While there is something to the whole being one with nature thing you can experience in any one of the great parks across Western New York, being able to enjoy everything those same parks have to offer but while surrounded by friends with a fresh local beer in hand sounds much better. Am I alone in thinking that? At least Erie County agrees with me, as evidenced by their Pints in the Park Program, which features Resurgence Brewing, 42 North Brewing and Flying Bison hosting pop-up beer gardens across the Erie County Park System throughout the summer and fall.

And to make things even better (what’s better than sunshine, nature and fresh local beer?), a portion of proceeds from these events will be funneled straight back into the parks system to aid in putting on free community events.

The program kicks off June 5 at Sprague Brook Park.

“With over 10,000 acres of land in the Erie County Park System, we are always looking for new, exciting ways to get new visitors out to the parks,” Erie County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commissioner Troy Schinzel said. “This is why we were extremely excited when a few local breweries reached out to set-up “Pop-Up” Beer Gardens throughout the summer and fall in Erie County parks. Portions of the proceeds brought in at “Pints in the Park” events in Erie County parks come straight back to the parks to enhance our free special events, such as Santaland at Chestnut Ridge Park and our Fall Festival in Como Lake Park.”

Flying Bison patriarch Tim Herzog says Flying Bison is excited to be a part of the program because, aside from the obvious, enjoying beer outside in the elements is an important part of his evolution as a beer drinker.

“Flying Bison is excited to be part of Pints in the Park. We are looking forward to bringing the Biergarten experience to three very different Erie County Parks,” Herzog says. “Having a beer and relaxing outside has always been part of my beer enjoyment, from the discovery of Guinness F.E.S. around a bonfire with friends, to porch beers with my neighbors, to several biergartens in Germany, to the biergarten here at Flying Bison, a glass outdoors just works for me. I am hoping the beer drinkers of Erie County join us for a fresh, cold beer in a beautiful Erie County park.”

42 North Owner John Cimperman adds that Pints in the Park is a great way to help expand the brewery’s reach into other areas of Erie County.

“’Pints in the Park’ is the perfect opportunity for us to bring our taproom experience beyond East Aurora,” Cimperman adds. “Each of our events, branded, Brews, Blues, & BBQ, will feature live music and BBQ from our friends at Fat Bob’s.”

Future locations include:

  • Como Lake Park (June 18-20)
  • Ellicott Creek Park (July 9, 13-15)
  • Chestnut Ridge Park (July 10, September 17-19, October 15-17)
  • Isle View Park (July 11)
  • Black Rock Canal Park (July 23)
  • Emery Park (August 14, 20)

“We (Resurgence) launched Pints in the Park three years ago with the city parks, and we are happy to see the concept evolving and growing,” Resurgence Brewing President Jeff Ware says. “We have beautiful city and county parks here in WNY, and what better way to enjoy them than with friends and family over a pint on a nice summer day!  If you haven’t been to one of the parks lately, use this as an excuse to get back out there!”

Times and exact locations have yet to be announced.

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