Buffalo Beer Buzz: CBW, 42 North Drop NEIPA’s, Brew Academy at Niagara College Teaching Brewery, Brooklyn Brewing’s Garrett Oliver in Town

Community Beer Works to Release Bang A ‘Uey NEIPA in Cans

Community Beer Works are set to release their first ever New England IPA, Bang A ‘Uey, in cans on January 4 (3pm). Bang A ’Uey is brewed with Mosaic and Hallertau Blanc hops with heaps of oats and Conan yeast for bright aromas of papaya, passion fruit and subtle notes of grape. 16oz. 4-pack cans will be available for purchase just hours after being canned. Bang A ‘Uey will then be available wherever great beer is sold soon after that. CBW will then host the First Friday After Party that night (8pm), featuring performances from DJ Milk and the Stripteasers.

Pre-Emption NEIPA is Back at 42 North Brewing

Pre-Emption New England IPA cans are returning to 42 North Brewing on January 5 (12pm). The first release of the Pre-Emption Series features Galaxy, Azacca, Denali, and Mosaic hops. Pre-Emption is brewed to be hazy and juicy with complex fruit aromas and flavors. A few days later on January 8 (4pm), 42 North will tap their version of Sierra Nevada Brewing Butte County Proud IPA and will donate 100% of Resilience IPA sales to the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund, to support victims of the California Camp Fire, which killed at least 85 people and destroyed over 13,000 homes.

Join the Brew Academy at Niagara College Teaching Brewery

The Brew Academy of Canadian Food & Wine Institute, a one-week extensive program which delivers extensive hands-on industry training, returns to Niagara College in Niagara-on-the-Lake, February 25 – March 1. There are 5 courses – Day in the Brewery, where you will experience the role of brewmaster, Brew Production, which highlights all the elements involved in producing quality beer, Discover Brew Ingredients, which showcases ingredients such as barley, malts, hops & yeasts, Brew Packaging, which covers beer packaging and Brewery Trends, Operations & Health and Safety, which leads you through top industry trends. Each course is $195. Canadianfoodandwineinstitute.ca for more information.

Join Brooklyn Brewing’s Garrett Oliver at Exclusive Beer Tasting Event

Join renowned Brooklyn Brewing Brewmaster Garrett Oliver as part of the 2019 National Geographic Live series at Kleinhan’s Music Hall, February 8 (7pm), for a special beer-tasting event, featuring Oliver introducing and talking about a handful of his favorite beers, explaining the history of beer and the back-stories during the evening. The intimate talk will unfold over a two-hour period with food stations provided by local restaurants. Attendance limited to 400. VIP ticket gives you reserved seating and admits you to meet-and-greet (VIP subscriptions to National Geographic Live series also available). Purchase tickets at BPO.org (General Admission, $95, VIP, $125).

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: New Beer Releases, New Year’s Eve Parties, Pizza Plant Big Holiday Bash, Habitat For Humanity’s Tour Cards

Stock Up on Recent Beer Releases for the Holiday Week Ahead

The holidays can be hectic – baking, shopping, wrapping, spending time with family and the list goes on. Thankfully, all those things are easier with beer, so now is the time to stock up for your holiday celebrations. Resurgence Brewing has fresh cans of Head in the Clouds Double IPA and Brut IPA and Community Beer Works has cans of Electronic Dream Phone IPA (a collaboration with Kings County Brewing Collective). There is still some Big Ditch Brewing Citraburner IPA at the brewery and Pressure Drop Brewing has cans of Space Monkey Episode 3: Revenge of the Space Monkey IPA available. Ellicottville Brewing just dropped Black Daze Black New England IPA in cans and Steelbound has canned Last Minute IPA. 42 North has cans of Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale and NYtro Coffee Porter, Thin Man Brewery has a new batch of Trial By Wombat NEIPA cans and Woodcock Brothers also just released XPA 16. So many beers, so little time.

 

Ring In the New Year at These Local Breweries

 

As the calendar pages fall away to reveal the New Year, it’s time to celebrate, and a number of local breweries are getting ready to party. Grab your best costume as Rusty Nickel Brewing celebrates history’s most iconic duos at their New Year’s Eve Keg Drop. Tickets cost $65 (EventBrite). Ring in the New Year near the Electric Tower at Big Ditch. Tickets are $70 (EventBrite). New York Beer Project are celebrating the end of 2018 in style with a free party. It’s Brew Year’s Eve at Buffalo Riverworks. Tickets cost $140 per couple ($80 solo, BuffaloRiverworks.com). Head to Community Beer Works’ new HQ for their first ever NYE Party/Keg Drop. Event is free. 42 North are also dropping a keg to celebrate the oncoming year. $10 at the door. Mr. Goodbar are hosting karaoke from 10pm-2am and Marquee Grand performs at 11pm ($3). Drink specials all night. Happy New Year!

