Packet, the first of Big Ditch Brewing’s vaunted Lock IPA Series, and one of their most celebrated beers of all time, is set to make its triumphant return on September 8. Cans will go on sale beginning at 11am with a limited amount on draft available as well. 4-packs of 16oz. cans are $14.99 with a limit of one case per person.

Packet is named after the boats that transported early passengers on the Erie Canal. The beer is made with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Pacific Jade hops, resulting in a juicy, sticky hop bomb with tempered bitterness and tropical and lightly floral hop flavors abound. Many believe Packet to be one of the best beers Big Ditch has ever brewed, if not the best ever.

Big Ditch’s Matt Kahn says that it was a combination of customer requests and their ability to come into a supply of Galaxy hops that allowed them to brew Packet once again.

“Our customers have been asking for Packet to return since we made it last in June of 2017,” he says. “The main reason we weren’t able to make it since then was a relative lack of Galaxy hops, which the Packet recipe contains a lot of. We happened to find a reasonably priced supply of Galaxy very recently. It had been long enough. We decided to brew it again.”

And, before you ask, no, the recipe has not been altered for the new batch, with Kahn pointing out that the brewteam believes this new batch tastes just as good as the original. “Not at all,” he assures. “The beer, as far as we can tell, tastes as good as the last batch we made in 2017.”

For those that cannot make it to Big Ditch this weekend for the can release, Kahn says that they are reserving a small amount of supply to send out to local retail shops. Packet will also be available at Pizza Plant’s IPA-Palooza on September 15 (an even featuring all locally made IPA’s at Pizza Plant Canalside, 2-4pm) as well as in the VIP section at the Ballpark Brew Bash on September 21 (Coca-Cola Field, 6-9p).

“We are reserving some to send out to market. Our commercial customers have been just as eager to get their hands on this beer, and being that they support us all throughout the year, we felt it necessary to get them some,” Kahn adds. “There should be plenty of cans available at the brewery and a limited amount on draft that day as well.”

As for Packet’s Lock Series brethren, Fip, Dibble and 363, Kahn says that the brewery plans to brew and re-release each beer once more, but could not comment as to exactly when. Speaking of the Lock Series, he also says that both the recipe and beer name are done, and they are finishing the can artwork currently.  “We hope to have it out in less than 6 weeks or so,” he says.

To accompany the beer, a limited number of Packet Teku glasses will also be released for $15 each. Big Ditch will also release their first attempt at a Brut IPA, the latest in their Innovation Series of beers. Brut IPA V.1 features Idaho 7 and Mosaic hops. There will also be fresh Deep Cut Double IPA cans and draft as well as a few cases and limited draft of the Class Is In Session IPA brewed for Buffalo Beer Week at 12 Gates Brewing Company by 20 different area breweries. The 5.8% beer is a juicy, tropical IPA that is brewed with Mosaic, Citra, Galaxy, Wakatu, and Kohatu hops.

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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. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and