Celebrating the brews, bands, and bars of Buffalo N.Y. Buffalo Beer Week® promotes Buffalo’s growing craft beer culture by sponsoring a ten-day festival in Erie and Niagara counties that attracts beer tourism, fosters knowledge of our regional brewing heritage, and serves as a showcase for Buffalo’s breweries, restaurants, pubs, and other businesses with ties to the craft beer community.

Buffalo Beer Week Back for 8th Year

cropped-BuffaloBeerWeek_2017_Header

Buffalo Beer Week, a 10-day celebration of the entire Buffalo-Niagara craft beer scene, returns for its eighth year, September 22 – October 1. The 2017 lineup will feature dozens of events – from tastings at your local pub to ticketed special events and nearly everything in between. Presented by the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association, the beer-centric week promotes Buffalo’s growing craft beer culture throughout Erie and Niagara counties, which attracts beer tourism, fosters knowledge of regional brewing heritage and serves as a showcase for Buffalo’s breweries, restaurants and pubs.

The official Buffalo Beer Week Book can be found here. And clicks over to the Events page and plan your schedule accordingly.

A “Week” Excuse

BuffaloBeerWeek_2017_Poster_B (2)Nary a month goes by without some city, county or state staging a “beer week” to celebrate its brewing heritage. As of mid-September, the Brewers Association listed 47 such events for 2011 on its website www.craftbeer.com.

If you had enough time and frequent flyer miles to attend all, you could have started in January with Alaskan Beer week and Kalamazoo Beer Week. San Francisco Beer Week was the biggie in February. In May, the BA held its sixth annual American Craft Beer Week, encompassing 1,521 separate events in all 50 states, according to the BA website.

Beginning in June, beer weeks come fast and furious for Mid-Atlantic residents, with
Philly Beer Week heralding the start of summer. DC Beer Week takes place in August, and New York Craft Beer Week (Sept. 16-25 this year) was unfolding even as this article went to print. Get ready for Baltimore Beer Week, Oct. 6-16, followed by Richmond Beer Week from Nov. 4 to 11.

Even Alabama and Mississippi have their own beer weeks.

 

Philly Was First
“They’re a bear to organize – you need to put in not just a lot of time and effort, but frankly money!” says Jay Brooks, who helped organize San Francisco Beer Week and wrote the entry on “beer weeks” for the just-published Oxford Companion to Beer. He’s compiled a list of 56 beer weeks nationwide, including a few (like Indiana Beer Week) that ran out of gas and were not repeated.

Brooks credits Philly Beer Week (originally held in March 2008) with being the first true citywide beer week. But that could be subject to challenge. Brooks notes that San Francisco Beer Week developed from an earlier, week-long celebration called Beerapalooza, first held in 2004 to mark the anniversary of the beer newspaper Celebrator.

Of course, if you’re going to include antecedents of beer weeks, Philly Beer Week could trace its heritage to the Book and the Cook, an annual celebration of the culinary arts that began in the mid-1980s and that for many years included a beer dinner and tutored tasting by the late Michael Jackson at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.

After the Beer Hunter passed away in 2007, a group of publicans, restaurateurs, brewers and beer writers modeled Philly Beer week after the now-defunct Book and the Cook, purposely not licensing the concept of the “beer week” so it could take root elsewhere.

“In the first year, we expected about 75 events and we had 350,” recalls Don “Joe Sixpack” Russell, beer columnist for thePhiladelphia Daily News and PBW’s executive director. “Last year we had over 900 – a few less than 2010. But that was a conscious effort by PBW to urge the creation of better events, not simply more. To me, the best measure is the number of participants – we grew from 165 in 2,010 to 215 in 2011.”

“You need the right kind of events,” says Brooks. “We had bars saying, we’ll knock $1 off the price of Sierra Nevada. That’s not going to get people excited! That’s something you do year around!”

Pete Gariazzo, sales manager for Specialty Beverage in Richmond, Va. and organizer of that city’s beer week, was considering some “fun promotions” in sports bars, such as a left-handed darts tournament to promote Left Hand Brewing Co. “Or maybe a left-handed wrestling competition.”

Timing Is Crucial
Beer week organizers like to bracket the celebrations with big-ticket events. DC Beer Week, for example, kicked off with a brews cruise down the Potomac on the luxury yacht Odyssey, featuring a sneak preview of New Belgium beers not yet officially released.