Pizza Plant Hosts Big Holiday Bash with Founder’s Brewing for a Good Cause

Pizza Plant Transit are welcoming Founder’s Brewing to town for their Big Holiday Bash on December 27 (6pm). The event will feature a whole host of Founder’s most beloved offerings on draft and in bottles, including Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS), Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS), Better Half (Old Ale with Molasses Aged in Maple Syrup Bourbon Barrels), Backwoods Bastard Scotch Ale, Azacca IPA and 2016 Imperial Stout. If you purchase a flight, you can then get a bottle of KBS for only $5. Also, if you bring an article of clothing to donate, you will receive some Founder’s swag in return.

Raise a Glass for a Great Cause with Habitat for Humanity’s Craft Brew Tour Cards

Habitat for Humanity collaborated with a number of bars, breweries and distilleries for the House Beer Built Tour, which features coupons for free beer, mead and cocktails at 25 places. You can get free beers from Resurgence, Big Ditch, SATO Brewpub, Flying Bison and Community Beer Works, as well as Aurora Brew Works, Pizza Plant and World of Beer, free cocktails from Lockhouse, Black Button and Buffalo Distilling and mead from Lilly Belle Meads in Clarence. Cards are $30 and can be purchased at the HFH office (1765 South Park), the ReStore (501 Amherst Street), and Transit Lanes in Williamsville.

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.river

 

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Stay Resilient: Area Breweries Join Sierra Nevada Resilience Project for Wildlife Relief

The recent catastrophic California Camp Fire destroyed entire neighborhoods and communities, leaving over 153,000 acres of land and over 13,000 buildings and homes burned and decimated in its wake, while killing at least 85 people. Nearby Sierra Nevada Brewery, true pioneers and a pillar of the craft beer world, took it upon themselves to use their best weapon – beer – to help give back and start to rebuild.

And from tragedy, the Resilience Project was born, started by Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman, who called on everyone in the industry to take his Resilience Butte County Proud IPA recipe and brew the beer to help those affected in his home state. Proceeds from sales will go directly toward the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund, which will help rebuild and support areas most affected by the Camp Fire.

Thus far, over 1,400 breweries worldwide have taken up arms and joined the project, including a number of area breweries – 42 North Brewing, Flying Bison Brewing, Brickyard Brewing, Rusty Nickel Brewing, Pressure Drop Brewing, Thin Man Brewery, Ellicottville Brewing, Labatt Brew House and Batavia’s Eli Fish Brewing.

Grossman’s ask is a major reason why Flying Bison decided to take part because, according to founder and Buffalo beer’s most recognizable mustache, Tim Herzog, how do you say no to someone like Ken Grossman?

Flying Bison’s Christina Killourhy brewing up Resilience IPA (Photo credit: Flying Bison)

“Who says “no” to Ken Grossman?” Herzog says. “Flying Bison has been community involved ever since we started. The Resilience Project is a good deal larger in scope than anything we have been involved in before, but this is a tragedy bigger than most can imagine. They have no home, no food, and no way to start again. The hope behind this is to give the victims some help to get started again.”

“Being involved in the community has been a huge part of craft brewers’ MO since the beginning of the movement,” Flying Bison Head Brewer Colin Herzog adds. “Beer brings people together to engage and socialize with each other and with that comes the desire to help where needed, and the folks in California dealing with this terrible disaster need a lot of help.”

Taking part in the Resilience Project was a no-brainer for Thin Man’s Rudy Watkins, who cites Sierra Nevada as one of his biggest inspirations as a brewer.

“How could we not make this beer? We have the opportunity to raise a significant amount money for people who have suffered from a horrible disaster. Sierra Nevada has been an inspiration for my entire brewing (and drinking!) career. The project is a testament to the amazing people that make up the craft beer industry – from Sierra and the folks organizing this, to Country Malt, who donated the ingredients to us, to the folks who are going to walk into the pub & give their money to those who suffered from the fire.”

Ellicottville Brewing was honored to be able to help give back, according to brewer Dan Minner, who says the brewery was eager to help out once they found out about the Resilience Project.

“Like the rest of the country we heard the developments of the campfire and the horrible Devastation that happened in Butte County as it developed. It has taken its toll on town like Paradise not only in the precious lives of the victims it claimed and those who are still missing, but also the infrastructure and more than 14,000 homes of the surrounding community. We have had the great privilege of visiting that beautiful part of the country and spending a day with our colleagues at Sierra Nevada. When we heard of this project and this interesting new idea of a sort of a “brewsourcing” fundraiser we were eager to use our skills to help those in need. Please come visit EBC and all the local breweries serving it up during this giving season.”

