On April 2, the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association will be holding their first Brewer’s Invitational at Pettibone’s Grill inside Coca-Cola Field. Area brewmasters have worked diligently through the winter to create some of the most unique and innovative beer Buffalo has experienced. Hamburg Brewing Company’s John Russo recently took some time to speak about the event and give a quick State of the Brewing update.


BNBA: As we approach Hamburg’s third anniversary in 2016, how are things at the brewery? What changes for the better have you seen over the years?
John Russo: Things are going well at HBC in our young tenure. We’ve just about approached the 2.5 year mark of brewing beer in WNY and our team couldn’t be more excited about the future. We have noticeably seen changes in everyone’s tastes around Buffalo as better beer has made a positive impact on many aspects of people’s lives.

BNBA: Why do you think an event like The Brewers Invitational is important?
Russo: I think an event like the Brewer’s Invitational is important for the hardcore beer drinkers to see what local brewers are up to. I think all the brewers around are making some great beer and this gives us the chance to showcase some styles that aren’t typically for the masses nor readily available by the breweries.

BNBA: You’re bringing Tart Simpson to the Brewers Invitational. Can you tell us a bit about the beer?
Russo:  We are bringing a beer called Tart Simpson to the Invitational. It is our first go at a kettle sour in the form of a low bodied beer with mild malt complexity and some fun hops such as Galaxy…and of course a bit of bacteria.

BNBA: This is your first entry into the sour beer genre. Why the decision now to brew a sour?
Russo: We decided to brew Tart Simpson after many discussions on the topic and ultimately by finding a slot in the production schedule.

BNBA: Are there more sours in the pipeline at Hamburg?
Russo: Maybe…


The Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association thanks John for taking the time to speak with us.

A limited amount of tickets can still be purchased for $39. In addition to all of the beer, your ticket also includes a buffet of old school pub food ‘kicked up a notch.’ You can purchase tickets at Buffaloniagarabrewersassociation.org, Buffalo Bisons Box Office, all Consumer’s Beverages locations, Premier Gourmet, Kegworks and at local breweries. A limited number of Designated Driver tickets are also available ($15 when accompanied by regular ticket holders) and includes food, soft drinks and water. Designated Driver tickets may be purchased over the phone at (716) 846-2057 by credit card and will be mailed to you.