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 firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.