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Presented by Consumer Beverages


ABV: 5.4%

>by Willard Brooks

The writer James Fenimore Cooper used the word “Glimmerglass” to describe Otsego Lake nearby to Cooperstown—and to the Ommegang Brewery which brings the kind of happiness that any Buffalonian would have this year when spring finally arrives. Barring spring fever, Glimmerglass will bring a warming joy to its drinker, especially after this year’s long Buffalo winter. Deep golden color, a generously bubbly white head. The fermentation gives off characteristic saison fruity aromas with a medium mouthfeel and residual sweetness—a characteristic for a classic thin & bone-dry saison—there is definite citrus aspect with a spice note at the end of the sip. Assertively bitter but quite balanced, not overly hoppy for this style. Would pair nicely with a watercress salad with Belgian endive, candied walnuts, and a gorgonzola dressing served with herb-toasted garlic bread. Available annually as a sign of spring.


ABV: 7%

>by Paul Marko

Let’s begin with a little history lesson. Rauchbier or smoked beer is a type of beer with a distinctive smokey flavor imparted by malt kilned over a wood fire. The traditional home for Rauchbiers is Bamberg, Germany, with two breweries (Schlenkerla and Spezial) still producing this style by kilning their malt over fires made from beechwood logs. Here in Buffalo (at the Galleria Mall to be exact) we are lucky enough to have a brewery that produces traditional German beer styles—including using the specialty malt produced in Bamberg (Weyermann). That brewery and pub, Gordon Biersch, is part of a California born, multi-state chain operation, but each location features it’s own brewmaster and on-site production. After claiming a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2014, Gordon Biersch decided to make their Rauchbier a yearly offering at all it’s locations and our Galleria brewery has recently released it’s 2015 version. Quite frankly, this beer is the most traditional—and possibly the best—Rauchbier brewed in North America. Pours a beautiful golden amber color with thin head and lacing. A distinct campfire nose stirs the senses. Drinks with a creamy mouthfeel, a firm body of malt without sweetness and a deep smokiness without going too far into bacon territory. Gordon Biersch’s Rauchbier is a warming beer, perfect for a Buffalo winter, and pairs nicely with a host of grilled foods and sharp cheeses. Available through March—so get your smoke on soon!



ABV: 5%

>by Chris Groves, Certified Cicerone®

Beer drinkers in Western New York are lucky. We literally have thousands of options to choose from when shopping for beer in our local stores with some of the best beer available on the planet. As far as styles go, we also happen to have one of America’s best Belgian-Style breweries available to us; Allagash. Started in 1995 in Portland, Maine with just one beer; a cloudy yellow, yeast and spice forward ale with a stark white pillowy head called Allagash White. This style of beer is not lost on me during the cold months. It is a refreshing alternative to Imperial Beer season and a crowd pleaser that won’t let you or the strangers at your party who you didn’t invite who are drinking your beer down. Wheaty twang interleaved with layers of coriander, citrus and spicy phenols from their proprietary yeast make up this delightful and zesty ale. As it warms, a sweeter malt character begins to show. With food, specifically spicy enchiladas, this beer is muy buena. White is now one of seven year round offerings in their portfolio alongside dozens of specialty and barrel-aged beers that come from their impressive cellaring program. Allagash has experienced tremendous growth in the past several years and we are excited to partake in it. I can’t remember the last time there wasn’t a bottle of Allagash in my house.

Ommegang Glimmerglass Spring Saison, Gordon Biersch Rauchbier, & Allagash White.
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