Pressure Drop’s Karl Kolbe drops hops into their Resilience IPA (Photo credit: Pressure Drop)

Former Northern California resident and current Pressure Drop Brewing Head brewery Karl Kolbe, who spent year honing his craft at Knee Deep Brewing, says he jumped at the chance to help out because he has experienced the effects of a wildfire up close and personal.

“Having lived in northern California for 12 years, I know all too well the effects of wildfire on a community. While living in Auburn, California, our small Sierra foothills town experienced a wildfire that destroyed over 100 homes and businesses. The town of Paradise is just over an hour drive from Auburn. Seeing my neighbors experiencing this tragedy hits us hard. I’m thankful that Sierra Nevada Brewing has given us this opportunity to work as a community to help the people affected.”

Batavia’s Eli Fish Brewing didn’t give it a second thought once they got the call asking them to take part.

“We decided to brew the Resilience IPA as soon as the Brewers Association sent the email requesting support,” Owner/Brewer Jonathan Mager. “We saw it and had to do it, even before we knew thousands of fellow brewers had the same reaction. It’s an amazing idea to get thousands of brewers to brew the same recipe and donate the proceeds to a single cause. The Camp Fire in California definitely hit close to home for Sierra Nevada who started this whole project, and we applaud them for the incredible foresight, determination and dedication it took to pull this project off. It blows us away, we are a tiny brewery in Batavia, NY, and we get the opportunity to be part of such an incredible nationwide movement. It’s truly remarkable how the entire brewing community embraced the idea. Also, the amount of aid that the Camp Fire relief fund will receive as a result of this project is truly humbling.”

Ryan Brady of the newly opened Labatt Brew House adds that it was the true sense of community amongst the brewing industry that drew him to take part. “I think one of the best things about beer is that it brings people together (typically for fun), and being able to use that power to help a community out that has been severely damaged is a great opportunity.”

Rusty Nickel shares Brady’s sentiment, according to Head brewer Dave Johnson. “For us, it’s about being small but still being able to be part of something big that should really make a difference. Beer can be powerful.”

The shocking footage of the aftermath of Camp Fire caught the attention of Brickyard Brewing Head Brewer John Paul Meeter. “It’s just about how shocking the footage was. You hear about fires, but I had never seen anything like that. If I was one of those people out there I would literally have no idea how or where to even start rebuilding.”

42 North owner John Cimperman says that 42 North answered the bell because they believe in brewing beer for the greater cause, and because some of his team, like Pressure Drop’s Karl Kolbe, has California roots.

“42 North answered the call from Sierra Nevada for a couple of reasons,” Cimperman says. “As an industry, we can do a lot of good through collaboration. This is another example. Also, our team has some Northern California roots and wanted to support a place, and people, that are important to us.”

Flying Bison, Ellicottville and Brickyard currently have their versions on tap at their respective taprooms. You can expect Pressure Drop, Rusty Nickel and Thin Man’s Resilience IPA’s in late December and 42 North and Eli Fish will have their versions in early January.

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: Pearl Street’s Xmas Cookie Party, Woodcock XPA 16, Best Christmas Parties at Breweries/Bars, BlackBird’s Ciders of Christmas Past

Why Wouldn’t You Pair Holiday Beer and Christmas Cookies Together?

Know what pairs perfectly with Christmas cookies? Not milk – beer. Explore the marriage of cookies and beer at the annual Christmas Cookie and Beer Party at Pearl Street Brewery on December 20 (5pm). Taking place in Brawler’s Deli (basement of Pearl Street), the event pairs Christmas cookies with local holiday beer, including 42 North Brewing’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale, Big Ditch Brewing’s Fresh Baked, Community Beer Works’ Alpaca Holiday Sweater Porter, Pearl Street Gingerbread Cookie Brown Ale, Rusty Nickel Oatmeal Cookie and Resurgence Brewing Snickerdoodle Ale. Bring in a dozen homemade Christmas cookies and get a free flight!

Woodcock Brothers to Drop XPA 16 Just in Time for Christmas

Woodcock are looking to make everyone’s Christmas merry and bright with the release of XPA 16, December 22 (12pm). XPA 16.0 is hopped with Denali, Mosaic, Citra and Galaxy hops, then double dry hopped with all four. Woodcock says they were going for a huge, tropical juicy-fruit explosion on the aroma and palate with this beer. Cans will initially be available only at the brewery (no limit) with limited distribution through Western New York after. Woodcock will hold an Ugly Sweater Party starting at 7pm, featuring $1 off beers for sweater wearers and live music from Pour Old Goat (7-10pm).

