Hot Times, Cold Beer
by Brian Campbell
A Boozy Summer Guide to Can't Miss Craft Beer Events
As the calendar pages fall off and we [hopefully] head towards the warmer months of 2015, it’s time to get your summer dance card in order and what better way to spend your time than with a cold beer in your hand and the warm sun on your face at a craft beer event, something there’s no shortage of in and around Buffalo over the next few months.
Kick start your boozy summer this Saturday (7pm, Mr. Goodbar) with the Buffalo Beer League, the official craft beer enthusiast arm of the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association, and the third installment of their free “Beer, Bands & BBL” series (presented by the BNBA and Artvoice), an event that brings together the best brewers, beer and music this great city has offer. PA Line will perform. The fourth “Beer, Bands & BBL” will be held September 10 at Big Ditch Brewing Company.
That same day, June 6, Resurgence Brewing Company will celebrate their one-year anniversary with a blow-out event at the brewery (1250 Niagara Street) featuring unique brews, a clam bar, live music and a boil pot luncheon. The celebration begins at noon and lasts all day.
One of the summer’s marquee events takes place Saturday June 20 with the 2nd Annual Buffalo Brewers Festival at Canalside, from 4-7pm, which will include beer from over 40 New York State breweries, bands, food vendors and a special ‘Meet-the-Brewer’ tent with food-beer tasting and educational panels. Tickets can be purchased at www.buffalobrewersfestival.com. General admission tickets are $40 and there are a few VIP tickets still available for $75. Tickets are also available at local breweries as well as Aurora Brew Works, Consumers Beverages, Kegworks, and Premier Gourmet.
Leading up to the Brewers Fest will be the Taptrails 6K, a unique 6 kilometer race with six stations to sample Buffalo’s craft beer. The 6k begins and ends at Canalside in collaboration with the Buffalo Brewers Festival. The run starts at 2pm and more info can be found at 6K6PK.com.
Also on June 20-21, the Crossborders Blues, Brews and Que will be taking place in Wilson, NY at the Woodcock Brothers Brewery. Admission is $10 on Saturday and $5 on Sunday. More info at www.crossborderbbq.com.
The 13th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards and Canadian Craft Brewers Conference is this weekend from June 4-6 at the Crowne Plaza Fallsview in Niagara Falls. The Canadian Brewing Awards (CBAs) invites brewers to compete in the only truly nationally sanctioned competition. The awards also recognize a Canadian Brewery of the Year, Beer of the Year and Educator of the Year.
Pizza Plant will be hosting their annual Craft Beer & Wine Dinner Cruise on July 24, 6-9:30pm, on the Miss Buffalo at the Erie Basin Marina. Tickets are available at Pizza Plant.
Waldfest (springarden.com), one of Buffalo’s oldest and best beer festivals, returns for 2015 on July 19 at Spring Garden Park in Marilla, NY. The event features traditional German beer, food and two stages of live music. Several local beer bars and restaurants are sending buses to Waldfest: check Pizza Plant, Moor Pat, Coles, Goodbar, Alternative Brews, and Buffalo Brewpub.
The 2015 Buffalo Brewfest (buffalobrewfest.com) takes place Friday, August 7 at 5:30pm in the Historic Cobblestone District. Admission is $30.
If a road trip is more in your wheelhouse, Rochester Real Beer Week (rochesterrealbeer.com) runs June 12-21. Things kickoff with the Rochester Real Beer Expo, held in the South Wedge neighborhood on June 13th from 6- 10pm.
ROC Brewing will be holding their 4th Anniversary Party on June 6th, 12-11pm. They will be releasing a new beer and will have food as well. Flour City Station will host an after party from 11pm-2am.
Belgium Comes to Cooperstown goes down August 7-8 at Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY. This year’s 90’s theme fest features over 100 breweries pouring more than 300 unique beers. In addition, BCTC includes gourmet food vendors, live music, fireworks and more. VIP and camping tickets are already sold out, but some tickets remain for Saturday’s session (ommegang.com). For many this is an annual can’t miss event—it’s definitely one of the best festivals in the Northeast.
You can still get great beer after the summer is over thanks to the sixth annual Buffalo Beer Week (buffalobeerweek.com), which takes place September 25—October 5, a 10-day lineup that features dozens of events including everything from beer tastings at local pubs to ticketed special events and nearly everything in between. This will mark the final time that Buffalo Beer Week will be featured during the fall as it moves to the spring beginning in 2016.
The Ballpark Brewbash (ballparkbrewbash.com), presented by Consumers, will also take place Sept. 26 at Coca-Cola Field. Don’t miss this one—it’s an awesome annual festival which gets better every year!
Also, don’t miss the Buffalo Greek Festival (June 5-7), Allentown Art Festival (June 13-14), 2015 Taste of Buffalo (July 11-12), Buffalo Italian Festival (July 16-19), Queen of Heaven Carnival (July 17-19), Canalfest (July 19-26), Buffalo Irish Festival (August 28-30), Elmwood Art Festival (August 29-30) and Chicken Wing Festival (September 5-6).
Stay tuned to www.buffaloniagarabrewersassociation.com for further details on these events as well as to get all of the latest information on the Buffalo craft beer scene.
Beer coverage done in partnership with Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association. Visit www.BuffaloNiagaraBrewersAssociation.org.
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