A rendering of CBW’s new taproom. (Photo courtesy of CBW)

In what is sure to drum up a number of deep rooted fears stemming from the closure of their Lafayette Street facility, Community Beer Works have announced plans to temporarily close their new headquarters at 520 Jersey Street for renovations and improvements to their taproom to “offer a responsible, socially distant, and comfortable indoor experience.” They also plan to revamp their service model and give their taproom a makeover, or “glow up,” as they put it.

They are bringing in renowned Art & Creative Director Rob Neiler to help with that, whose works can be seen at the Genesee Brew House in Rochester and Schlafly Brewing in St. Louis, to transform their taproom.

“We’re so excited to get started with Rob and can’t wait to show you some sneak peeks of what we’re working on!” the brewery says.

Starting this weekend, the beer patio at CBW will only be open Fridays and Saturdays, which will last throughout August. Then, starting Labor Day (September 7), their taproom and beer patio will close.

“Above all, we’re concerned for the health and safety of our staff, their families, and our customers,” the brewery says. “Like all of our peers in the brewing and service industries, we’ve taken measures over the last couple of months to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all communities. Those efforts, however, along with the very understandable fear of COVID-19, have completely changed the landscape of what it means to operate a brewery taproom. We don’t see that changing any time soon. Although our home on the Lower West Side has plenty of outdoor space, we need to rethink what your experience will be with us in the fall and winter months.”

Photo courtesy of CBW

Amongst the changes set to take place is the installation of a brand new air filtration system, a change to the taproom floor layout, and an enhancement of how they provide beer and food, including a new menu. They are also installing new tanks in the brewhouse and launching a new barrel aging program.

“When we invite you back, we’ll have more beer, a new food menu, and an exciting new look and feel to our taproom!” CBW says.

Perk up buttercup! It’s not all doom and gloom however, because CBW is taking a few precautions to ensure you always can get your hands on their beer. First, they are expanding their curbside pickup to seven days a week, and will still be delivering beer to your doorstep on Wednesdays and Fridays. They are also continuing to schedule pop-ups around town, so look for one near you soon.

There is also some truly exciting news to come out of all of this as the brewery will soon begin shipping their beer across New York State and will also plan to launch new catering options.

Community Beer Works have also introduced the Schaefer Malt House Lofts, 35 apartments located next door to the brewery inside the former home of Schaefer & Brother Malting Company.

Schaefer Malt House Lofts (Photo courtesy of CBW)

“In addition to what’s happening inside our taproom, there’s something really exciting happening outside too! You may have noticed the large building that towers over our brewery and taproom; that’s the former home of Schaefer & Brother Malting Company, which is currently being transformed into 35 amazing apartments called the Schaefer Malt House Lofts. The Schaefer Malt House, which dates back to 1880, is an exciting part of Buffalo’s brewing history and we are honored to be part of its next chapter!”

“Thank you to everyone who has stopped by the taproom over the past couple months. There’s still so much ahead of us, and we cannot wait to share the next chapter of our story with our community!”

New hours for August

Beer Patio: Friday – 3-8pm, Saturday – 11am-8pm

Curbside Pick-Up: Monday – Thursday – 3-7pm, Friday – 3-8pm + patio service, Saturday – 11am-8pm + patio service, Sunday – 10am to 1pm

***Listen to our WNY Brews podcast with CBW President Ethan Cox here.

For more information on Community Beer Works and their plans, click here.

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 buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).