Celebrate the Holidays with Fresh Local Beer at These Breweries

A number of area breweries are getting festive for the holiday season are celebrating by what Buffalo does best – party. Lewiston’s Brickyard Brewing are throwing a pair of soirees, including a Customer Appreciation Party on December 19 (7-9pm) and Christmas Party on Dec. 22 (8pm). Look for music from DJ P Nasty (11pm) and $3 pints of Ledge Party Light. Community Beer Works’ Office Christmas Party takes place Dec. 20 (7pm), where they will re-release their Spruce Vilanch Double IPA with Spruce Tips and host a triple movie feature – Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. New York Beer Project’s Ugly Sweater Party takes place Dec. 20 (7pm), featuring $4 pints of Hibeernation and 8 Maids a Milkstout. Four Mile Brewing will host a Christmas Party on Dec. 21 (6pm), featuring raffles and live music, and Pearl Street will host their 14th Annual Christmas Party on Dec. 25 (9pm). Tickets ($20-$285) are available at Ticketfly and include four rooms of dance music.

BlackBird Cider Works Dig Into the Cellar for Special Event

BlackBird Cider Works are using the holiday season as an excuse, and a good one at that, to dig deep into their cider cellar for Ciders of BlackBird Christmas – Present and Past (Buffalo Cider Hall, Dec. 20, 4pm), which will feature Christmas Ciders from 2016, 2017, and 2018, with samples of the original 2012 also available. A full tasting flight of the ‘16, ‘17, and ’18 vintages, plus your choice of any other draft sample, will cost you $12. You can also up the ante and add the rare 2012 vintage for just $4 more. Happy Holidays to all!

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: Brewers Invitational Tickets on Sale, Resurgence Brut IPA, Flying Bison Charity Events, 12 Gates’ Third Anniversary

Tickets on Sale for Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational at New York Beer Project

Tickets are on sale as the collective craft beer minds of the Buffalo-Niagara region will showcase their true brewing acumen at the third annual Buffalo Niagara Brewers Invitational, which features scores of rare, one-off and specialty beers brewed locally. The event will take place on January 27 (2-5pm) at New York Beer Project. A finalized beer list will be available soon. Tickets are on sale now at Eventbrite (General Admission, $45, Designated Driver, $10). Guests will receive a commemorative glass, a gift card for the purchase of beer-centric snacks and access to over 50 beers. Limited tickets will be available.

Resurgence Brewing Company to Release Brut IPA

Resurgence Brewing is getting festive with the release of Brut IPA on December 15 (12pm). The beer features a strong aroma of sharp citrus rind, white peach, lemon and grape. This hazy IPA will send fruit character riding across the palate and finishing very dry, but full of flavor. Resurgence Owner Jeff Ware says that Brut IPA “is the perfect beer for New Year’s Eve,” especially since they are not throwing their New Year’s party at the brewery this year due to an already full schedule. You can pre-order the beer right now on HopMule and pick-up on Dec. 14.

Flying Bison Gets Charitable with Cookies and, Of Course, Beer

Flying Bison are giving back in a major way this weekend with a pair of charitable events on December 15. First, they will tap their version (over 1,200 breweries are taking part worldwide) of Sierra Nevada Resilience Butte County Proud IPA at 12pm, with proceeds going to support the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund to help Butte County rebuild its community in the wake of the devastating Camp Fire. At 1pm, Flying Bison will host Cookies for a Cause IV, which will raise money for the Matt Urban Hope Center. A $10 donation gets you a box of cookies.

Celebrate Three Years of 12 Gates Brewing Company

12 Gates Brewing are celebrating three years of keeping the doors open at their 3rd Anniversary Party on December 12 (12pm). The event marks the release of 2018 Grave Concerns, a heavy-hitting Russian Imperial Stout that is a delight to sip. Look for notes of coffee, chocolate, dark oak and vanilla. 100 22oz. bottles will be available for purchase at $12 each. Limited 5oz. samples will also be available. Julian Burgio, The CPX and Box of Wine will perform throughout the day, which features extended hours until midnight. There is no cover and the event is open to the public.

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

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Resurgence Brewing Looks to Redefine Beer Releases with HopMule

There are many pros and cons to waiting in line for beer, the worst being not having enough time and not knowing if there will be enough beer to go around (there’s also line shares and comradery too, so it’s not all bad). Resurgence Brewing are playing the role of guinea pig in HopMule, a new tool that seeks to take the guessing out of the beer waiting game, with the release of a new batch of their CitMo IPA 2.0 and brand new PB Sponge Swirl, a new blend of Peter B. Porter and Sponge Candy Swirl. Both beers are available for preorder right now at HopMule (as is their new Brut IPA, but more on that later).

