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Presented by Consumer Beverages


ABV: 4.5%

>by Willard Brooks

A beer everyone and anyone will enjoy—whether beer geek or every-day drinker. Drink it early in the day or late at night—or after mowing the lawn. It’s light and friendly with a low ABV and light body—but also quite full in flavor. Pours a cloudy straw color with a thin white head. Slightly big mouthfeel for the style but not out of range. Very pleasant cleansing carbonation with a crisp and assertive backend hop bitterness. Aroma is earthy & floral, with light hop notes. The yeast delivers fruity, spicy and earthy flavors. I had this on tap. But the bottle version is conditioned with wild yeast (Brettanomyces Clausenii) which adds ester aromatics, a mild tartness and slight funk. Will change with age in the bottle. Pair with an assortment of cheeses and crackers along with grapes and fresh melon. The name Liopard Oir is Irish for ‘gold leopard’, which appears on the Lavery Family crest. 2013 GABF Gold Medal Winner. visit:


ABV: 6.5%

>by Willard Brooks

When Woodcock Brothers head brewer, Matt Redpath, left his previous job at Gordon Biersch he most certainly had been looking forward to the day where he could stretch out from traditional German styles. After a few brewing cycles of the existing Woodcock flagship beers, Matt and crew crafted an “extra pale ale” last fall that had hop heads all a-buzz. That first batch of XPA was, indeed, worthy of the hype—but it was only available at the brewery in Wilson, NY. Well, the second run has just been released, kegged and hopefully on a tap near you soon—and yes, it’s another winner. Coming out of their “Doc” fermentation tank (the 7 tanks at Woodcock are named after the iconic dwarfs) XPA pours like a hazy, honey-hewed sunset. Round and flavorful with notes of biscuit and melon rind, it finishes with a sloping bitterness that lingers, but leaves you craving your next sip. XPA is a mostly Mosaic hopped ale, so mango and earthy pine are present, but there’s also Equinox in the mix, which adds a touch of lemon oil and green pepper to the complex brew. Best paired with any one of Woodcock Bros. wood-fired pizzas, or perhaps this time, a discussion on the best way to get to Wilson at your local bar.



ABV: 6.5%

>by Marina Christopher

Big Ditch Brewing Company takes pride in the art and science of great beer. They are always looking to tweak existing styles to produce unique brews. Big Ditch’s latest release Last Blacksmith Smoked Black IPA shows the care they put in to their brews. Last Blacksmith pays homage to the events of 1813, when Buffalo was burned to the ground by British Soldiers. One of the only surviving buildings was a Blacksmith shop. Last Blacksmith has a striking dark color and frothy head. The nose presents you with a slight aroma of roasted malt and smoke. The complexity of flavors and creamy mouth feel kept me coming back for more. Bright citrusy hops dance on the tongue while the subtle smokiness rounds out the delicate finish. Pairs delightfully with grilled meats, cheeses or chocolate. Big Ditch has been building a name for itself around WNY for the last four years. The beautifully well thought out multi-purpose facility at 55 E. Huron Street exemplifies the passion for beer and the love of Buffalo that makes Big Ditch stand out. The tap room is opening soon but, Big Ditch brews are currently available all over Western NY. Look for Last Blacksmith on tap soon at one of Consumer’s 14 growler filling stations!

Lavery Brewing Company Liopard Oir Farmhouse Saison, Woodcock Brothers XPA, Big Ditch Last Blacksmith Smoked Black IPA.
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