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. Big Ditch Brewing’s Matt Kahn recently took some time to speak about the event and give a quick State of the Brewing update.  

You can also listen to a 3/14 radio interview of Matt Kahn on The Brewer’s Invitational here.

BNBA: How are things going at Big Ditch?
Matt Kahn: Things are good – we’re pretty busy. Coming out of the winter, we’d expected it to slow down a bit, but they’re pretty steady. Spring is here, so things are picking up a little bit, which is good. We’ve got a bunch of new beers we’re working on, and so we’re ramping up production. Everything is going really well.

BNBA: This is Buffalo’s first experience with an event like the Brewers Invitational. What about this event is exciting to you?
Kahn: I think it’s great that it is very locally focused…What is different about this one is the types of beers that the brewers are bringing – a lot of unique, one-offs and experimental beers. It’s a nice way for the brewers in the area to show their stuff. Brewers always like to ‘flex their muscles’ creatively. I also think it is cool that the attendance is limited – it provides for a more intimate experience. I think that’s good for a festival like this.

BNBA: The beer you’re presenting is a collaboration. Can you talk about that?
Kahn: We’re actually bringing two beers. One is a collaboration with Great Lakes. It’s called Great Big Steve, and it is a dopplebock – very clean and malty, and a little more fruity than a normal dopplebock because we used ale yeast.  The name of the beer is a reference to Grover Cleveland, former Buffalo mayor, and our 22nd (and 24th) President, who was known as Big Steve

The second is maybe one of the most experimental beers we’ve ever done – it’s a chocolate gose. A gose is slightly sour, slightly salty beer that is traditionally brewed in Germany. We put our own little spin on it and added some nice, dark malts to give it a little of a chocolate flavor, which should be interesting. We were going for a dark chocolate covered sourdough pretzel, and it turned out pretty nice – pretty close to what we wanted.

The Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association thanks Matt for taking the time to speak with us.