It may be hard to believe, but 42 North Brewing Company has been open for one year. It is true, as they say, that time flies when you are having fun. And things certainly have been fun at the East Aurora craft beer institution.
In its first year of operations, 42 North produced and sold over 2,000 barrels of beer, which included over 40+ different recipes, according to a press release. They’ve also released their Creekside Session IPA and Borderland IPA in cans and a number of beers in 22oz bottles, including their Illumination Bohemian Pils, Wallonia Wit and Red Army Stout. And that’s not all – 42 North was also recognized with a number of awards, including a Silver Medal for the Asylum Porter in US Open Beer Championship and a Silver Medal for the Wallonia Wit in the New York State International Beer Competition.
“First off, I can’t believe it has been a year since we opened and two and half years since we set out to make 42 North happen,” brewmaster Clay Keel says. “I am absolutely thrilled with what we’ve done in our first year. We’ve exceeded expectation in our taproom and I love that our beers are served at the best tap rooms in Western New York.”
“Well, we set out to be the tortoise and not the hare from the beginning. We hoped to set ourselves apart with a great portfolio of authentic styles with our creative twist and I believe we’ve done that.We’ve won 5 medals for 4 different beers and above all I believe we’ve succeeded in making consistent, quality beer for our friends and neighbors throughout the area and created a taproom to enjoy them that is second to none. I don’t think we could ask for anything more.”
So, with a successful first year under their belts, what’s there to do now? Celebrate of course. And that they will, well, that we all will, at the official First Anniversary Celebration on October 21 and 22. The festivities will include music, activities, and special beer releases every hour.
On Friday night, from 8-11pm, the Leroy Townes Band will hit the stage, but things really ramp up on Saturday, as every hour a new beer will be tapped, so there’s good reason to in the taproom all day long. Starting a noon, 42 North will tap 20 beers throughout the day, including the debut of Luchabrew Mexican Lager, a collaboration with Deep South Taco, and a pair of casks, Pink Peppercorn Wit and Oak Borderland. Check the graphic for all pertinent details. The Observers will take to the stage at 8pm.
Additionally, the 42 North in-house kitchen, Root’s Kitchen, will be serving an all-star menu all weekend long. This menu will be based upon past favorite menu items that 42 North patrons have been voting on for the past month.
While hitting the one year mark is certainly cause for celebration, it is also a perfect time for reflection. A time to remember all of the blood, sweat and tears, the beer, the people, and all of the moments that got 42 North to where they are today. Keel did just that, managing the tough task of picking out not only his favorite beer from the past year, but also his single favorite memory at the brewery.
“Picking a favorite beer from the 35 that Alex, Nax, Matt and I have developed in the last year is tough. I suppose I would say the Treaty Saison, it is just one of my favorite styles and once we got it nailed down it was very, very nice,” he says. “There are so many great memories sharing beer with friends at events, concerts, and other breweries but I think my favorite memory would still have to be the night before we opened. We had all of our incredible staff family, partners, designers, architects, carpenters, painters, electricians, accountants, lawyers, and everyone else from East Aurora and the Buffalo area that worked so hard to make 42 North happen with us. Everyone was so proud and the room was glowing. We knew we created something special.”
As for the years to come, Keel says that he is perfectly fine with 42 North staying the course, while ramping up their alreadyimpressive barrel aging program.
“Moving forward we just want to continue being the tortoise that I referred to earlier,” he says. “For instance while other breweries are adding a lot of stainless to make additional volume, we added wood. We now have over 900 gallons of wine barrel aging capability which I believe is the largest wood cellar in Western New York. In 2017 these barrels will produce a few thousand bottles of different cellared, sour beers. We’re also creating a new rotating series of Double IPA’s that I’m excited about. We’ll continue doing some canned products but it will remain limited by our space and lack of canning equipment. We also have some exciting plans in the works for additional projects with NY hop farmers as we continue our strong focus on collaboration. Overall, I’m ecstatic with where we are and now that we’ve made it through a year I feel we now have the freedom to experiment, create, and have fun which is a beautiful thing.”
For more information on 42 North Brewing Company, visit www.42northbrewing.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 The Public. He can be reached at email@example.com.