2015: A Year For Beer (Events)
By: Brian Campbell
It’s no small secret that there’s no better time to be a fan of craft beer than right now, and 2015 is shaping up to be one for the ages for beerophiles thanks to a heaping slate of events in and around our fair city that seek to shine a spotlight on this adult libation we all know and love.
This year will be anchored by a trio of Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association (BNBA) cornerstone events, beginning Sunday, May 17 with the second annual Farm-To-Pint event, a showcase of the craft beer making supply chain in the region. Several local breweries will brew unique beers using New York State grown hops and malts specifically for the event. The brewers, farmers, and maltsters will be present to share in the tasting and provide information about the process of bringing New York State hops and malts from the farm to the pint glass. The event will be held at Hamburg Brewing.
The second annual Buffalo Brewers Festival, which will again be held at Canalside, will take place Saturday, June 20. The festival will convene the area’s top local & state brewers, farmers and food artisans for a day-long festival that will include craft beer tastings and pairings, live music, food trucks, and much more. The Buffalo Brewers Festival will feature craft brewers and brews from more than 30 New York State breweries and a Meet-the-Brewer tent with brewer-led food/beer pairings as well as educational panels and special tastings. More information available soon at BuffaloBrewersFestival.com
The sixth annual Buffalo Beer Week will take place September 26 – 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.
Following a pair of successful member events, including a member’s appreciation happy hour at Resurgence Brewing in January and BrewBus, a brewery crawl, earlier this month, the Buffalo Beer League (the name of BNBA’s enthusiast club) will be holding two more marquee member-only events, a Summer Pub Crawl and a Fall Pub Crawl, later this year. Tickets are available to BBL members only – memberships can be purchased for $40 at BuffaloNiagaraBrewersAssociation.org. Their first ever BrewBus sold out in a matter of days so don’t miss out – buy a membership !
The Artvoice and the BNBA will also be teaming up to co-present four enthusiast events this year, all of which will showcase the BNBA’s Buffalo Beer League enthusiast club along with the best bands and beer that Buffalo has to offer. Unofficially titled ‘Beers, Bands & BBL,’ these one-of-a-kind events will take place April 2 at Resurgence Brewery, on May 14 at the Waiting Room, on June 2 at Mr. Goodbar and September 10 at Big Ditch Brewing.
The Brewers Association will also work to present a number of craft beer dinners throughout the year, which will take place in late April, early July, October and December. More information to come – details will be posted on the BNBA website.
In addition to all the events the BNBA will help to present in 2015, there are also a number of other wonderful events going on in and around our fair city, including Ballpark at the Brewbash VIP Spring Tasting at Pettibone’s ($75, tickets at Consumer’s Beverages) featuring a selection of rare and exclusive beers including cask, bottles and draft and complimentary food, Beerology on April 18 (http://www.sciencebuff.org/events/beerology), a craft beer tasting at Coca Cola Field during a Buffalo Bisons game on May 16th and Brewfest at the Ballpark on September 26 (http://www.ballparkbrewbash.com/).
If you’re in the market for a good old fashioned craft beer road trip, or brewcation, gas up the car and head off to the Rochester Real Beer Expo on June 13 (http://rochesterrealbeer.com/), TAP New York Craft Beer and Food Fest, April 25-26 (http://www.tap-ny.com/about.html), Belgium Comes To Cooperstown at Ommegang, August 7-9 (http://www.ommegang.com/#!cooperstown), Real Canadian Craft Beer Fest in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario on November 7 (http://www.realcanadianbeerfest.ca/), Ellicottville Fall Festival on October 10 (http://www.ellicottvilleny.com/events/) and the Beertavia Craft Beer Festival, Batavia’s first ever craft beer fest, on May 16 (https://www.facebook.com/events/668759856566542/).
If you’re willing to venture a bit further, you might not want to miss the Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, Wisconsin on August 8 (http://greattaste.org/), Vermont Brewers Festival in Burlington, Vermont , July 17-18 (http://www.vtbrewfest.com/get_tickets.php), Cask Days in Toronto in October (http://www.caskdays.com/) and The Festival 2015 in St. Petersburg, Florida, October 16-17 (www.sheltonbrothers.com).
Looking forward to 2016, the BNBA has planned a Winter Buffalo Brewers Festival (Ski Country), a Spring Brewers Festival during Beer Week, the third annual Buffalo Brewers Festival in June and a Fall Brewers Fest at Niagara Falls in November.
Stay tuned BuffaloNiagaraBrewersAssociation.org for further details on these events as well as to get all of the latest information on the Buffalo craft beer scene.