New York Craft Beer Week commenced with a kick-off party dubbed Freaktoberfest, mingling reps from over 20 brewers with sideshow performers and burlesque dancers.

Baltimore Beer week was timed to fit between two perfect bookends, the Brewers Association of Maryland’s Oktoberfest and the Society for the Preservation of Beer from the Wood’s Real Ale Festival.

Timing is crucial. Richmond can hold its beer week a little later than Philly or New York because “here, it’s still relatively warm,” says Gariazzo. The downside is that it’s right in the middle of football season. A lot of last year’s events didn’t work, he conceded, because they conflicted with Sunday NFL games. “I mean, you could hear a pin drop in some of those places.”

Early planning is also essential. Teddy Folkman, cofounder of DC Beer week and owner of Granville Moore’s, planned to hold three committee meetings in September, October and November to get the wheels turning for the 2012 event. “We like to get these committee meetings out of the way early while ideas are still fresh.” Folkman has invited two northern Virginia establishments to the meeting, Lyon Hall and Mad Fox Brewing Co., because of their expressed desire to participate. “But we still have to hold fast and hard to the geographical limits of not making it a Beltway festival, as it would simply get too out of control.”

He’s also considering making DC Beer Week a 501(c)(3) event with any leftover proceeds going to charity. (The event, he reports, broke even this year.)

Grass Roots Efforts
It’s a tribute to the vitality of the craft beer segment that many beer weeks are grass-roots efforts, started by beer enthusiasts rather than professionals trying to jumpstart a sluggish hospitality industry. Frederick Beer Week began with a Twitter conversation between Kevin Smith, MABN’s Maryland’s columnist, and Flying Dog Brewery.

“I tweeted something along the lines, ‘As the biggest brewery in the state, have you ever thought about getting behind a Frederick Beer Week?'” recalls Smith.

“The response from Flying Dog? ‘If you’ll head it up, we’ll get behind you.'” The result was 18 events in five days last May, culminating with a beer festival on local hop grower Tom Barse’s farm to mark the beer industry’s agricultural roots. Next year’s Frederick Beer Week is in the planning stages, and will be timed to make the annual BAM Springfest the anchor event.

“The important thing is that Baltimore Beer Week was started by a bunch of folks talking amongst themselves at beer festivals,” said Alexander D. Mitchell IV, MABN Baltimore columnists and one of Baltimore Beer Week’s founding fathers. In addition to industry veteran Joe Gold, other movers and shakers included Baltimore Sun editor Ron Kaspar; real estate agent and blues musician Dominic Cantalupo; computer guru and homebrewer Les White; and lumber salesman and craft beer aficionado John Gasparine. Clipper City Brewing Co.’s Hugh Sisson provided seed money by becoming the “official sponsor,” but declined any management role.

Although the impetus is love rather money, beer weeks are a windfall for local bars, restaurants and hotels, and a font of publicity. The website phillybeerweek.org has logged 2.5 million hits to date and Google tracked 700,000 mentions of the 2011 Philly Beer Week alone.

The city tourism board has hosted a With Love Beer Garden at the Four Seasons hotel, while Mayor Michael A. Nutter, these last few years, has yielded the Hammer of Glory to bang in the first tap and inaugurate the festivities.

Not all beer weeks seek to get the local politicians involved. Gavin Newsom, who was mayor of San Francisco when that city’s beer week debuted in 2009, would have been a dubious choice to tap the first keg. In 2007 he had confessed to an affair with the wife of a former campaign manager and checked into a rehab clinic for alcohol abuse.
“We approached Schwarzenegger when he was governor, but he had a scheduling conflict,” says Brooks.

Noreen Burns, George Hummel, Greg Kitsock, Steve Marler, Alexander D. Mitchell IV and Kevin Smith contributed to this article.

Breaking Down the Beer: The Best Buffalo Beer Week Had To Offer

Now that the seventh annual Buffalo Beer Week has (sadly) come and gone, all we are left with are all of the memories and all of the beers. And boy, were we treated to a lot of good beers over those 10 days.

Since there were so many memorable beverages to hang our collective hats on (the Buffalo-Niagara beer-community that is), we decided it would be a good idea to shine the spotlight on some of those beer. Now, we know there was a lot of beer to be had during Beer Week, so this is a heady task. But hell, we’re going to attempt to tackle it anyway.