Using HopMule is simple. Visit https://app.myhopmule.com, place your order, select your pick-up window, pay, and that’s it. Then go to the brewery at the time you selected and pick up your beer – no waiting in line, just walk up to the bar and grab your brew. Resurgence is currently the only brewery using the service (it is still in beta testing).

Resurgence Owner Jeff Ware says that the goal of HopMule is to create a place where anyone can go to see all of the new beer releases in one place. While he knows there are those who don’t mind waiting in line for beer, he says HopMule wasn’t created to eliminate that aspect of beer releases – it was created to help streamline the process.

“It’s about trying to create a release marketplace – one centralized place where every brewery can post their releases to. A place where a consumer can see all of the releases they want without having to visit 12 different websites or social media pages. I think it’s a much needed thing in our beer scene. I think the whole line culture is fun and cool if you want to do it and we, as a brewery, support that as well, but if you’re a busy father of three with only a couple of hours to go out and grab a beer, this could be a solution for a lot of people. We know it’s not for everybody.”

Ware adds that HopMule, which was developed by a local IT company, was born out of a need to make things easier for both the taproom and customer when it comes to beer releases. He admits that things should go a lot smoother if the brewery knew how many people to expect for each release.

“This came about around a year and a half ago. We were holding beer releases, say, like the last time we released Peter B. Porter, and you’d come into the taproom and we’d be three or four deep at the bar and everyone is ordering 10 crowlers a piece. And while all of our bartenders were busy getting crowlers, not everyone there was getting served. Our customers are having a bad experience, our wait staff is overwhelmed, and no one is enjoying it. The fastest you can make a crowler is [approximately] two minutes. And we’re not even one of those breweries that gets crazy lines. We thought, how can we do it where we can maximize customers experience in the taproom, but also maximize the ease of managing a release. So, we thought to ourselves – there has to be a better way to do this.”

“What it does on the taproom side is help to alleviate that bottleneck or lack of bottleneck. Sometimes we do a release and we only sell a handful of cases, other times we sell 50 cases. There’s no real rhyme or reason, and this helps us know ahead of time how many people are coming, so we can setup and staff the release appropriately.”

Ware says that the idea for the PB Sponge Swirl came about when he was sitting at the bar drinking Peter B. Porter and envisioning it with more chocolate sweetness. “We were playing around with a mix and realized that the sweetness really plays well with the peanut butter, a lot like a peanut butter cup or peanut M&M. This beer will be perfect for the holiday season and will make for something cool to bring to a holiday party.”

A limited amount of PB Sponge Swirl will be available on draft and in cans (1 case limit PP, approximately 25 cases available). CitMo 2.0 will also be available on draft and in cans (1 case limit), with limited amounts of draft/cans going out to distribution.

Next weekend, Resurgence is releasing Brut IPA, which features a strong aroma of sharp citrus rind, white peach, lemon and grape. This hazy IPA will send fruit character riding across the palate and finishing dry but full of flavor. Ware says that Brut IPA “is the perfect beer for New Year’s Eve,” especially since they are not throwing their New Year’s party at the brewery this year due to an already full schedule. You can pre-order the beer on HopMule and pick-up on Dec. 14. The beer will officially release the following day. For more information on the Brut IPA release, 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.

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Buffalo Beer Buzz: SATO, West Shore Celebrate Stout Season, Hamburg’s 25 Days of Xmas, Bar Cultivar to Open, Buffalo Cask Fest VIP Night

SATO Brewpub, West Shore Brewing Brew Up a Sweet Treat

SATO Brewpub and West Shore Brewing are celebrating stout season with a truly special collaborative concoction, a Mississippi Mud Pie-style stout named Forbidden Mud Pie Stout that clocks in at 7.6% ABV. The new beer features loads of chocolate malt, forbidden Japanese rice, milk sugar and additional extracts added to emulate a creamy traditional Mississippi Mud Pie (think flavors of chocolate, vanilla, graham cracker, marshmallow and more). The tasty brew is currently on tap in Clarence at West Shore Brewing (draft and crowler fills available to go) and will be on tap at SATO Brewpub on Pearl Street very soon.

