As winter gives way to the thaw of spring, ThawFest emerges as a beacon of warmth and camaraderie. The annual celebration of local craft beer and the arrival of spring, which will be held April 26 (6-10pm) at Buffalo Riverworks, ThawFest brings together beer enthusiasts, brewers, and food vendors for a weekend of indulgence and merriment.

And this year, Thawfest is giving the VIP treatment to all festival-goers, which means your ticket includes food, unlike in year’s past.

From IPAs to stouts and lagers, ThawFest boasts a diverse selection of brews to tantalize every palate. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with brewers, learning about their unique brewing techniques and the stories behind their beers. Whether you’re a seasoned beer aficionado or a curious newcomer, there’s something for everyone to discover and savor.

The festival has revealed their list of participating breweries, meaderies, and cideries, including Pearl Street, Lafayette Brewing, RiverWorks Brewing, Three Bear Meadery, Belt Line Brewery, Southern Tier, Flying Bison, 12 Gates, Big Ditch, Hamburg Brewing, Resurgence Brewing, Shalooby Loofer, Sad Boys, Buffalo Brewing, Marquee Brewing, BlackBird Cider, Clarksburg Cider, Tree Hugger Cider, Woodcock Brothers Brewing, Genesee Brewing, The Ridge at West Seneca, and more.

Beyond beer, cider and meads, Thawfest will play host to wine, craft canned cocktails and spirits from Lake Hour Canned Cocktails, Herron Hill, Hartman’s Distillery, Old Scotland Road Distillery, Barn Dog Distilling, and more.

And if you’re in the mood to shop after a few adult beverages, Buffalo Underdogs Rescue, Leaf Gutter Protection, Renewal by Anderson, The Lucky Wing, and Sik Braids are among the vendors that will be onsite.

Tickets are $60 and a portion of proceeds will benefit Hope Rises and The Firefighter Arno Memorial Foundation. Tickets include all tastings, finger foods, music from DJ Sike, and free parking.

With a backdrop of twinkling lights and the hum of laughter filling the air, ThawFest offers an unforgettable experience that captures the spirit of community and celebration. So join us and raise a glass as we toast to good times, great beers, and the promise of warmer days ahead.

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