And now, in no particular order, our picks for the top beers from Buffalo Beer Week 2016:

67a6cd0dc798008c2528c8c7de72735e_320x32042 North Brewing 20A Red Rye IPA: Wet-hopped with 55 pounds of freshly picked Cascade hops from neighboring Hunter Valley Hops, this RIPA bursts with flavor right from the jump, featuring a nice dose of lemony citrus and grass, backed by rye spice and bready malts.

20160928_154440Thin Man Brewery No Pressure / Thin Man Brewery Bliss: No Pressure is a New England-style IPA with melon, pineapple and bright tropical fruit, while the Bliss Double IPA is big, bold and dank, with flavors of ripe mango, melon, & citrus.

09240c22c84f8f1784921446a46dcf59_320x320Four Mile Brewing / Old First Ward Brewing Fourward Double IPA: Brewed with wet hops picked fresh at Crooked Creek Hop Farm in Addison, N.Y., Fourward is piney and bitter, or as one drinker told us, it’s ‘freaking amazing.’

0165e7231bb5977cb6429f36ec747087_320x320Resurgence Brewing / Lockhouse Spirits Fitzbeerald: A 9% kettle sour brewed with botanicals from Lockhouse, Fitzbeerald was made to emulate the Fitzgerald cocktail. It’s grassy and all things herbal with a big bite and major wallop. This was both strange and wonderful.

380409d99491bcc278779859803244f9_640x640Buffalo Breweries Wise PA: This was brewed as a collaboration between the entire Buffalo beer community, who donated malts and hops to brew this IPA. Wise Pa celebrates the life of Kevin Wise: local beer enthusiast, writer, scientist, teacher and friend, who would have loved this IPA. It features juicy flavors of orange, passion fruit, melon and mango. We even heard people call this the best Buffalo beer they’ve ever tasted.

a9fff42bc3d9951d99b3910d3f903d91_320x320Rusty Nickel Wet Hop English Pale Ale: This wet-hopped ale features a big hop bitterness that is both spicy and herbal, supported by a nice malt backbone.

41bf7557a770997d0fb2915f7e96bbd7_640x640Community Beer Works / Brimstone Brewing Across the Border Porter / Community Beer Works / Swiftwater Brewing The Other Dunkel Roggen: The Across the Border Porter was brewed with fresh Canadian maple syrup and plumwood smoked malt from New York Craft Malt, making for a rich complexity and syrupy sweetness. The Other Dunkel Roggen was rife with rye and clove, subtle smoke, roasted coffee and chocolate as well.

Honorable Mention       

a098df3467fe86482e80b79de4bab36c_320x320Brasserie Cantillon Zwanze 2016: Pours a deep ruby, nose is funky raspberry, burnt toffee and vanilla, while taste is tart raspberry with blueberry and vanilla.

If you think we got this list wrong, or forgot a beer that you feel should have been mentioned, feel free to email us (listed below), and we will be sure to mention it.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column for The Public. He can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com.

 

Buffalo Beer Week Day 10: More Events And A Humble Thank You

osteria_bbwad_2016Well, this is it, the final day of the seventh annual Buffalo Beer Week. We really hope you all have enjoyed yourselves. We really, really do. We hope that you took this opportunity to have a new experience, visit a new venue and drink a new beer or cocktail. We sincerely hope you participated in some way, because if you did, the Buffalo-Niagara craft beer is truly better for it. So thank you, thank you for caring about our local craft beer scene and thank you for reading. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now, more events.

The first ever Meatball Street Brawl takes place today at 11am at Osteria 166. This unique event is a fight for bragging rights for the best meatball in Western New York. Taste the finest meatballs anywhere while the Bills do battle against the Patriots on the televisions at this event to benefit deserving charities. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 day of. Participating restaurants include Amici, Bada Bing, Chef’s, Frankie Primo’s, Ilio DiPalo’s, Lombardo’s, Marco’s, Mulberry, Osteria 166, Siena, Providence Social, Sinatra’s, Snooty Fox, Tappo  and Trattoria Aroma. Get more details here..

