If you are looking to stay and play, or are an out-of-town beer fan with an eye on visiting a new brewery, you are going to want to consider staying at the Buffalo/Amherst Hyatt Place hotel with their Brews and Bites package. The new partnership with Big Ditch Brewing features a great hotel stay, along with the best of what Big Ditch has to offer, all rolled into one neat little package.

The Brews and Bites package features not only a stay at the Hyatt Place, which includes a complimentary breakfast, but also a $50 gift card to Big Ditch and a certificate for a pair of pint glasses and 64oz. growler with a free fill. About the only thing this package does not include is transportation (more on this later).

Now, booking this package online is no easy task. But I can help. After visiting www.hyattplaceamherst.com, enter your dates of stay in the upper right hand corner and click ‘Book Now,’ which will take you to a new page. Below the header, you will find a selection of Hotel Packages. You have to click through the carousel of packages to bring up the ‘Brews and Bites’ package. And off you go.

The hotel itself is tremendous. Located right next to the I-90, which is perfect for those coming in from out of town, the hotel offers plenty of parking, pristine rooms and great customer service, which greeted me immediately upon my arrival. At check-in, I received my Big Ditch gift card and glass/growler certificate (which you don’t have to immediately redeem, which is nice), as well as a few complimentary bottles of water. From there I headed up to my room.

I was placed in a corner room on the fourth floor, which was great. It’s a rather small detail, but this was the best smelling hotel room I’ve walked into. Another small footnote – there was a complimentary Granny Smith apple waiting for me, which is my favorite type of apple, so that was nice, as well as a few more complimentary bottles of water. I quickly broke out a small Bluetooth speaker I packed and played some music as I cracked a bottle of Flying Bison Brewing Juice Caboose IPA and relaxed before dinner. I should have brought a Big Ditch can from my beer fridge, but hindsight is 20/20, right?

The only downfall I found with this hotel/brewery package was transportation. I was under the assumption that I would be able to take the complimentary hotel shuttle down to Big Ditch and back, but that was not the case as the shuttle only travels within 5 miles of the hotel (the brewery is approximately 9.2 miles away). After finding this out, I grabbed an Uber since I didn’t want to drive myself. To be completely honest, if the hotel offered a free shuttle ride back and forth, the ‘Brews and Bites’ package would  be one of the absolute best deals around. While the $50 gift card is great, it’s sort of offset by the $33 in Uber charges I incurred. Again, I just want to be transparent.

After nearly hitting two deer and getting cutoff on the 33, my Uber dropped my wife and I off at Big Ditch. Once we were seated, we started with a plate of the Fried Pickles (highly recommended indeed), a pint of Dayburner Session IPA for me and a glass of wine for her. From there we split a Breuben and fries (I’ve long contested that Big Ditch’s version of the Reuben is one of the very best in the city), before I enjoyed a pint of Folly (New Belgium collaboration) IPA as a digestif. Afterwards, we grabbed a beer at Misuta Chows and had a Manhattan nightcap at Lucky Day before Ubering back to the hotel.

The next morning we slept in (checkout isn’t until noon) and enjoyed our complimentary breakfast – eggs, bacon and cinnamon monkey bread – before departing and heading home. Like I said, aside from the transportation issue, this was an absolute blast and a must for all beer fans.

Looking forward, the Brews and Bites package would be a good fit for those coming into town for the Shelton Brothers Festival this October. The Central Terminal, where The Festival is being held this year, is 9.2 miles from the hotel (roughly a $16-$17 Uber ride). Not only would you be staying right off of the 90 in a great hotel, you’d also be able to experience one of the area’s must-visit breweries in Big Ditch and beyond that, the Buffalo/Amherst Hyatt Place is only a mile down the road from renowned beer bar Moor Pat and soon-to-be-opened brewery Britesmith Brewing, which could make for a nice walk.

For more information, and to book your stay, please visit www.hyattplaceamherst.com.

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 for Step Out Buffalo. 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).