by Brian Campbell


The second annual Buffalo Brewers Festival, the only festival in our region hosted by and for local craft brewers, takes place this Saturday, June 20, from 3-7pm, at Canalside. The event is sponsored by the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association.

The festival will feature more than 30 New York State breweries, including (subject to change), Resurgence Brewing, Big Ditch Brewing, Community Beer Works, Rusty Nickel Brewing, Hamburg Brewing, Ellicottville Brewing Company, Flying Bison, Pearl Street, Four Mile, Old First Ward, Woodcock Brothers, Gordon Biersch, Ringside, Southern Tier, Saranac, Abandon Brewing, Three Heads Brewing, Galaxy Brewing, Rohrbach, Ommegang, Roc Brewing, Keuka Brewing, Ithaca Beer Company, Horseheads Brewing, Genny Brew House and Empire Brewing. Other breweries include Lavery, Evil Twin, Singlecut Beersmiths, Schmaltz, Dark Horse, Founders and Great Lakes. A full beer list can be found at

Ciders from Blackbird Cider Works, B.Nektar Meadery, Cider Creek, McKenzies and Nine Pin will also be available.

The Brewers Festival celebrates all things local, not just beer. Local farmers and chefs, food trucks will also be on hand and live entertainment will be provided by The Skiffle Minstrels, Steve Johnson and Corey Kertzie (of Big Leg Emma), Flatbed and the Steam Donkeys. The Buffalo Beer League, the official craft beer enthusiast wing of the BNBA, will also be on hand selling membership mugs for only $20.

There will also be a pair of Meet the Brewers sessions. Session One (4:30-5:30pm) features Rusty Nickel and Big Ditch Brewing pairing their brews with courses of cheese from 5 Spoke Creamery and charcuterie from La Quercia and for Session Two (5:40-6:40pm), Hamburg Brewing and Ellicottville Brewing join forces for a pairing of beer, cheese and charcuterie. Greg Schumann from EuroUSA will present both the 5 Spoke cheeses and the La Quercia salumie and Tara Cadmus of Oh Pour L’Amour du Chocolate will present the chocolate at both sessions.

“The Buffalo Brewers Festival is more than just a beer fest,” Resurgence Brewing’s Jeff Ware says. “It’s really a celebration of Buffalo. Great beer, great food and a great venue. What better way is there to enjoy a summer day?”

In the VIP tent, Chef Jeff Cooke of Osteria 166 and his team will prepare a six course farm-to-table menu including farms such as T-Meadow Farm. Each dish will be paired with a unique beer or cider (pairings by Willard Brooks and Drew Hardin of PrePaired Beer and Food).

“The VIP is an excellent experience for anyone who wants to fall in love with local food and beer,” Hardin says. “I have spoken with Osteria’s Chef Jeff and a bunch of breweries to help show that in Buffalo there are so many amazing food options and beers being produced in their own backyard. One of the things I love before beer is quality local food. You cannot beat our local pork. Quality ingredients go in; quality product comes out; almost always in the presence of a good chef, and in the hands of a great chef, magical. How much more full circle beer and food can you get then beer grain fed heritage hogs, to farm to table locally produced beer and pork.”

Tickets can be purchased at and at Aurora Brew Works, Big Ditch, Community Beer Works, Consumers Beverages, Flying Bison, Hamburg Brewery, Kegworks, Niagara Tradition, Pearl Street, Premier Gourmet and Resurgence.

There are various types of tickets available, including Brewer’s Fest Ticket ($40, includes ALL beer tastings from over 30 New York State Breweries from 3-7pm, plus live music by regional bands from 3-7pm).

Brewer’s Fest Ticket (Early Admission) ($49, includes all beer tastings from over 30 New York State Breweries from 3-7pm); Best of Buffalo—VIP Ticket ($75, includes early entry and all beer tastings from over 30 New York State Breweries from 3-7pm, VIPs are allowed access to the VIP tent and VIP-only brews and pairings); Meet the Brewer—Session One and Session Two ($5, purchased on site, only 75 tickets available, join brewers from 4:30-5:30 p.m. as they collaborate on pairing their brews with courses of various purveyors) and Designated Driver Ticket ($10, available at gate, valid 3-10pm, ticket price includes admission to the event and a free bottle of water. Tasting glasses are not provided to designated drivers).

“The main reason to come out to this fest is that it has a true rooting in the WNY area,” Hardin adds. “The food is local, brewers are here, chefs are here and this is a focused example of awesome events that are utilizing our ever growing waterfront. Buffalo’s beer culture is as fresh and active as a freshly uncorked bottle of old Duvel. If you think this fest is too pricy for you, I dare you to find a better value from fests in other states from grassroots local producers.”

For more information, please visit