Join Gene McCarthy’s and Old First Ward Brewing for their 2nd Annual OFest! Harvest March and Celebration! Be a part of the parade through the Old First Ward while wearing your best German garb. Afterwards stay for a ceremonial blessing and tapping of the cask of Ofest! Oktoberfest Lager. Enjoy $3 shots of Jagermeister, $12 German plates all day (Sausages, German pototo salad and kraut) and get a free pint with food purchase. Prizes will be awarded for best female and best male dressed. Parade starts promptly at 11:30am from Undergrounds Coffee House at 580 South Park Avenue.

You can catch the Buffalo Bills game against the New England Patriots at the Bills Buffett at Gordon Biersch, 1pm-5pm. The event is $20 per person and includes 2 beers, food & jersey, raffle tickets.

14231758_624810767678497_8223316828302786453_oSpeaking of the Bills and Pats, head down to Pearl Street for a game viewing party and watch the game while donating to a good cause. Admission is $15 with a portion of the proceeds going to Roswell Park Cancer Institute on behalf of Bridget’s Battle. This event includes a half-time buffet, door prizes, split club and post-game party with live music by Toast. Want more info? Head here.

And don’t forget that Buffalo’s newest watering hole, Buffalo Brewing Company, is open each and every day of beer week. Today they are open from 2-8pm and will have 6 beers for you to try – 1804 American Pale Ale, 1813 Porter, 1842 Vienna Lager, 1825 I.P.A., 2016 Celebration Ale and 1826 Oktoberfest. Check them out at 314 Myrtle Avenue .

Keep it locked to www.buffalobeerweek.com for more daily blog posts regarding all of the beers, all of the events and all of the happenings going on throughout Buffalo Beer Week.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column for The Public. He can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com.

Buffalo Beer Week Day 9: Beer Week Gets Even Bigger

zwanze-day-2016Today just might be the biggest day of this Buffalo Beer Week and no doubt this post will be the longest. There are so many events and so many festivals happening around our area that it’s even daunting to look at as I write this. That being said, we should probably cut the small talk and get right into it.

The undoubted headliner today is Zwanze Day at Thin Man Brewery, the only place to get Zwanze 2016 on this side of the state (only 2 restaurants in NY will carry it). Brasserie Cantillon describes their release of Zwanze 2016: “We’ve stepped back in time 30 years for Zwanze 2016, which is the result of a blend of 82% raspberries, 18% blueberries, and .05% Bourbon Vanilla beans, on which we’ve aged two-year-old Lambic at a rate of 300g fruit per liter.” This heralded event is long sold out but you can still attend and enjoy any number of ridiculous bottles that Thin Man will have available for the event. Check out https://www.facebook.com/ThinManBrewery for a full listing.

New York Beer Project will release their Imperial Pumpkin Ale, which has been fermented using oak that has been soaked in Buffalo Trace Bourbon.

Aurora Brew Works will have their Firestone Walker Proprietor Vintage Series event, which features multiple vintages of Sucaba, Parabola, Stickee Monkee, Helldorado, Velvet Merkin, Anniversary, and more.

14089013_1141117829267741_5836955852098467553_nHamburg Brewing will celebrate their 3rd Anniversary, beginning at noon. The day’s festivities include live music by Strictly Hip & other performers, food prepared by the taproom including a clam & oyster bar, exclusive beers brewed specifically for the event and other various entertainment throughout the day. This year HBC has made a limited number of 3rd Anniversary souvenir mugs to be sold for $10 which gives the holder $1 off their beers for the day and a portion of the proceeds will go to charity.
Guests can also expect a full line up of HBC’s usual beer offerings with the addition of exclusive beers for the event. Grab more information here.

Rusty Nickel Brewing kicks off their Harvest Fest at noon as well, an event which includes fun for the whole family, live music, fresh food, local produce, several beer releases made with farm fresh ingredients, kids activities, adult fun, games and various competitions. Harvest Fest continues tomorrow as well.

Resurgence Brewing’s Fallfest Original Music Showcase will feature seven original rock bands, food trucks and more. From 2-10pm, the all-ages show will host the following performances: 2pm-2:45pm – Coral Collapse, 3pm-3:45pm – Meat Whistles, 4pm-4:45pm – Wacko Fest, 5pm-5:45pm – Copper Crown (from Toronto), 6pm-7pm – The Spinwires, 7:30pm-8:30pm – Rustic Radio and 9pm-10pm – Electric Watermelon.

