CollaBeeration Fest is about as unique a beer festival as they come. It is a festival for beer geeks, brewed by beer geeks. If that sounds confusing, let me clear it up a bit – members of the Buffalo Beer Geeks Facebook group teamed up with 40 Western New York breweries, cideries and meaderies to create one-off, small batch creations you’ll only find at this event.
CollaBeeration 2.0 will take place February 20 (1-5pm) at the Powerhouse (140 Lee St, Buffalo). There are limited general admission tickets ($55) still available for the event. Tickets include unlimited pours of all 40 collabs and a festival commemorative glass. Designated driver tickets are also available for $10.
Among the participants are Belt Line Brewery, Big Ditch Brewing, Fifth Frame, Pantomime Mixtures and more. Along with other NYS breweries pouring beers, there will be craft vendors and food, including Pizza Plant pods, specialty CollaBeeration cookies and few food trucks.
“CollaBeeration was created to bring together local craft beer drinkers and breweries to make one-of-a-kind beers, ciders and meads and kombucha,” Joe Yager, from the Buffalo Beer Geeks, said. “40 collabs and six guest breweries will be pouring unlimited samples at the beautiful Powerhouse on Lee Street. Hope to see you all there.”
As for what beer he is looking forward to trying the most, Yager says Thin Man’s Blendatron (read more about this beer below), which he helped to brew as part of the Thin Man CollaBEERation team, though he was quick to point out that he is eager to try them all come Sunday.
Erik Coleman, proprietor of Beer By Coleman Beer Concierge, who is presenting the event, says CollaBEERation is an event by the brewing community that’s for the community.
“CollaBEERation is a unique festival because you have a chance come and taste some unique, one-off specialty beers that you can’t get anywhere else and aren’t out of tap yet, brewed exclusive for this event,” he said. “You also get a chance to meet the actual people who are brewing the beer. The people behind the taps are the brewers, the owners and the people who can tell the story of the brewing company, the meadery, the cidery, as well as the product that they are pouring for you.”
Beer list (subject to change):
1927 Brew House – Dubbel Trubbel Belgian Dubbel (8.7%)
Description: Very traditional Belgian Dubbel aged in a Maker’s Mark bourbon barrel. Lots of dried fruit aromas and a smooth flavor and aroma of bourbon and vanilla oak.
42 North Brewing – Plum Out of Ideas Belgian IPA (7%)
Description: Belgian-inspired pale featuring Nectaron and Belma hops, secondary fermentation on red plums and a touch of lactose and vanilla to balance tartness of the plum and accentuate Belgian yeast character.
Belt Line – Neptune’s Nectar NEIPA (7.4% )
Description: NEIPA featuring Wai-iti and Citra hops with notes of lime, mixed citrus and ripe peach. Rounded bitterness with a creamy mouthfeel.
Big Ditch Brewing – Blood Orange Sunset West Coast Blood Orange IPA (7%)
Description: West Coast blood orange IPA with Simcoe, Citra and Centennial hops.
Blackbird Cider Works – Fruit Belt Pear Fruit Cider (5%)
Description: Pear cider produced from BlackBird Cider Works estate grown pears infused with locally grown peach juice. This cider represents the best of some of the fruits grown along the Lake Ontario shoreline in Niagara County.
Bootleg Kombucha – Pineapple Jalapeno Kombucha
Description: The perfect mix of sweet pineapple, spicy jalapeno and Amarillo hops.
Brickyard Brewing – Spring Dank ’22 Red IPA (9%)
Description: Double Red IPA brewed with the dankest hops.
Buffalo Brewing Company – Fruited Sour IPA (6.5%)
Description: Mango and passionfruit sour IPA brewed with white wheat, 2 Row and oats and hopped with Strata and Citra hops.
