Thin Man is the latest local brewery to join the 19.2oz. arms race with their beloved Buffalo Bills-themed pilsner, Pills Mafia, and flagship autumnal offering, Oktoberfest. But there’s a catch – you can only get your hands on these stovepipe cans at the home of the Bills, Highmark Stadium, in Orchard Park. So the next time you attend a Bills home game, which hopefully soon, make sure to seek out one of these limited brews. And if nothing else, this gives you a little extra added incentive to catch a game this year, as if you needed any.

Pills Mafia combines German pilsner malt and traditional German hops in a crisp, easy drinking lager, while Thin Man’s Oktoberfest features a bready and toasty malt character that’s balanced by a light and herbaceous crispness, which comes from the addition of Hersbrucker hops.

Thin Man’s Director of Sales and Marketing Yvon Paul Pasquarello explains that the once the Bills were looking to expand their local craft offerings at Highmark this season, they reached out to Thin Man and asked if they could help.

“The Bills were looking for a bit of an addition to the offerings that they had last season,” he says. “There are actually a number of us that are available in the stadium right now – Big Ditch kind of paved the way with Hayburner and opened the door, and we were able to get in the stadium with our Pills Mafia and Oktoberfest. The folks that run the concessions at the Bills are really heavy into expanding their offerings for the fans this season and it has been really wonderful. They asked us for as much Oktoberfest as they can get, so we gave them something like 50 or 60 cases, and Pills Mafia is going to be a permanent offering for the rest of the season, so we are really, really excited about that. And that’s the only place you are going to be able to get these stovepipes this season.”

In addition to Pills Mafia and Thin Man Oktoberfest, Hayburner, as Pasquarello mentioned, Southern Tier Brewing IPA, Hamburg Brewing Big Louie Double IPA and Ellicottville Brewing Blueberry Wheat are also available on 19.2oz. cans this season at Highmark Stadium.

So, why a bigger can you ask? The 19.2oz size offers a larger serving size that allows drinkers to savor their favorite craft beer without the need for multiple cans or sharing. This offshoot of the tallboy 16oz. can also provides a more generous serving size that strikes a balance between customary 12oz. cans and larger bottles. This format is perfect for outdoor events such as music festivals or sporting events, and also makes for an attractive option for those craft beer drinkers seeking value.

“Stovepipes are kind of a tough thing to make because the cans are tougher to come by, and you have to order a lot of them,” Pasquarello continues. “For a brewery our size, we’re not really equipped to handle that kind of volume just yet. We’re getting there though, and this is a really wonderful way of getting us there and teaching us how to do that. And the Bills have been a great partner for us.”

For Bills fans at the stadium, 19.2oz. cans should mean less trips to the beer stand. At least that’s the idea. Pasquarello says he just hopes Pills Mafia and Oktoberfest make members of the Bills Mafia in the stands happy this season.

“They reached out to us via our distributor partner and asked if we had the ability to put 19.2oz. cans in this season. Obviously fans, when they go to a game, they don’t want to miss any of the game, so frequent trips to the concessions isn’t really in the cards, so this size offering is best. So, we answered the call as best we could and hopefully we’re going to be able to make some fans happy this season.”

While having their beer available at Highmark Stadium for the 2023-24 Buffalo Bills season is a big boon for the brewery, it’s admittedly a dream come true for Pasquarello, a self-professed lifelong Bills fan. He says being able to watch the team play week in and week out was a major reason he moved back to Western New York, and having beer from his employer available while he watches them live just makes everything better.

“For me personally, I’m a Bills fan, so having Thin Man beer at the stadium is a dream come true for me,” Pasquarello admits. “We were one of the first breweries to make a Bills-themed beer with Pills Mafia, so were really happy that that beer is going to be able to be served all season long at Highmark. I lived in New York for 20 years and one of the driving factors for me coming back to Western New York was to see the Bills every week on Sunday and not have to change a bunch of things in my routine to do so. The brewery as a whole, having Pills Mafia be such a huge beer for us over the year, it’s really wonderful and we are really excited about it.”

While stovepipe cans of Pills Mafia and Oktoberfest will only be available inside the walls of Highmark Stadium this season, you can still find both beers on draft and in 16oz. cans at the brewery, as well as wherever great beer is sold.

Go Bills. Go local beer.

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).