Woodcock Brothers Brewing will open their second location, which is located in the historic Wurlitzer Building in North Tonawanda, this Friday at 11am. This weekend they will be open until 11pm Friday, 11am-11pm on Saturday and 12pm-7pm Sunday. Moving forward, Woodcock’s normal hours of operation will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11am-10pm. The Wurlitzer Building located at 908 Niagara Falls Boulevard.
The new facility will feature a full restaurant, kitchen, beer garden, bar and over a half-dozen beers brewed in-house, including flagships brands like Niagara Lager, Woodcock Porter, Safety Meeting Brown Ale and Red Head Amber Ale, as well as a new House IPA (formerly known as Hoppycock IPA and soon to be renamed), newly revamped Salted Caramel Porter and B.O.M.B. Blood Orange Berliner Weisse. Plans also call to have BlackBird Cider Words cider on tap as well as mead from Clarence’s Lilly Belle Meads. There will be four guest taps at any given time, and Woodcock’s house root beer will be on tap as well. The new location features 27 total taps across two towers. Crowler and growler fills will be available.
Woodcock’s new restaurant will feature a vegan menu, wood-fired pizzas (just like at their Wilson location) and will specialize in Raclette cheese dishes. Raclette is a semi-hard cheese that is heated up and then scraped from the wheel onto your plate or on top of other food. I had the chance to try the French fries, and suffice to say, the plate did not last long.
The space features plenty of high top tables and seating, a long bar with dozens of bar stools, digital board and classic chalkboard for specials and announcements, a handful of flat screen televisions behind the bar and an entire section of booths for seating that is perfect for families. Woodcock will also have a beer garden, which Gordon lovingly named One Cock Way, though it didn’t necessarily stick, which will have bistro tables with umbrellas. It’s a unique setting as well; the beer garden sits in-between two buildings, which offers an industrial vibe. Plans also call for live music at the brewery.
Woodcock transported their 10bbl brewing system to Wurlitzer and then installed a new 20bbl system at their location in Wilson. Wurlitzer will brew on a 10bbl system with 10bbl fermenters, while Wilson will brew on a 20bbl system with 20 and 40bbl fermenters.
In addition to their core brands, Woodcock will launch with a few newer faces, including their House IPA, which should find a forever name soon. The revamped Hoppycock IPA is soft and fluffy with notes of pineapple, mango and citrus. It’s basically what you want from a hazy IPA. The B.O.M.B. Blood Orange Mango Berliner Weisse is another treat. This 4%er is highly crushable with bright notes of citrus and mango fruit juice to go along with a light and pleasant tartness. I want another one as I type this.
The revamped Salted Caramel Porter is literal dessert in a glass. It has some silky smooth coffee and chocolate notes, and is dangerous smooth and drinkable. It’s an entirely different beer if you’ve had this one before. This 5.1% treat is made with 15 pounds of coffee from New Day Roasters, and perhaps the best thing about this beer is, Woodcock returned the coffee beans used in the brewing process to New Day, who ground them up and will use them to make coffee that will be served at the brewery.
Woodcock Head Brewer Matt Gordon has a number of plans for future beers as well. He says that he will have Goat Island Maibock on tap in North Tonawanda in a week or so, as well as a new Double IPA with Norwegian HotHead yeast and Meridian, Denali and Cascade hops. Gordon adds that they also will have their next XPA, version 17, ready in time for Memorial Day, as well as a collaboration with West Shore Brewing, which will be brewed at Woodcock, coming soon. The beer will be an Imperial Chocolate Banana Hefewezien, clocking in at around 9%. The beer should be on tap at both locations. He adds that Woodcock’s Farm to Pint beer for 2019, which takes place this May, will be a Belgian Pale Ale made with spelt malt from Niagara Craft Malt.
You can stay abreast by following the brewery on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/woodcockbrothers.
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 email@example.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.