Celebrate the 25 Days of Christmas at Hamburg Brewing

The annual 25 Days of Christmas is back and underway at Hamburg Brewing. The month-long promotion runs through December 24 in Hamburg’s taproom and features daily promotions at the brewery. Here’s how it works – start by picking up a punch card at the brewery, then visit the taproom each day throughout December to participate in different daily promotions. Get at least 12 punches to receive a $50 gift certificate and gain entry to the Grand Prize (become Hamburg’s Brewer for a Day, drawn Dec. 28). Click here to see all of daily promotions as part of 25 Days of Christmas.

Bar Cultivar Set to Open in The Barrel Factory

The Barrel Factory, home to Pressure Drop Brewing and Lakeward Spirits, is set to grow with the addition of SteamPunk Cider’s Bar Cultivar, which will focus on terroir-driven ciders, while also offering a variety of beer, wine and cider-based cocktails. Bar Cultivar will officially open their doors December 8 (12-11pm). The grand opening will also serve as the official launch of five new SteamPunk ciders – Single Variety Brown Snout, Single Variety Chisel Jersey, Single Variety Dabinette, Single Variety Medaille d’or and Hojack Heritage Blend. All will be available on tap and will be available via 16oz. can fills (off tap).

Local Breweries Unite for VIP Local Brewers Night During Buffalo Cask Fest

The 2018 Buffalo Cask Fest officially gets underway at the VIP Local Brewers Night, December 6, an exclusive event that features casks from all-local breweries. This year’s event will feature limited cask beers such as Community Beer Works Thick & Sticky DDH Double IPA with Orange Peel and Orange Juice, 12 Gates Mango Chili Kettle Sour, Resurgence Pineapple Mango CitMo IPA, 42 North Fruited Belgian Wheat, Flying Bison Bison Best Bitter with Cascara and Old First Ward Imperial Hefeweizen. There are a few tickets remaining for the event and are $25. Buffalo Cask Fest runs Dec. 7-9 at Mr. Goodbar.

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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Bar Cultivar Set to Open in The Barrel Factory

The Barrel Factory, located in the Old First Ward and home to Pressure Drop Brewing and Lakeward Spirits, continues to grow with the addition of Bar Cultivar, which will have a heavy focus on terroir-driven ciders, while also offering a variety of beer, wine and cider-based cocktails. Bar Cultivar will officially open their doors on December 8 (12-11pm).

Leonard Oakes will use the grand opening as the official launch of five new SteamPunk ciders – Single Variety Brown Snout, Single Variety Chisel Jersey, Single Variety Dabinette, Single Variety Medaille d’or and Hojack Heritage Blend. All five will be available on tap and will be available via 16oz. can fills (off tap).

Bar Cultivar will showcase various cider regions from around the world to further appreciate cider’s place at the table and its prevalence in said culture. Alongside the opening, a new line of SteamPunk ciders will be released, which put the apple varieties into focus, while giving definition to their sense of place.

“Bar Cultivar is the culmination of 17 years of growing and fermenting cider specific varieties while reveling in all things cider. The opening of Bar Cultivar leads directly into our centennial year as fourth generation apple farmers in Western New York. We are proud of our heritage and excited for the opportunity to share the versatility, complexity, and depth of character that we know cider to be,” Jarod Thurber of Leonard Oakes says.

Bar Cultivar is located inside the Barrel Factory (65 Vandalia St.). For more details, or if you have questions, please email barcultivar@gmail.com or call (585) 318-4418.

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Enjoy 12 Days of Beer During 12 Gates of Christmas at 12 Gates Brewing

Remember The 12 Days Of Christmas? You know the song – lords a leaping, maids a milking, swans a swimming and all that. But haven’t you ever sat back and thought, ‘hey, this song would be much better if this was 12 days of beer?’ OK, there’s a good chance no one in the history of the world ever thought that but still, wouldn’t it be cool if there were a 12 Beers of Christmas? 12 straight days of new beer releases to help usher in the Christmas season? Sounds great, right? Oh wait, that’s exactly what the 12 Gates of Christmas at 12 Gates Brewing is. Yep, you read that right.

Starting on December 1, 12 Gates will release a new beer each day, along with an in-house special on beer and brewery merchandise, for 12 days leading up to the release of their Grave Concerns Russian Imperial Stout at their Third Anniversary Party on December 12. And if you go to the brewery each day to drink each beer, you’ll receive a custom t-shirt. Just ask your bartender for a punch card to participate.

Up first is Hot Chocolate Amber on Dec. 1, 12 Gates’ pilot Amber aged on cacao nibs and infused with toasted marshmallows. “The only thing missing with this beer is a nice campfire,” 12 Gates Head Brewer Scott Shuler says. “The chocolate notes are offset with sweet and toasty notes from the toasted marshmallows.” Special: $6.99 Cherry Vanilla Wheat 6-packs.

