interesting. I try to keep an eye out for what might push people’s threshold a little bit,” Hardin adds of the reasoning behind trying out the new style here in Buffalo.

At the event, which is free and open to the public, you’ll be able to try a 10oz. pour of each beer for $10 during this event. For more information on the Battle of the Bruts, check out https://www.facebook.com/events/1842089186096019/.

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: Pressure Drop/West Shore collab, SATO/Pearl Street Brut IPAs, Stillhouse Rebrands, new Southern Tier Imperial Gose

Pressure Drop, West Shore Get Sketchy With New Collab

Pressure Drop Brewing and West Shore Brewing have a new collaboration in the tanks, an IPA named Sketchy. The new brew, which should be ready the first week of May, clocks in around 6% ABV and is brewed with a blend of Centennial, Mosaic and Simcoe hops. Pressure Drop Head Brewer Karl Kolbe says that Sketchy ‘should be fruity dank and super crisp.’ Once released, Sketchy will be available at both Pressure Drop’s taproom in the Barrel Factory and at West Shore in Clarence. West Shore Brewing also recently released a Dampfbier, another collaboration, this time with Niagara Teaching College.

Pearl Street, SATO to Wage War at Battle of the Bruts

Pearl Street Brewery and SATO Brewpub are bringing Brut IPA’s, a style that originated in San Francisco, to Buffalo. This new style uses an enzyme to break down sugars so the beer is lighter than water, then hopped for flavor and aroma, to create something of a hop champagne. On April 27th at SATO (4:30-7:30pm), both Pearl Street’s Brut IPA, brewed with Cascade and Centennial hops (final gravity of 1.000 – equal to water) and SATO’s Brut, which used Hallertau Blanc and Citra hops (final gravity of .996 – lighter than water), will be on tap. The event is free.

Ellicottville’s Stillhouse Brewery Rebrands as Steelbound

Stillhouse Brewery and Distillery, which is set to open in Ellicottville in the new few months, has rebranded as Steelbound Brewery and Distillery in an effort to avoid any brand confusion in the market. “In an effort to avoid any confusion with a similarly named product in the market we’ve made the decision to rebrand ourselves as ‘Steelbound Brewery And Distillery,’ a name that conveys strength and unity, qualities that are strongly displayed within our team,” the brewery said in a statement. “Please bear with us during the transition and thank you for your support!” For more information, visit www.steelboundevl.com.

Southern Tier to Drop Next Installment of Fruited Sour Series

Following in the footsteps of their Imperial Blueberry Tart Ale, Imperial Cherry Gose and Imperial Concord Grape Gose, Southern Tier Brewing is set to release Imperial Peach Gose, an 8.3% imperial gose brewed with peaches, cardamom, chamomile and coriander. It features a sour aroma, with peach pulp and tart and fruity notes of peach and stone fruit that are balanced by sweetness of peaches and herbal qualities. Imperial Peach Gose will be available on April 23. Southern Tier will also release The Psychic Laser Unfiltered Double IPA, the next installment of their Science is the Art Collection, on April 30.

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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Big Ditch Introduces Newest Member of Lock IPA Series Family

Big Ditch Brewing’s vaunted Lock IPA Series is set to grow by one with the introduction of the fourth installment, Dibble, named after Lockport canal engineer Orringh “Orange” Dibble, who invented a horse drawn crane for removing debris out of the Erie Canal during its excavation. The new beer will be released on April 21 (12pm) in 4-packs of 16oz. cans for $13.99.

Following in the footsteps of Packet, Fip and 363, Dibble is brewed with Hallertau Blanc, Amarillo and Simcoe hops and features bright orange and grapefruit aroma and flavor, with just a hint of bitterness, and a slight earthy and floral finish.

“Like all of the Lock IPA series, Dibble has excellent hop flavor and aroma with muted bitterness which makes it very drinkable, but it’s also unique and different from all the other beers in the series too,” Big Ditch President Matt Kahn says. “This beer uses London Ale III as the yeast strain, which contributes some earth and floral notes to the typical citrus profile. I find this beer extremely balanced, with the overriding character being orange marmalade and spice.”

This is the scaled up version of Innovation Series: Dave’s New England-style IPA, a beer from the mind of Big Ditch’s Dave O’Connor, 3rd shift Lead Brewer extraordinaire. This beer was one of the true standouts at the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational this past February at New York Beer Project. It featured a nice soft finish with a hit of melon.

“This beer is the culmination of several years worth of development; a beer our 3rd shift lead brewer Dave O’ Connor made at home and gave to his fellow brewers in winter of 2016,” Kahn adds. “We thought it was like drinking fresh grapefruit juice at the time. It took several pilot batches at our brewery to dial it in a bit better before making it to production scale.”

In addition to Dibble, Big Ditch will also have a fresh batch of Deep Cut Double IPA cans on sale (4-packs of 16oz. cans are $14.99) and a new pilot beer, Innovation Series: Berry Sour 1.0, which is brewed with oats and lactose, co-fermented with Big Ditch’s house ale strain and house lacto strain and dry hopped with Mosaic hops. It features strong blueberry and strawberry flavors, but still tastes like a nice sour beer. There will be limited quantities available of this beer (no growler fills).