Butera’s / Village Brew House -Ned Flanders’ Quickie Oud Bruin (5.4%)
Description: Okily-dokily, first things first. This beer is a quick version of the Oud Bruin. Slightly sour; it picks up dark fruit flavors from Special B Malt and a hint of sourdough from Special Roast Malt. There is no fruit added. American oak chips soaked in Cabernet-Sauvignon adds another layer of de-diddlily-dee-liciousness to enjoy. Beer… what can’t it ding-dong-diddlily-do for you? Write to Jimmy Butera
Clarksburg Cider – Lemony Pricket (6.5%)
Description: Prickly Pear Lemonade Cider
Community Beer Works – The Best Way to Stand Out in a Crowd is to Play the Nostalgia Card Imperial Stout with Caramel and Vanilla (8%)
Description: Brewed with heaps upon heaps of caramel and dark malts for a deeply complex, sweet flavor with very low bitterness. Fermented with caramel and aged on vanilla beans, this imperial stout may conjure nostalgia for a familiar gas station treat.
Eli Fish Brewing – Cuvee de Bouquet Blended Barrel Aged Sour (8%)
Description: This cuvee blends three month gin barrel aged ‘de Bouquet’ with 18-month spontaneous base beer, as well as original ‘de Bouquet,’ to layer complexity over the subtle and soft gewürztraminer and pear notes of de Bouquet. Compare it to the stand-alone base beer to truly catch all the nuanced character each component can bring.
Ellicottville Brewing Company CrookEdville Czech-style Pilsner (5.7%)
Description: A crisp, dry, refreshing Czech-style pilsner brewed in collaBEERation with Crooked Lamp Post Brew Club out of Eden. This is a modern take on a traditional style; Bohemian pilsner malt and a Czechoslovakian yeast are complemented by the exclusive use of Saaz hops projecting a floral flavor and aroma that stand out after a late dry hop addition.
Fifth Frame – Clawfoot Ice Box Cake Pastry Stout (9%)
Description: Like the retro moms used to make. Everyone’s favorite icebox cake. Banana, hazelnut spread, ice cream and graham cracker dust all come together to create this treat.
Flying Bison – Seasonale: Glad You Weren’t Shot Belgian Golden / Trippel (7%)
Description: German and Belgian malts with a bit of sugar to boost the ABV while keeping the body down. Magnum and Styrian hops for crisp, clean punch and Belgian Wit yeast for a bit of estery background.
Frequentem – Jasmine Rice Lager w/ Calamansi (4.7%)
Description: Rice lager double mashed with a Jasmine rice cereal mash, lagered for five weeks in horizontal lagering tanks with a small addition of tart calamansi.
Heroes Brewing – Almond Coconut Porter (6%)
Description: As the name implies, this porter was conditioned on top of toasted almond and coconut, cacao nibs and vanilla beans. With notes of chocolate and coconut up front and hints of almond toward the finish, it’s like drinking a candy bar; this beer is dessert in a glass.
Iron Tug – Stroop Dogg Milk Stout (9%)
Description: Milk stout conditioned on Stroopwafels.
K2 Brewing – Wingin’ It Imperial Cream Ale (10%)
Description: An imperial cream ale conditioned on Franks hot sauce and blue cheese.
Lilly Belle Meads – Bochet (10-11%)
Description: Bourbon Barrel Aged apple pie-ish delicacy. Before barreling it captured all the notes of granny’s old school apple pie recipe. Not too sweet, yet balanced between the fruit, graham cracker crust, spices and familiar warmth taking your taste buds back to a simpler and more hospitable time.
Lucky Hare Brewing – Maybe Next Beer Schwarzbier (7%)
Description: Schwarzbier aged on cocoa nibs and orange peel.
New York Beer Project – Honey Man Imperial Stout (10.5%)
Description: Freshly brewed imperial stout with lactose that was blended with a small amount of 2019 Imperial Stout aged on cinnamon in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels. We then aged this beer on fresh cinnamon sticks and freshly roasted Sumatra coffee beans from Underground Coffee and finally finished it off with sweet honey.
Old First Ward Brewing – Peelin’ Myself Imperial Hefe (8-10%)
Description: Rum Spice Bananas Foster Imperial Hefe.
OSB Ciderworks – Cider
Description: This team is keeping their release hush hush. Only one clue has been given and it’s this: 👋 🥭🍴🌽.
Pantomime Mixture – Dills Mafia Wild Ale (7.2%)
Description: Tequila Barrel Aged Wild Ale with cucumber and dill.