Dec. 2 brings Wassail Blonde, Barbaric Blonde treated with homemade wassail (oranges, cloves, brandy, cinnamon, ginger, and cider). “We brought this beer back from 2016 and 2017’s 12 Gates of Christmas,” Shuler adds. “This beer is smooth, spicy, with a nice apple finish.” Special: 25% off ¼ Zip Sweatshirt.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Habanero Porter follows on Dec. 3. “This special pilot batch is about sugar, and spice, and everything spicy,” Shuler says. “The English Porter carries the weight of the brown sugar and cinnamon while the roasted habaneros subtly create heat on the back of the throat.” Special: $25 Gift Card for $20.

Christmas Six Shooter IPA is up next on Dec. 4, a variant of Dan Bean’s Six Shooter IPA. “After fermentation Christmas spices and dry hops are added to create a unique experience. Look for a malty backbone, spices, and earthy hops.” Special: 25% off Tin Tackers.

Pumpkin Pie Blonde, Yoga Pants American Blonde aged on cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, fresh ginger, and nutmeg, hits tap on Dec. 5. “This beer drinks like a nice slice of pumpkin pie,” Shuler says. Special: $6.99 Coffee Porter 6-packs.

Fruitcake Amber, Amber Ale aged on raisins, cranberries, dried cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted walnuts, releases on Dec. 6. “Who doesn’t love fruitcake? Well this beer will give you the experiencing a drinkable fruitcake.” Special: $5 off Grey Zip Sweatshirt.

Dec. 7 brings Italian Grape Ale, 12 Gates’ German Pilsner conditioned with grape must. “An additional splash of grape must is added after lagering to give you the best of wine and beer. The beer is hazy and purple and perfect for a December afternoon.” Special: $50 Gift Card for $40.

Eggnog Stout (on Nitro) comes out on Dec. 8, an American stout conditioned on eggnog, and then poured through the nitro faucet. “The result is a very unique, creamy, roasty, and smooth egg nog concoction.” Special: $6.99 West Coast Style IPA 6-packs.

Then, on Dec. 9, Weihnachten Berliner Weisse, makes its presence known. “Our Christmas “Weihnachten” sour is aged on cranberries and mangoes to put you in the festive spirit. Look for tart and fruity notes with a crisp finish.” Special: $5 off Black Sweatshirts.

Nutcracker Sweet Brown Ale debuts on Dec. 10. “We roast our own grains and pecans and then throw them into the mash to create a sweet and nutty beer. Even the Nutcracker would enjoy a pint or two.” Special: 25% off all kegs.

Dec. 11 brings the release of Chocolate and Orange Peel Porter. “Starting with our base English Porter we age cacao nibs, cocoa, and blood orange peels until we hit the sweet blend that balances the porter. Perfect for a cold winter’s night.” Special: 25% Ornaments.

Finally, after a long 12 days of beer releases, Grave Concerns 2018 drops on Dec. 12. “As we turn three years old on the 12th, we celebrate with our annual release of our Grave Concerns,” Shuler says. “This year’s version comes in at 12% (go figure). Look for notes of vanilla, cacao, coffee, and ancho chilies.” For Grave Concerns, 12 Gates will hold a limited bottle release (100 22oz. bottles, $12, limit 2 per person) along with a special keg tapping at 12:12PM. Special: $25 Cases.

Along with the release of this year’s Grave Concerns vintage, 12 Gates’ Third Anniversary Party will also feature live music from Julian Burgio (12-2pm), Murphy’s Law (4-7pm) and Box of Wine (8-11pm).

For more information on the 12 Gates of Christmas, click here, and for more information on 12 Gates’ Third Anniversary Party, 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.

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Drinking Through Time with Resurgence Brewing’s Imperial Sponge Candy Stout

If you’re going to plan and properly execute a five-year beer vertical, you need to choose the right beer and the right beer style. You need a bigger, higher alcohol beer that will stand up to aging (depending on how many years you’re looking to cover), which is where Resurgence Brewing’s Imperial Sponge Candy Stout and its 10% ABV come in. When Resurgence dropped the first vintage of this beer back in 2014, I immediately planned a five-year vertical. Then, the next year, the brewery released the first year of Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Sponge Candy Stout, so of course I had to buy and age those bottles as well.

Fast forward to 2018, and I was finally able to see my plan come to fruition with a pair of huge verticals, 2014-2018 Imperial Sponge Candy Stout and 2015-2018 BBA Imperial Sponge Candy Stout. And with our powers combined, fellow Buffalo Beer League founder Scott McMillan and members Jesse Walters, Mark Jowett and Jill Campbell, along with Resurgence Owner Jeff Ware, we hunkered down at a table inside Resurgence on a cold, snowy night to drink way too many imperial stouts to remember. Thank god for my wife keeping tasting notes and Scott Panfil and the WNY Brews podcast recording the whole thing. Oh yeah, that happened, so keep an eye out for that podcast soon.