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/2193814064273063.

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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Community Beer Works Readies Massive New Brewery

It was only a matter of time before Community Beer Works, a l ocal beer institution that was once Buffalo beer’s best kept secret, moved on from their humble and quaint Lafayette Street brewery. After helping to revitalize the Niagara Corridor thanks to the great beer they have been brewing since 2012, CBW has their eyes on helping to rejuvenate another Queen City neighborhood as they ready their massive new headquarters inside a nearly-century old building at 520 Seventh St.

CBW’s President Ethan Cox says that he hopes to open the doors at the new brewery space in mid to late May, optimistically, or early June at the latest. The new space features a long bar set in a spacious 7,000 square foot area where tentative plans call for bartop and communal tables as well as plenty of room for seating. There’s also a clear windowed garage door near the brewery’s front entrance that peers out into the neighborhood, though Cox says they aren’t sure what exactly they will have in the way of a patio out front.

“I don’t really know what we are going to do in terms of a patio out front, but it will probably be pretty minimal,” Cox says. “We might just put some grass out there so it could be a space where you can actually sit in the grass.”

Up a small set of stairs sits another seating area, which leads into a conference room/multi-use lounge area and manager’s office on the other side. There’s also a kitchen that will offer a simple menu full of three or four main items, including burgers. There’s also an order window (similar to Voodoo Brewing’s Erie, PA location).

In addition to plenty of taps offering their own brews, the new bar will also offer a liquor/cocktail list featuring local spirits, as well as red and white wine. Cox says that the brewery will offer beer cocktails as well. “I like a good Manhattan from time to time so if you really want a Manhattan here you don’t have to leave,” he says.

Off the back corner of the main taproom space sits one of the space’s most unique features, an open air patio/courtyard. Cox says a mural will be painted on the outside wall of courtyard, which will feature tables, outdoor seating and a fire pit. “I’m excited about this space too, especially when it’s nice outside and we can just sit out here,” he adds. What’s unique about this area is that it was once enclosed, but the roof was so distressed that it needed to be completely torn off, so Cox said they decided to create an outdoor area in the process.

The bar will feature approximately 20 lines with multiple taps dedicated to CBW’s core brands – Whale, Frank, That IPA and Iroquois – flanking about 10 taps of seasonal and one-off brews. “We should effectively have about 15 beers available at any given time,” he says. There will also be a television on the wall behind the bar for breaking news, sporting events or what have you.

On the brewing side, CBW is upgrading to a three vessel, 20 barrel brewhouse, which was made for CBW by SMT from Virginia. “It’s 100 percent American made, which is something that was very important to us.” The brewhouse also features a 10 barrel wooden foeder, which CBW purchased two years ago at the Craft Brewers conference.

“We will have a mix of 20 and 40 barrel fermenters, enough to give us a capacity of about 5,000 barrels when we open,” Cox says, “which is about what Big Ditch’s capacity was when they opened. I expect that we will grow pretty rapidly from there. We think we have enough space for enough tanks in here to get up to about 20,000 barrels.”

In the brewhouse there is a small mill room, where the CBW brewing team will mill their grain, a sizeable cold room for cold beer storage, a shipping/receiving area with a dock, which Cox was quite excited about, an area for packaging and canning, brewer’s office and dry storage.

Cox explains that the final decision came down to two different locations and they ultimately decided on the 520 Seventh St. location due to its historical significance and the chance for CBW to help revitalize another Buffalo neighborhood.

“In January 2016, we had this building on offer to us and another project over on Florida Street, and I thought both locations were really cool,” Cox says. “I liked this location geographically a little better, and I liked the history of this spot a lot better, because that building [a currently vacant 5-story building next to the brewery] was built originally as a malthouse. I thought that was a good fit. The malting company was called the Schaeffer Brothers and they were not very big. This became a chocolate factory after that.”

“This neighborhood also felt like it was more in need and would be more accepting. It also got us a little closer to downtown, which I also liked. So, in the end we settled on this one of the two and we have never looked back.”

Now for a bit of bad news. Once the 520 Seventh St. facility is open and operational, retails operations at the Lafayette taproom will be closed for a period of time. Cox adds that they will reopen once they feel that they have things under control at the new space, possibly only on Fridays and Saturdays at first with the possibility of adding additional hours as needed.

“We will keep brewing there because, for here, for our other accounts, we’re going to want to continue to have shorter brew lengths available. We’re not going to want 20 barrels of every beer we brew. So we will continue to make use of that facility for smaller batches to feed the taproom here and some other places as well.”

Cox says that he would like to make some improvements to the Lafayette space as well in time, including adding a second bathroom, adding more space and creating a more user friendly environment all around.

The story of Community Beer Works is a true testament to the power of Buffalo beer. What was once one of Buffalo’s smallest breweries is set to become one of its biggest, all thanks to four little ingredients – malt, water, hops and yeast. CBW is proof positive that there is something special brewing in the Queen City.

For more information on Community Beer Works, please visit http://www.communitybeerworks.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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