I don’t think it’s possible to have more fun than I did at New York Beer Project’s Brewer’s Invitational this past weekend. This event reaffirmed my belief that there is truly great beer being made here in Western New York on a regular basis, and having so many of my favorite people together under one roof, all drinking that great beer, only strengthened that thought.
This event is one I have close personal ties to. I was involved in the planning of the event’s inception, back when the Buffalo Beer League were working with the Buffalo Niagara Brewer’s Association, and have attended the event every year except for one, because, well, sometimes life, and work, just happen to get in the way.
I was happy to be back this year, but didn’t know what to expect as this was the first beer event I’d ever attended alone. It was a blast to say the very least and I had a number of great beers, which you are going to read more about, right now.
Pressure Drop Brewing x Resurgence x Old First Ward Brewing More Greener IPA – This is an annual running collaboration I look forward to every year, and the newest batch might be the best More Greener has been yet. The 2022 version is massive, bursting with bright citrus and tropical fruit, accented by dank hops and a smooth finish. I need to grab cans of this immediately.
Thin Man Brewery Cherub Oud Bruin – I love that this Oud Bruin possessed such a robust depth of flavor without being a enamel stripper. It featured lovely notes of sweet cherry, plum, raisin and dark fruit. Cherub was light, tart and refreshing.
New York Beer Project Supernatural (Aged blend of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc barrels on Brett) – Another beer that was on my most anticipated list, NYBP’s barrel aged Supernatural Sour blend delivered. I’m a sucker for most anything wine barrel aged, and this one did not disappoint. Vibrant and punchy fruit notes up front, backed by notes of earthy oak and tannins. This was a home run.
West Shore Brewing Grapefruit Green Flyer IPA – I’ll admit, by the time I got around the trying West Shore’s Grapefruit Flyer, I had already had a number of pops, so thankfully I remembered to jot down some notes. All the deliciousness of Green Flyer, one of the most underrated IPAs available in our area, accentuated by light and refreshing grapefruit. I liked that the grapefruit wasn’t overpowering, and added to the overall presentation.
One-Eyed Cat Brewing Bumble Doppelbock – Not your typical doppelbock, the addition of honey in One-Eyed Cat’s Bumble is intriguing; it works to effectively hide the beers’ beefy 10.8% ABV, but it also cuts down on the roast typical of the style, which was interesting. I love roast in my doppelbocks. If a doppelbock, especially one that clocks in at 10.8%, can be an easy drinker, then Bumble is it. People were literally lining up to try this beer when I was at the OEC booth.
Lafayette Brewing Co. Millennial Falcon IPL – As I said in my preview article for the Brewer’s Invitational, I’m a sucker for IPLs and Millennial Flacon did not dissatisfy. It drank light and smooth for 6.2%, delivering the right blend of citrus and hops. I had two pours of this.
Belt Line Brewery x Bolton Landing Brewing Mountaintop Mist NEIPA – I really liked the original version of this beer, but this new batch was phenomenal. This one features massive orange flavors backed by dank hops and a smooth, balanced finish.
And while not part of the Brewer’s Invitational proper, I was lucky enough to score some pours of some off-list brews, which were excellent in their own right, including One-Eyed Cat Fika Smoked Bohemian Pilsner, Rusty Nickel Barrel Series: ImaGINation (Slice O’ Havens Orange Vanilla Cream Ale aged in Lockhouse gin barrels) and Woodcock Brothers Brewing Lost Mitten (port wine barrel aged Stiff Mitten Winter Ale) to name a few.
I cannot thank the entire team at NYBP for having me out Sunday. It was a fantastic and memorable beer experience. I can’t wait to do it again next year.
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 email@example.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).