Each armed with a microphone (why Scott thought that was a good idea is still beyond me), we started with the 2014 Imperial Sponge Candy, and moved on from there. It opened with aromas of rich, dark chocolate (a running theme for these beers you’ll find), and featured notes of raisins, booze, figs and dark fruit. It was a bit thin, but featured enough of a coating mouthfeel to be enjoyable. The 2015 vintage was much sweeter with notes of vanilla cream, toasted marshmallow, sweet cocoa powder and a bigger mouthfeel than the 2014. 2016’s version offered a thicker head and better retention, with a thin body similar to the 2014. Notes of plum and fig, subtle raspberry and lots of chocolate led to a creamy finish. Moving onto the 2017, it imparted vanilla and a cherry cordial nose, with a spicy alcohol burn and bitter chocolate feel. Finally, the 2018 vintage was straight chocolate and perhaps the most well rounded of the vertical.

As we took a break from the festivities for a much-deserved pint of water, we discussed which versions we thought stood out. Our consensus was that the ’15 and ’17 were the best of the bunch with some other votes going to the ’16 and the ’18.

Here are our breakdowns:

Brian – 17, 15, 18, 16, 14
Scott P. – 17, 15, 16, 18, 14
Jesse – 15, 16, 18, 17, 14
Scott M. – 17, 15, 16, 18, 14
Jeff –15, 18, 17, 14, 16
Mark – 15, 17, 16, 14, 18
Jill – 17, 15, 18, 16, 14

After enough water to cycle out the first round of the imperials, we embarked down a darker path with the Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Sponge Candy Stouts. As we did with the imperials, we started with the oldest, being the 2015, which was aged in Breckenridge Distilling bourbon barrels. It opened with aromas of sweet booze, before flavors of chocolate, vanilla and oak took hold. The finish was great with lot of warming alcohol. The 2016, aged in Woodford Reserve barrels, again opened with booze, with some dark fruit mixed in. According to Jesse, this beer was ‘more angular and sharp.’ It featured bitter chocolate and a very boozy finish. 2017, aged in Jim Beam barrels, had a dark red cherry wine note to it, with more intense bourbon and barrel flavors – vanilla, char, cherry, oak, and dark fruit. And finishing off this half of the vertical was the 2018, which was aged in Buffalo Trace barrels. Lot of complexity to this vintage, with sharp flavors of big dark chocolate, oak, and vanilla. It was smooth and a little sweeter than past years. We all agreed it should age pretty well.

After some discussion, we all decided that the ’15 and ’18 were the strongest, with some votes registered for the ’16.

Here are our breakdowns:

Brian – 15, 18, 17, 16
Scott P. – 18, 16, 15, 17
Jesse – 15, 18, 17, 16
Scott M. – 15, 18, 17, 16
Jeff – 15, 18, 16, 17
Mark – 18, 16, 17, 15
Jill – 15, 17, 18, 16

And, as if five imperial stouts and four more bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts weren’t enough, we thought it was a good idea to add in the 2017 and 2018 Imperial Milk Stout (thanks Mark and Jeff) for good measure. The ’17 was super smooth, like silk going down your throat. The lactose rounded out the mouthfeel nicely. 2018 was velvety soft with notes of smooth dark chocolate and a clean, creamy finish.

We capped the night off with countless baskets of soft pretzels and stuffed pepper queso dip, so it’s easy to say this was a truly special experience. The beer, the people, the atmosphere, everything was simply tremendous. The first time we ever had Sponge Candy Stout, it was one of Jeff’s homebrews, and we drank it in an empty building that didn’t yet have a floor. To think of how far we’ve come with these verticals is incredible, and pretty awe-inspiring. Thank you Jeff, thank you Resurgence, for everything – the beer, the friendship, the memories. Thank you so much.

First, it was a 2013-2018 vertical of Southern Tier Brewing’s Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale, then it was these Imperial and BBA Imperial Sponge Candy Stouts. So, what’s next? Maybe Big Ditch’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Towpath Imperial Stout. Maybe their Bidwell Wild Ale. I’d love to do Community Beer Works’ Heat Rays Barleywine or The Snow Imperial Stout. Who knows – I’m open to suggestions.

You can purchase bottles of Resurgence’s 2018 Imperial Sponge Candy Stout and Milk Stout as well as the 2018 Bourbon Barrel Aged Sponge Candy Stout right now at the brewery.

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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