With over 100 events planned throughout the course of only 10 days, Buffalo Beer Week may seem at times to be more of a sprint than a marathon. And that’s especially true this year because the tenth annual Buffalo Beer Week is bigger and badder than it’s ever been in the past. With so many venues hosting great happenings this year (more than there has ever been), it might be easy to get lost in a sea of local beer (which sounds pretty great to me). And now that the official list of events is out (official Beer Week books are arriving quickly at your favorite beer venues), it’s time to grab a pen and paper and start making those can’t-miss lists.
Here’s a better idea – sit back, crack a beer, read all of the great articles in the Beer Week Book (starting with mine of course) and let me do the dirty work and dig through the event listings for suggestions on what places you need to be at, what events you need to attend and what beer you need to be drinking. Prost!
Buffalo Beer Week Opening Gala
Fri, September 13 (5-9pm)
Flying Bison Brewing
Get the 10th Annual Buffalo Beer Week started off on the right foot at the Official Opening Gala at Flying Bison Brewing on September 13 (5pm). Enjoy a selection of beers from over 25 Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association member breweries and meet the brewers. Listen to live music by Tony DeRosa on the covered patio and satisfy your hunger with food from Casa Azul & Kindred Kreek’s Farm to Table food trucks. $20 admission at the door (includes drink tokens). Ticket includes 8 tokens worth 5 oz. each. More can be purchased for $2 each as well.
Pizza Plant Buffalo IPA Palooza
Sat, September 14 (12-4pm)
Pizza Plant Canalside
If you are a worshiper of the hop, then this is an event you can ill afford to miss. The annual Buffalo IPA Palooza features all of your favorite IPAs from all of your favorite local breweries, all in one place for a massive hop blowout! Among the hoppy brews you can expect are Big Ditch Lock IPA Series #7: Dart, Ellicottville Brewing Tangerine New England IPA, Community Beer Works Singularity Citra, Pressure Drop / Big Ditch Aqua Jesus Triple IPA, Hamburg Brewing Just Saying Volume 2: Swear Jar, Lilly Belle Meads Hops & Honey, Belt Line Seven Dankly Sins DIPA, West Shore Green Flyer, Flying Bison Farm to Pint IPA (cask) and 12 Gates Chinook Wet Hop Pale Ale (hops from Fredonia’s Lupulin Fields). Free entry. A la carte pints.
Farm to Pint & Plate Dinner
Mon, September 16 (6-9pm)
Hotel Henry is teaming up with a handful of local breweries and cideries including Froth Brewing, Thin Man, 42 North and BlackBird Cider Works for a true Farm to Pint & Plate craft beer and food pairing on September 16 (6pm). Pair Froth’s Stardog Double IPA with seared scallops, Blackbird’s Tart Cherry Perry cider with porchetta, 42 North’s Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale with a spiced chocolate nut bar from 100 Acres Bakery and Thin Man’s Pills Mafia with rabbit quesadilla. Each $55 ticket includes four sampling glasses of craft brew, one full draft of your choosing, and four tasting plates.
Oktoberfest Release & Beerfest Screening
Tues, September 17 (5:30pm)
Lafayette Brewing is releasing their annual Oktoberfest beer, a smooth, crisp and toasty version of the classic style lager that blends a variety of classic, rich German malts. And if that wasn’t enough, the brewery is also hosting a screening of one of the greatest beer movies ever released, Beerfest, while you drink the new beer from Das Boot.
Buffalo Brewers Symposium
Tues, September 17 (6-9pm)
Buffalo Cider Hall
The Buffalo Beer Symposium is a panel discussion, featuring Matt Kahn (Big Ditch), Mike Shatzel (Thin Man), Scott Donovan (Blackbird) and more, on the history and future of brewing in Buffalo. The panel features brewers and industry experts that will discuss the evolution of brewing in Buffalo and where the craft beverage industry is headed. Both the public and industry members are invited to join us. Free entry.
Meads & Masterpieces 5
Tues, September 17 (6pm)
Lilly Belle Meads
Looking for something different during Beer Week? Why not try your hand at some meads and painting? Lilly Belle is pairing up with local artist Diane Sypniewski for an evening of Meads & Masterpieces. She will guide you through the creation of this work of art while enjoying locally brewed craft meads and beverages at Lilly Belle Meads’ Potions Bar. At the Potions Bar, you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to mix some classic potions and the ability to create your own. Seating is limited. $40 ticket includes all painting supplies, artistic instruction and a chance to become a Potions Master. Lilly Belle Meads will also have additional appetizers and snacks available for purchase.
Gordon Biersch Festbier Tapping
Wed, September 18 (5pm)
Gordon Biersch – Walden Galleria
One of my favorite annual events during Beer Week! Gordon Biersch’s Festbier tapping party will feature live music, food and games. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit Hospice Buffalo. Gordon Biersch’s Festbier has a lighter body with a robust, hoppy flavor, thanks to Hallertau and Tettnang aroma hops.
Annual Tapping of the Pumpkin
Thurs, September 19 (5pm)
Brawlers Deli @ Pearl Street Brewery
It’s not truly fall until you drink a pint of beer from an actual pumpkin. Yes, for the sixth straight year, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery hollow out a pumpkin, jam a tap in it, fill it with their Pumpkin Spice Ale and serve it directly to you. Grab a pint poured directly from a real pumpkin. There will be pint specials, maple-cinnamon sugar rimmed glasses (if you’re into that sort of thing) and the first pour will be at 5pm from PSG head brewer Chris Herr.
Haulin’ Oats Official Release Party/ Buffalo Beer Week Pint Night
Thurs, September 19 (5pm)
Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing
The official release of Five & 20’s fall seasonal, Haulin’ Oats Brown Ale, in bottles. In addition to the beer release, enjoy $2 off all drafts, food by Bird, live music and special swag giveaways. The brewery will also be offering guided informational tours of the brewery/distillery and the TimberFish project on site.
Funk Fest: A Celebration of Sours
Fri, September 20 (5pm)
New York Beer Project
In honor of Sour Beer Day, New York Beer Project are funking up the taps (in a good way) at the first ever Funk Fest: A Celebration of Sours. They are pulling out all the sour stops as, not only are they returning four of their most beloved sours, they are debuting half a dozen new brews, including a sour take on a classic refreshing beverage, four Berliner Weisse variants born out of a friendly competition between NYBP brewers, and a barrel aged sour.
Funky Fruity Friday
Fri, September 20 (5pm)
Coles & Mr. Goodbar
Are you a sour beer lover? This day is perfect for you! Enjoy a selection of session, fruity and barrel aged sours at two great bars in honor of National Sour Beer Day! Free entry. A la carte pints.
Belt Line Brewery ‘A Beer With Citra’ Can Release
Sat, September 21 (12pm)
Belt Line Brewery & Kitchen
Belt Line Brewery will hold their first ever can release, A Beer With Citra New England IPA, during Beer Week’s final weekend. A Beer with Citra is made with a copious amount of Citra hops balanced by Centennial and El Dorado. This IPA delivers flavors of orange rind and candied sugar with a tight carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. Artwork was designed by Buffalo ex-pat Courtney Menard.
For more information on these events and to see every event going on during Buffalo Beer Week, please visit www.buffalobeerweek.com.
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 Step Out Buffalo. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague) and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).