The Canadian American Beer Festival is off and running, and cross border collaborations, unique pairings that will feature some of the best and brightest brewing minds in Western New York teaming with their Southern Ontario counterparts, are now set. The collaboration lottery was held before the inaugural Can-Am Beer Fest, which was held in conjunction with the Ontario Craft Brewers Conference, on October 29 at the Scotia Bank Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The special collabs will take place on either side of the border, with plans calling for ten beers to brewed in Ontario and the other ten to be brewed in WNY. The lottery draw produced some exciting pairings, more than enough to start getting excited about.

The pairings are as follows:

Canadian Side

  • Niagara Brewing – Belt Line Brewery & Kitchen
  • Cowbell Brewing – New York Beer Project
  • Niagara Oast House – Four Mile Brewing
  • Railway City – Brickyard Brewing
  • Avling Brewery – West Shore Brewing
  • Lock Street Brewery – Rusty Nickel Brewing
  • Shawn & Ed Brewing – Brite Smith Brewing
  • Flying Monkeys – Five and 20 Spirits & Brewing
  • Redline Brewhouse – Resurgence Brewing
  • Four Fathers Brewing – Fat Heads Brewing (Cleveland)

American Side

  • Big Ditch Brewing – 5 Paddles Brewing
  • Flying Bison Brewing – Niagara College Teaching Brewery
  • Community Beer Works – Breakwall Brewery
  • Pressure Drop Brewing – LOW Brewing Company
  • Steelbound Brewery – Midtown Brewing
  • Lilly Belle Meadery – Nickelbrook Brewing
  • Black Monk Brewing (Erie) – Whitewater Brewing
  • 12 Gates Brewing – Royal City Brewing
  • 42 North Brewing – Sawdusty City Brewing
  • Other Half Brewing (Rochester) – Thornbury Village Cider House & Brewery

I am personally excited for a number of these combinations. Niagara Brewing and Belt Line, Oast House and Brickyard, Shawn & Ed and Brite Smith, a number are truly intriguing. On the other side, Big Ditch and 5 Paddles, Pressure Drop and LOW Brewing,

42 North and Sawdust City sound fun. And beyond that, whatever vaunted breweries like Other Half and Fat Heads come up with will be something to look forward to. I’m also happy to learn more about these breweries I’m not familiar with.

The Can-Am is organized by the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association in partnership with the Ontario Craft Brewers, Niagara College Teaching Brewery, and is co-hosted by the US Consul General and the Canadian Consul General.

For more information on the first ever Canadian American Beer Festival, and to purchase tickets online, please visit

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