14054914_1186428831414261_7072590888283455673_n12 Gates Brewing presents: Philosofest, a fall beer and music festival, at 5pm. The event will feature the debut of their Dunkelweizen along with plenty of live music, great food and lawn games. There will be live music from 3-11pm as well as food trucks.

The Anti-Venue Tour rolls through Flying Bison, starting at 7pm. Some of Buffalo’s finest will be showcased at the Anti-Venue Tour, a unique sensory experience that challenges conventional limitations and labels in order to provide a platform for creative individuals. This tour is designed to be anything but traditional. Get more info at antivenuetour.com.

And don’t forget that Buffalo’s newest watering hole, Buffalo Brewing Company, is open each and every day of beer week. Today they are open from 2-8pm and will have 6 beers for you to try – 1804 American Pale Ale, 1813 Porter, 1842 Vienna Lager, 1825 I.P.A., 2016 Celebration Ale and 1826 Oktoberfest. Check them out at 314 Myrtle Avenue.

Keep it locked to www.buffalobeerweek.com for more daily blog posts regarding all of the beers, all of the events and all of the happenings going on throughout Buffalo Beer Week.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column for The Public. He can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com.

Buffalo Beer Week Day 8: No Cute Title Needed

PrintWhile we’re hurdling towards the finish line of Buffalo Beer Week, it’s only Friday and we’re not slowing down quite yet. There are more than enough things to do and more than enough libations to wet your whistle as you look for something to do tonight.

Lockhouse Distillery will host Casks for a Cause, a mini cask festival that benefits Evergreen Health (http://evergreenhs.org/). The event is free and attendees will receive an event booklet with information on each cask to help guild them through the night. Casks will be tapped and poured in the distillery space. Tokens for cask pours will be available for purchase at the door and the bar. Participating breweries include Community Beer Works, Resurgence Brewing, Big Ditch Brewing, New York Beer Project, Hamburg Brewing, Old First Ward Brewing, 12 Gates Brewing, 42 North Brewing, Woodcock Brothers Brewing, Flying Bison Brewing, Wagner Brewing and Pearl Street.

Old First Ward Brewing/Gene McCarthy’s will have casks of their Grapefruit Not A Pale Ale and Coffee Stout, while Gordon Biersch will tap a firkin of their Cinnamon Ginger Festbier, beginning at 5pm.

Rusty Nickel will be hosting a Beer Dinner at their West Seneca brewery, 6:30pm-8:30pm. The dinner is super limited to 20 spots and tickets can be had at Eventbrite.com. You can also check out the full pairing menu here.

14322327_1684554438530188_7453402727186225439_nBrewed & Bottled in Lewiston will have a mini tap takeover with Woodcock Brothers with a cheese pairing for each beer. Flights of beer and cheese will be available for purchase, along with growler specials & pint specials throughout the event. There’s also a rumor that their Dogfish Randall will make an appearance to infuse one of the beers. Cheese will be available for purchase at Sgt. Peppers Hot Sauces Etc. No tickets required.

It’s Beer Cocktail Day at Hydraulic Hearth, who will feature cocktails with beer (all local), some classic and some unexpected, with a purpose to push the boundaries of what beer can do in a cocktail glass. This event goes down at 4pm and the kitchen will be open until 10pm.

And don’t forget that Buffalo’s newest watering hole, Buffalo Brewing Company, is open each and every day of beer week. Today they are open from 5-8pm and will have 5 beers for you to try – 1804 American Pale Ale, 1813 Porter, 1842 Vienna Lager, 1825 I.P.A. and 2016 Celebration Ale. Check them out at 314 Myrtle Avenue.

Keep it locked to www.buffalobeerweek.com for more daily blog posts regarding all of the beers, all of the events and all of the happenings going on throughout Buffalo Beer Week.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column for The Public. He can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com

Buffalo Beer Week Day 7: More Events, Even More Beer

14446095_1744058895811847_7507038511939820419_nThere are so many things going today that we really don’t feel like being all that cute to start things off, so why don’t we get right into the main reason any of you are reading, shall we?

Community Beer Works will literally be everywhere tonight. Not only are they releasing their collaboration with Canada’s Brimstone Brewing, the Across the Border Porter, a Maple Porter featuring plumwood smoked malt from New York Craft Malt (on tap at the brewery at 3pm), they are also resurrecting their Alpaca Porter, this time at Hydraulic Hearth at 4pm. Thistle Creek Alpacas will be bringing a mother and her cria to the event as well as special guest star Larkin who was a favorite with the crowd last year. There will also be alpaca products available for purchase.

