chrisOn April 2, the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association (BNBA) will be holding their first Brewers 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. Head brewer of Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, Pan-American Grill, and soon to be Buffalo Riverworks, Chris Herr, recently took some time to speak about the event and give a quick State of the Brewing update.

BNBA: How are things at Pearl Street, The Pan-American Grill, and Riverworks?
Chris Herr: Things are great!  Even with the new additions to our Buffalo brewing family, Pearl Street and Pan Am saw stable numbers through last year, and we just opened our newest location at Buffalo Riverworks, which will be hosting a brew fest called Thawfest on April 8th– the first festival in the area to feature beer, wine, and spirits all produced right here in Buffalo!  We’re continuing to refine our processes and draft lists at Pearl and Pan Am, while building out the brewery at Riverworks- our most ambitious project yet, with us building a brewery inside of the grain silo’s painted like a giant 6-pack.  We’re hoping to be producing beer there by the end of the summer.”

BNBA: This is a new festival this year. Tell me what excites you about it.
Herr: I like the sound of this Brewers Invitational- it’s a great way to let our cities incredibly creative brewers come up with some specialty beers to bring to an event, and show case them to a small and enthusiastic crowd of local drinkers.  I have a feeling some of the beers that will be premiered at this event will end up on draft at some of the breweries in town.  Truly a chance for the craft consumer to bump elbows with the people that are making their new favorite beers.

BNBA: Can you please describe the beer that you be presenting at the Brewer’s Invitational?
Herr: We are bringing Street Brawler Oatmeal Stout on nitro from Pearl Street- this is our house made, year round offering of Oatmeal Stout, but for this event we carbonated and pour it with nitrogen which adds the classic “Guinness” style head and cascading pour.  The different gas adds a new dimension of flavor, letting the malt and oatmeal flavors come through more.

From Pan American Grill and Brewery we are bringing our house made Terminator IPA, with grapefruit.  By adding grapefruit zest, juice, and some natural flavoring, the character of the strong American hops are accented and balance with the grapefruit perfectly.  Not your standard fruit beer- this one is for the hop lovers!

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