SATO Brewpub is set to open in the basement of the historic Dun Building, in the former Soundlab space, with a unique selection of Japanese-influenced Belgian beers on tap.

Head Brewer Drew Hardin, formerly of Community Beer Works, and award-winning homebrewers Jonathan Huber and Joshua Supry, have crafted a beer menu featuring Japanese and Belgian inspired offerings. All spent grain from the brewing process goes directly to Erba Verde Farms in East Aurora.

SATO will open with four beers on tap, a lineup that includes Say Wit You Will Witbier (5.1%), a light and refreshing unfiltered Belgian wit brewed with coriander and orange peel (a version with kumquat will be brewed in the future), Urban Samurai White IPA (6.4%), a favorite of this writer, Rabbit in the Moon Belgian Specialty Ale (4.8%) and Aggretsuko Stout (5.3%), a dark and roasty, yet very smooth, Belgian Stout, named in honor of the Hello Kitty character, an anthropomorphized red panda who relieves the stress of her daily life by becoming angry, drinking beer and singing death metal in a karaoke bar. Yes, you read that correctly. SATO Brewpub has room for an additional two beers for a total of six beers on tap. Flights will be available.

“Josh, John and I have worked on a few recipes to open with,” Hardin says, “and as we move forward, they will be different. They will be beers you can have a couple, or four, (responsibly) over the bar. There will be some weird and crazy beers also. We really want to push the drinker’s response. I want you to eat food with our beer. Bites and flights will be my favorite, a three beer flight with three small dishes from our kitchen. One does not live on beer alone (no matter how hard he tries).”

Hardin has a number of beers in mind for the future, including a Wasabi Stout, Belgian/French hybrid Saison (with and without sudachi fruit), Belgian Amber with green tea, a revolving White IPA/Belgian Pale Ale series (jokoto, koto, shinto), Wakizashi Session IPA and Yokozuna Rice Lager. He also has plans for sour beers, such as a plum gose with Japanese sea salt, Yuzu Berliner Weisse and Cherry Blossom Sour Pilsner.

“I am so lucky to be graced with the opportunity to take up my place as head brewer and chief of culinary chaos at SATO Brewpub,” Hardin says. “I am super excited to produce a different and unique experience for beer drinkers in Buffalo. Anyone who knows me knows I appreciate great beer as a conduit to a great experience (IE conversation or cuisine). I have had an amazing, life changing ride working for Community Beer Works. They are some of the best people I have ever met in my life. Like a true family, we don’t always agree, but we hold the love and faith of growing together as a family to form something unique, much like the Buffalo Beer community.”

SATO Brewpub will offer a unique menu of authentic Japanese cuisine, including, naming a few, Yakitori skewers, rice bowls, noodle bowls, house-cut okonomiyaki fries and steamed buns stuffed with barbeque pork. Customizable Bento Boxes will also be available for lunch.

In addition to beer, SATO will also offer a full bar with a selection of wine, sake and cocktails. SATO Brewpub’s beer will also soon be available at its sister locations, SATO and SATO Ramen.

“As for Sato, [SATO owners] Josh and Satomi [Smith] are great to work with. It has been a rollercoaster. The building itself is an amazing work of art. If you don’t know, google the history of the building. The lobby is glorious, a brewery in a basement; its building a ship in a bottle. The city is keeping tight wraps on this architectural monolith. Putting a project like this in a building of this kind has been a challenge. It’s a lot of sacrifice for the sake of space. However, some of the best food, beer, and company, I have ever had has been spawned by imperfect conditions. I hired a set of brewers I knew could handle a project like this. I’ve seen John and Josh brew long before I knew them and saw they were passionate. Having been asked to join SATO, I had to make a choice, and after talking with my staff and SATO, it became almost clear I should step up and brew my ass off.”

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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