14446206_1456375934388924_7677634359527503009_nAnd if that was not enough, CBW is teaming with their brothers from the southern tier, literally, Southern Tier Brewing, for a tap takeover event at Crabapples, starting at 8pm. They will have their collabo beer Make America Grape Again, a witbier brewed with concord grapes, on tap along with a whole host of other favorites, including Southern Tier’s Jahva and Nitro Milk Stout Aged in Maple Bourbon Barrels.

42 North is finally releasing their 20A Red Rye IPA, which served as Beer Week’s commemorative beer. It was wet-hopped with hops harvested from Hunters Valley Hops. GRAVY will perform starting at 7pm.

Speaking of beer releases, New York Beer Project has one tonight with their Festive Ale, a spicy, sassy, crushable saison, which will be tapped at 5pm.

Pearl Street is looking to get everyone into the swing of fall things with their annual Tapping of the Pumpkin, which means they take a pumpkin, hollow it out, jam a tap into it and fill it with their pumpkin ale. So yes, you can drink pumpkin beer out of a real pumpkin. Plus spicy hot pumpkin bomb “Beer-Tail” drinks will be available too. Check that out at 5pm.

14264208_546891612178186_1668729075615658941_nRusty Nickel Brewing Company launches their FemAle Brew Series, a new line of beer brewed and handled exclusively by the West Seneca brewery’s female staff, all the way from the kettle to the keg, including everything from the recipe down to the brew process, all carried out by the six woman staff at Rusty Nickel. The first in the series will be the Estrogen Ale, an albino stout with a touch of chocolate. Look for this beer release at 6pm.

You can also join the team from Resurgence Brewing on their Beer Week Pub Crawl, which starts at 5:30pm and will hit Ulrich’s Tavern, Fat Bob’s, Lenox Grill, The Old Pink and Billyclub. Drink a lot of Resurgence beer and enjoy beer specials at each stop!

$10 ($5 for new or renewing BBG members) gets you a free pint of Flying Bison beer, food by Mr. Goodbar and the Buffalo Beer Goddesses, door prizes and tastings, including an EXCLUSIVE beer brewed by the Goddesses in collaboration with Big Ditch Brewing Company, at the Buffalo Beer Goddesses 4th Anniversary party. EllePeaTea will be on site to sell her handmade BEER soap – so you can clean up after the party, the right way. Join the ladies tonight at 7pm at Mr. Goodbar (upstairs).

And don’t forget that Buffalo’s newest watering hole, Buffalo Brewing Company, is open each and every day of beer week. Today they are open from 5-8pm and will have 5 beers for you to try – 1804 American Pale Ale, 1813 Porter, 1842 Vienna Lager, 1825 I.P.A. and 2016 Celebration Ale. Check them out at 314 Myrtle Avenue.

Keep it locked to www.buffalobeerweek.com for more daily blog posts regarding all of the beers, all of the events and all of the happenings going on throughout Buffalo Beer Week.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column for The Public. He can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com.

Buffalo Beer Buzz: Thin Man Brewery’s Beer Makes Its Debut

14370444_313370899029449_7734283357683925797_n After months of waiting, Thin Man Brewery, Buffalo’s first brewery in the Elmwood Village, is set to debut its very own beer. While they have bene open for some time now, they have not had their own beer on tap, until today that is.

If you didn’t know, Thin Man is the latest venture from former Blue Monk owner Mike Shatzel and real estate developer Rocco Termini. The beer operations are being helmed by Rudy Watkins, formerly of Community Beer Works. And after months and month of hard work, planning and, of course, brewing, Watkins says that he is elated to finally shared his beer with the Buffalo community, which happens today (Sept. 28) at 3pm as soon as Thin Man opens their doors.

“I’m very, very excited,” Watkins said. “I’m really looking forward to people tasting the beer that I have been working so hard on and developing for months now. I think people are going to really dig these beers and I can’t wait to see their reactions. I’m hoping people haven’t had anything like this beer brewed in Buffalo and I’m hoping their minds are blown.”