Pearl Street Brewing – Nerd Alert! NEIPA (8%)
Description: NEIPA with hibiscus, double dry hopped with Galaxy, Mosiac and Strata. Using a brand new yeast strain from Omega called Cosmic Punch.
Pressure Drop Brewing Machete Porter (7%)
Description: Mexican Hot Chocolate Porter.
Prosper Brewing – Thriving Hive Belgian Tripel (9.2%)
Description: Brewed with orange sweet and bitter orange peel and Indian coriander. Then added 30lb. of orange blossom honey a couple of days after fermentation.
Queen City Meadery – Mornin’ Buzz Metheglin (7.25%)
Description: Mead with coffee beans and lactose.
Resurgence Brewing – New Hop, Who Dis? NEIPA (6.8%)
Description: This beer features an experimental hop called Vista / USDA-074, which boasts flavor and aroma characteristics of tropical fruit, apple, pear and melon. The supporting hop of Sabro imparts tangerine, coconut and stone fruit with hints of mint. Along with a soft body and big mouthfeel, these two hops complement each other nicely.
Rising Storm – Turn The Sage Sour Ale (6%)
Description: A Blackberry Sage Gin and Tonic Sour Ale. This cocktail-themed beer had juniper berries and sage added during the whirlpool stage of brewing and then is conditioned on hefty amounts of blackberry purée.
Rusty Nickel – Nana’s Cookie Jar White Stout (8.4%)
Description: A white stout that reflects a shortbread cookie topped with cherry filling. With flavors of lightly toasted amaretto, vanilla and a hint of cherry just like the cookie. The flavors are layered nicely and meld together towards the end. At 8.4% ABV, it has an enjoyable boozy warmth. Silky smooth, but thicker to represent those complex cookie flavors. (Contains lactose)
Sato Brewpub – Pine-ing for Yuz Cream Ale w/ Pineapple, Yuzu, and Basil (5.1%)
Description: A crushable, subtly tropical snowblower beer with additions of pineapple, yuzu and just a touch of basil. It may be a blizzard outside, but inside we’re pine-ing for those bright summer days.
Southern Tier Brewing – Chevalier Noir Dark Saison (9.4%)
Description: Traditional Saison with a dark twist. This beer finishes dry leaving you wanting more. The flavors and alcohol are very inviting. With its high carbonation, it brings out all the flavors leaving you with notes of caramel, vanilla, black pepper and a little white wine.
Steelbound Brewery – Beads Or It Didn’t Happen Stout (7%)
Description: King Cake Stout made with real pastries, cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans.
Stoneyard Brewing – Son of a Bee Sting Honey and Chili Pepper Custard Cream Ale (7%)
Description: Inspired by a delicious, regional pizza featuring sweet honey and chili peppers all encapsulated in the famous Stoneyard custard cream ale base.
Thin Man Brewery – Blendatron Blended BA Stout w/ Hazelnut & Vanilla (13.2%)
Description: A blend of barrel aged beers, Blendatron is 50% Rye barrel aged Awesome Jenkins, 30% bourbon barrel aged (un-named) imperial stout, 10% Maple Syrup barrel aged Awesome Jenkins and 10% bourbon barrel aged doppelbock. The beer is then aged on toasted hazelnuts and vanilla for a rich, smooth, sweet and nutty treat.
West Shore Brewing – You’re Not You When You’re Hungry Stout (10%)
Description: Stout with lactose, chocolate, caramel and roasted peanuts. A full-bodied thick stout with a smooth creamy flavor inspired by a popular candy bar
Windy Brew – Driftwood Blonde Stout (10.5%)
Description: Oaked version of Lost at Sea. Blonde stout brewed with Jamaican Me Crazy coffee from
Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters.
Woodcock Brothers – What’s the CAPital of Thailand? Brown Ale (5.5%)
Description: A dessert-style brown ale with lactose conditioned on maple syrup, candy cap mushrooms, toasted fenugreek seeds, wild Thai banana and vanilla extract.
“CollaBEERation is for the people who appreciate good beer. This is truly an event for the brewing industry, by the brewing industry,” Coleman said.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/collabeeration.
Brian Campbell is co-founder and Brand Manager of the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).