Born out of passion for great craft beer and music, Smoldered Society, a new brewing imprint of Community Beer Works, is bringing underground culture to the masses, one tasty brew at a time.

The ethos of Smoldered Society is fueled by punk rock and skate culture; if you’re old enough to remember like I am, these would be the beers you’d drink during Warped Tour’s golden years, back when I wore Vans and Airwalk sneakers and was obsessed with my Etnies sandals. And true to that punk rock core, Smoldered Society are brewing nomads, creating their beer under the CBW umbrella, just like record labels would have done once upon a time with smaller album releases. This is not a brewery, at least in the traditional standalone sense. This is a brand. Or maybe more an idea. Is movement too strong of a word?

The Smoldered Society nucleus consists of Cameron Frank (Brand Manager), James Wheatley (Sales Manager), Ryan Zacarchuck (Head Brewer) and Peter Cahlstadt (Art & Branding Director). Frank, who spent the better part of a decade with Thin Man before joining the CBW team, says that this brand, these beers, were crafted in order to take a fresh approach to craft beer, not only the beer itself, but the branding, artwork, and everything that goes into it, from tank to can.

“From a production standpoint, our aim is to make great beer through uncompromised, cutting edge recipes,” Frank explains. “From a packaging perspective, we seek to create satirical, topical, and dynamic beer brands that focus on the absurdity of the human condition.”

Among Smoldered Society’s roster of beers is Strike Anywhere, their flagship Czech pilsner, Illusion of Safety Double IPA, and Mass Delusion Hazy IPA. The fledgling brewing collection already has a number of impressive collaborations under their belt, including with local hardcore band Better Lovers (Better Lagers American Lager), a collaboration with hardcore upstarts Better Lovers, Florida’s Unseen Creatures Brewery (Battery In A Sock), Mortalis Brewing (Chaos By Design Imperial Stout) and Crooked Run Brewing (Automotive Sentience IPA), with more on the way with Frequentem Brewing and Metal Injection (Neck Breaker Lager). And this is only the beginning.

“Our mission is to create a dynamic Brand culture driven by activation, collaboration, strong branding, and great beer,” Frank says. “As we step into summer, we have a packed schedule of events, beer releases, and more.”

CBW co-founder Chris Smith says that the Smoldered Society idea, what they represent, isn’t a new one for them. As a matter of fact, they were even considering a similar idea prior to acquiring Thin Man Brewery, which, along with it, brought Smoldered Society to CBW’s doorstep. And it ended up working out for the best because, as Smith says, it was a better idea than what they had originally planned.

“We were considering a similar brand in house called No Illusions, which we were in love with,” Smith explains. “We had gone pretty far down the road with it – we had can designs, we had collaboration series planned out, our beers chosen, and then Cam came over to us from Thin Man, shared his idea for Smoldered Society, and, frankly, it was better than ours. He had a very clear vision for the story that he wanted to share, was clearly motivated, and when you believe in something and love something that much, it is destined to succeed. He came in, sold me on his vision and I didn’t have a choice but to support it.”

“I believe in this beer. The beer market is changing and we have to make beer that is constantly relevant and have those choices about those beers formed from an authentic perspective,” Smith continues. “That’s why Community Beer Works is community first – Cam is a part of the new generation of beer drinkers and he understands their point of view.”

Smoldered Society sponsors a Go Skate Day series, events that help to raise money for the SFM Skatepark Project, whose goal it is to create a safe and accessible outdoor skatepark in Rome, New York. The events feature the Thin Man warehouse on Chandler Street being transformed into an indoor skatepark for the day. There’s also food and, of course, Smoldered Society beer.

Smith adds that when Frank first pitched the idea of Smoldered Society, he had no choice other than to give it the green light and the full backing of Community Beer Works.

“As we grow as a brewery, we find that we have not just one voice, but multiple voices as a business. And when we bring on really smart, motivated, talented people who have a vision for something, part of what makes this a community inside the business, is that we embrace those ideas and we help make them grow. Cam came to me with an idea to tell a story through beer that I thought was unique, something he was passionate about and I knew he was ready to launch a brand. I don’t know many people who hustle harder, who work harder and put more effort into his career than him.”

Look for Smoldered Society beer around town the next time you’re out and about. Their beer is available in select retailers locally, including at area bottle shops and The Beer Keep on Elmwood Ave., where the brand sponsors a monthly metal night. You can also find Smoldered Society showcasing their wares at any number of beer events and festivals happening around town.

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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, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).