On April 2, the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association (BNBA) will be holding their first Brewers Invitational at Pettibone’s Grill inside Coca-Cola Field. Area brewmasters have worked diligently through the winter to create some of the most unique and innovative beer Buffalo has experienced. 42 North’s Clay Keel recently took some time to speak about the event and give a quick State of the Brewing update.

BNBA:  How are things at 42 North?
Clay Keel: Excellent, were getting great feedback on the taproom and beer lineup.  We’re experimenting with new recipes in small batches constantly from a 15% Bier de Champagne to 3% Berliners and sending a very limited amount of beer out to distribution in Western New York now.  With just a few full time employees it is challenging but amazing fun.

BNBA:  This is a new festival this year. Tell me what excites you about it.
Keel: I love the idea of a brewers festival.  Keep it creative, local, and different. The concept allows us to stretch our creative muscle and throw some stuff out there that may not otherwise make it out of our taproom.  There is no better experience for a brewer then to put their creations out for tasting and see and discuss an educated drinker’s reaction in person.

BNBA:  Can you please describe the beer that you be presenting at the  Brewer’s
Keel: So we bottled about 100 bottles of our American Sour thus far.  It is a custom blend of cultures and wild yeast blended and grown from some select sources.  It has sold out as of now but I set aside a few cases just for this event, its super tart and funky with the right lacto and brett flavors dancing around.  The second beer is very unique and not something I’ve seen much anywhere.  It is a Bier de Champagne style which we made by creating a high gravity wort of pils malt and spices not unlike an Abbey Tripel but then pitched Champagne yeast for fermentation.  It is very big at over 15%, highly carbonated and has an overt aroma of white grape, pear, and dessert wine with a flavor of a big Tripel mixed and aged with white grape must.  It is very unique.

The Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association thanks Clay for taking the time to speak with us. You can read more from Keel and 42 North here.