As for the beer, Thin Man will roll out six initially, which include:

No Pressure New England Style IPA, 5.1%: A New England Style IPA that offers large tropical hop expression, low bitterness, and a round mouthfeel. It pours a hazy light gold, and fluffy white head. The nose is tropical fruit, melon, crackery malt and the flavor is melon, light tropical fruit.

Velocity IPA, 6.2%: More traditional IPA. Maltier than No Pressure, more bitter, pine/dank hop expression. Pours hazy light amber. Nose is dank juicy fruit gum with a solid malt backbone. Flavor is pine, blood orange, honey.

Skinny Fat American Pale Ale, 4.3%: Easy crusher, low alcohol. Medium level of hops, nice malt expression. Pours a hazy light gold with a fluffy white head. Aromas of fresh cut grass, orange peel and crackery malt. Flavors of lemon, doughy malt and grass.

Black Francis Stout, 6.6%: A robust stout with a big mouthfeel. It pours black with a fine tan head and has a nose of roast malt and coffee.

Dummy Belgian Pale Ale, 6.2%: 100% Brettanomyces fermentation, dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops. Pours light amber, fine white head. Nose is spicy yeast & hops, pineapple & gooseberry. The Brett and hops combine to create a crisp, lightly fruity Belgian pale ale. Light caramel malts mix with gooseberry, pepper and honey.

Bliss Double IPA, 8.0%: Hazy light gold body, fluffy white head. Nose is dank, pine, ripe citrus. Flavor is ripe mango, melon, dank & citrus.

While it’s early, Watkins still has some beer in his arsenal that he tends to lean towards, even though, like parents asked about their favorite child, he loves them all.

“I’m really happy with all of them but I think in terms of the hoppy stuff I think the No Pressure is really, really killer – low bitterness and some nice juicy orange creamsicle hop character going on. I’m also really loving the Dummy, which tastes like I pictured it in my mind when I put the recipe together, which makes me really, really happy.”

Watkins also said that Thin Man has a Belgian Golden with Brett as well as a Table Saison are in the pipeline.

“There’s a bunch of cool, fun, weird, sour, fruity, hoppy Belgian things to come,” he added

Check out more about Thin Man Brewery at http://thinmanbrewery.com/.

Buffalo Beer Week Day 6: The Hits, They Keep On Coming

14264986_10157418677620076_263777624193473834_n We’re past the halfway point here people and there’s no turning back. Well, not that you’d really want to, but as Buffalo Beer Week rolls on, the events keep on coming and today is no different. While there was a lot to digest, quite literally, yesterday, there is even more going on today. So much so that we might not get to it all in this post. Who am I kidding? Of course we will. Cause that what I do.

From 6-9pm, Flying Bison Brewing are bringing together the worlds of cheese and beer at their Beer & Cheese: In Perfect Harmony event. Michelle from Buffalo Cheese Traders & Amanda from Premier Gourmet’s Cheese Department will curate the cheese portion of the event while Flying Bison will present a few interesting brews to pair with the cheeses (including Funky Farmhand NYS Saison w/ Brettanomyces, Oak-Barrel Aged Herc Barleywine 2015, and ‘One Foot Bock’ Apple-Brandy Barrel-aged Maibock). Ethan, head of Premier’s Beer Department, will be selecting some traditional and interesting new guest beers to add. Advance tickets are $30 and can be purchased on Eventbrite. All proceeds from the ticket sales, and $2 from each additional beer sold, will go directly to Sole of Buffalo, a non-profit organization promoting access to healthy, sustainable, local, and organic foods for all in the community.

Thin Man Brewery will also finally tap their own beer, beginning at 3pm. The new outfit will premiere 6 of their in-house brews, including No Pressure IPA (5.1% New England Style IPA), Velocity IPA (6.2% American IPA), Skinny Fat American Pale Ale (4.3%), Black Francis Robust Stout (6.6%), Dummy Belgian Pale Ale (6.2%, fermented with Brett, dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin) and Bliss Double IPA (8%). Flights and glasses of all will be available. Crowlers will also be available to go as well. We will have more on this soon, so stay tuned.

Rusty Nickel will host Hues & Brews, 7-9pm, a night of painting and beer. They provide all of the materials you’ll need, so all you have to do is show up. The theme this time is ‘Buffalo Hoppin.’ Pre-registration is required and spots are limited, so check www.rustynickel.com for more details.

