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Buffalo Beer Week Successful In Shining the Spotlight On Buffalo Beer Scene
by Brian Campbell
A week to try to remember
As the fifth annual Buffalo Beer Week has come and gone, it’s safe to say the 10-day celebration achieved its goal of putting Buffalo’s booming craft beer scene at the forefront thanks to a bountiful array of events such as tap takeovers, beer dinners, beer and food pairings and pub crawls.
The lineup officially kicked off at Cole’s with a ceremony to unveil the third annual class of inductees into the Buffalo Beer Hall of Fame which featured Bill Metzger of the Great Lakes Brewing News, Peter Kreinheder of Ellicottville Brewing Company and Phin de Mink of Southern Tier Brewing Company. The Buffalo Beer Week Launch Party at Templeton Landing and the annual Brewed in Buffalo event at the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle also helped to kick start BBW.
“Great weather launched beer week on the Templeton deck with a great view and tasty local brews attended by many local brewers themselves,” Willard Brooks, President of the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association, said of the Templeton Landing event.
“The Brewed in Buffalo Release Party featured Buffalo Beer Week special beers and releases,” resident beer geek Paul Marko said of Brewed in Buffalo. “Once again, the best way to truly kick-off beer week—with great friends everywhere, all holding fantastic local brews.”
Marko attended a number of Buffalo Beer Week events, including the Buffalo Beer Goddesses One-Year Anniversary Party at Mr. Goodbar, which he called “a well-attended affair with great food.” The Remarkable Tap Takeover at Aurora Brew Works featured Dark Horse, Evil Twin, B. Nektar, Westbrook, Stillwater & Off Color Brewing (“Grabbing a barstool at ABW is a Western New York beer treat no matter what the occasion”); Jack’s Abby Complete Tap Takeover at the Blue Monk (“A can’t-miss event of Buffalo Beer Week. One of the most extensive and wide-ranging tap takeovers I’ve ever experienced.”); “Roll Out The Barrels” at Pizza Plant on Transit (“This event really delivered a wallop of fun and flavor”); Meet the Brewer Happy Hour at Shango (“Beers and conversation with Mark Musso from Keuka Brewing was a blast”); Community Beer Works Dixieland Style Funeral for Rutherford B. Haze at Hot Mama’s Canteen (“Complete with smoking hot classic swing music from the Fredtown Stompers”); Against the Grain night at Blue Monk (“‘Citra Ass Down’ on a barstool, indeed, whenever you see this beer available!”); “Tap the Pumpkin” night at Pearl Street Grill/Brawlers Deli (“Pearl Street’s stellar 2014 pumpkin ale was served right from the gourd! Also enjoyed the CBW/Pearl Street/Public Coffee House PCP Porter”); the East Aurora Pub Crawl with the Buffalo Beer League (“A second year for our favorite 2013 Pub Crawl! Highlighted by stops at Aurora Brew Works, 189 Public House and The Craftsman Lounge at The Roycroft—where some nice jazz provided the backdrop amidst the classic arts and crafts architecture”); Beer Demonstration/Comparison at Kegworks (“Andrew Hardin showcased a homebrewed Cask Ale/Keg Beer comparison, a side-by-side tasting of the same beer force carbonated and cask conditioned”); and finally, the Black Rock Old School Pub Crawl (“Crawled all day with the Queen City Roller Girls without scraping my knees. From Hot Mama’s Canteen through the Phoenix, up the stairs at The Sportsmen’s Tavern, all around Casey’s Tavern and finally to Rohall’s Corner”).
Buffalo Beer Week also played host to a number of unique craft beer dinners and beer pairings, including a pair attended by Brooks, at Hop Kitchen and Black Sheep & Community Beer Works Beer Dinner, which he refers to as “the perfect beer end to a perfect beer week—great beer expertly paired by Drew Hardin of Community Beer Works with the amazing culinary skills of Chef Steve Gedera. Let’s hope this becomes an annual tradition.”
“Christa Seychew of Feed Your Soul organized a delicious collaboration with five local chefs each paired with a local brewer—the Mansion with Hamburg Brewing Company; Craving with Flying Bison Brewing and T-Meadow Farm Sausage; Chef James Roberts with Community Beer Works; Sato with Big Ditch Brewing, and Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile with Resurgence Brewing,” Brooks said. “Every pairing was excellent—but the braised pork belly with daikon and half cooked egg with Big Ditch’s Excavator Brown Ale was a real standout.”
The Buffalo Beer League also held three events, including a tapping event of their first ever collaboration beer brewed with Resurgence Brewing Company (Brett B. Pale Ale, also affectionately known as The Dragon formerly Known As Mothra’s Cranky Farmhouse IPA), a Meet the Brewers event at Jack Astor’s with Big Ditch Brewing and the East Aurora Pub Crawl, which featured stops at 189 Public House, Aurora Brew Works, The Craftsman Lounge, Craft Tap House, Medici House and Riley Street.
“Buffalo Beer Week is a chance for craft beer veterans and novices alike to sample what the Buffalo beer scene has to offer,” Buffalo Beer League co-founder Scott McMillan said. “With events ranging from pub crawls and tap takeovers to craft beer and food pairings scattered at venues throughout the Greater Buffalo region, there is something to appeal to everyone.”
“We brew for the buffalo community. And what better way to share our passion for beer than to get beer enthusiasts like the Buffalo Beer League involved,” Resurgence Brewing owner Jeff Ware said. “That’s what Buffalo Beer Week is all about.”
“We had a great time at our Meet the Brewer mini-tap takeover with the guys from the Buffalo Beer League at Jack Astor’s,” said Big Ditch Brewing’s Matt Kahn. “It’s great that there are so many places to hang and have good beer with good people in Buffalo.”
If you missed out on Buffalo Beer Week this year, well, then, there’s always next year. For more information on the Buffalo Beer League, visit facebook.com/thebuffalobeerleague, and for more information on the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association, visit buffaloniagarabrewersassocation.org.
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