42 North is releasing their highly popular Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale. It will be on tap in their East Aurora taproom as well as down the street at Elm Street Bakery.

img_3417Aurora Brew Works will host Smokey the Beer, an event featuring an array of smoke-infused beers paired with smoked meats, cheeses and cigars.

Speaking of pairings, Pizza Plant Canalside will be hosting a beer and chocolate pairing with Grimm Ales and Chow Chocolate. This event runs from 5-8pm.

Elsewhere, Premier Gourmet will host an in-store Hamburg Brewing tasting from 5-7pm, Butera’s in Hamburg will host a Long Trail Citrus Limbo Release Party at 5pm, World of Beer will tap a keg of Ellicottville Brewing’s Mosaic Sunrise IPA and Four Mile is in town for a tap takeover at Fat Bobs Smokehouse from 6-8pm.

And don’t forget that Buffalo’s newest watering hole, Buffalo Brewing Company, is open each and every day of beer week. Today they are open from 5-8pm and will have 5 beers for you to try – 1804 American Pale Ale, 1813 Porter, 1842 Vienna Lager, 1825 I.P.A. and 2016 Celebration Ale. Check them out at 314 Myrtle Avenue.

Keep it locked to www.buffalobeerweek.com for more daily blog posts regarding all of the beers, all of the events and all of the happenings going on throughout Buffalo Beer Week.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column for The Public. He can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com.

Buffalo Beer Week Day 5: Back To Business

springgarden_bbwad_2016While there was a bit of a scaled back slate of events yesterday, Buffalo Beer Week fully ramps back up on its fifth day, which is, well, today of course. Beer releases, beer dinners, tap takeovers – today offers pretty much everything you’d come to expect from Buffalo Beer Week.

Gordon Biersch will hold a German Brewmasters Dinner (6pm) in conjunction with the Spring Garden Association, which is famous for its many successful ethnic festivals such Maifest, Waldfest and Schlactfest. Featuring 4 courses paired with 5 of Gordon Biersch’s beers, partial proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Buffalo Dortmund Sister City Committee. The Brewmasters Dinner is $50 and reservations are required and can be made by calling (716) 683-0050. Spots are filling up quickly for this we’re told, just FYI.

Four Mile Brewing is making the trek from the Southtowns to the Northtowns for in-store tasting at Premier Gourmet from 5-7pm.

Pan-American Brewery, located inside the historic Lafayette Hotel if you didn’t know, is releasing their Oktoberfest beer, and better yet, it’s only $4 per pint.

In what has become an annual tradition and a true beer rite of passage, Community Beer Works will again say goodbye to a dear beer and old friend Rutherford B. Haze as they lay him to rest for another year. They will do so via a traditional New Orleans Dixieland-style funeral at Hot Mama’s Canteen, beginning at 6pm. The funeral procession forms at the corner of Grant St. and Amherst St. and will proceed to the Canteen, where the pints of Rutherford are sure to be flowing as the Fred Town Stompers hit the stage.

BBW2015-qp-HM-CBW42 North is teaming up with Black Iron Bystro for a beer pairing dinner, from 5-9pm. Chef Bryan from Black Iron Bystro is getting together with the team from 42 North for a 4-course, 4-beer pairing dinner. Reservations can be made by calling Black Iron at (716) 240-9830 and are $60/seat.

For one night only, Pizza Plant (Williamsville) is letting Dr. Evil aka Evil Dave aka Evil behind the bar for Dr. Evil’s Interactive Beer Alchemy Mash Up, and we can only imagine what boozy beer cocktails he is going to concoct. He will be pulling from Pizza Plant’s massive tap and bottle selection (nothing is off limits), blending the beers and serving them to you. It’s sure to be an interesting evening.

And don’t forget that Buffalo’s newest watering hole, Buffalo Brewing Company, is open each and every day of beer week. Today they are open from 5-8pm and will have 5 beers for you to try – 1804 American Pale Ale, 1813 Porter, 1842 Vienna Lager, 1825 I.P.A. and 2016 Celebration Ale. Check them out at 314 Myrtle Avenue.

Keep it locked to www.buffalobeerweek.com for more daily blog posts regarding all of the beers, all of the events and all of the happenings going on throughout Buffalo Beer Week.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column for The Public. He can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com