Rock the Gates, 12 Gates Brewing’s biggest party of the year and one of the unofficial signs of the start of summer, is going to be bigger and even better in its third year. The annual blowout takes place at the brewery on June 1 (11am). You probably don’t need a reason to get out of the house to enjoy the warm weather with a fresh cold beer in your hand, and to save you a few moments, the forecast is calling for a chance of rain early in the morning and later at night, with cloudy skies filling the rest of the day, so it appears as even Mother Nature wants you to go to Rock the Gates.

As has become custom, Rock the Gates will feature the release of a special beer, and this year is no different. Hop on the Mic IPA will be released via 4-pack 16oz. cans. This 6.5% ABV American IPA loaded with Galaxy, Citra, and El Dorado hops for a punch of tropical fruit and citrus. You can also purchase the beer by the case.

Speaking of beer releases, Rock the Gates will feature eight more new beers, if you purchase a VIP ticket (more info on that below). The Exclusive VIP Tent tap list includes:

10-Ply Milkshake IPA (6.0% ABV): This IPA is packed with lactose, strawberry puree, and vanilla beans for a thick and delicious finish.  12 Gates used copious amounts of Michigan Copper and Belma hops to give it an extra kick of strawberry and fruit punch. ****CONTAINS LACTOSE****

Breaking the Seal Micro IPA (2.8%): Below the threshold of a Session IPA resides the Micro IPA. Coming in at a skinny 2.8% ABV but packing loads of fruitiness, this beer makes the promise that you will break the seal before the alcohol kicks in.

Dirty Dangles DIPA (9.0%): This Double IPA features two malts (Perl and Golden Promise) and one hop (Mosaic) to create a sticky pineapple juice bomb with a clean finish.

It’s Pronounced Goh-Zah (3.5%): A slightly tart, slightly lemony (coriander), and slightly saline beer that is refreshing and effervescent and great on a sunny Buffalo day.

Mr. Finish Line Rye IPA (6.3%): This IPA was brewed by Brewer Dave as part of the Co-Pilot Series. Look for prominent tropical citrus and pineapple complimented with soft spiciness from the rye malt.

Pertnear East Coast Style IPA (7.6%): This softly bittered IPA is hopped with Mosaic, Citra, and Galaxy. It is nice and hazy, super fruity, and slightly giggly. ****CONTAINS LACTOSE****

Tacocat (Wood and fruit aged German Pilsener) (5.3%): A palindrome of a beer that makes its appearance only a few times a year. We take our base Pilsner and age it on tequila oak and limes to create a super summery easy drinking beer. Or maybe we just like to put sombreros on cats and take pictures. You decide.

Under the Blood Orange Moon Blood Orange Wit (5.0%): Summer in a glass. This light Belgian Witbeer was fermented with Belgian Blood Orange Candi Syrup to yield a citrusy and spritzy summertime beer.

You can also expect a full bill of live music as Rock the Gates will feature all tribute acts this year. The All or Nothin Band, a Tom Petty tribute, will open things up (12-2:30pm), before Unleash the Lion, a Pearl Jam tribute, returns to the RTG stage (3-5:30pm). Later on, AC/DC tribute act OCD/C (6-8:30pm) performs, before The Hip Experience, a Tragically Hip tribute band, closes the night at 9pm. The band will perform the Hip’s Fully Completely album in its entirety during the first set, and then a medley of hits during the second set.

There will be prize giveaways throughout, including a raffle for a one-of-a-kind 12 Gates branded kegerator. Proceeds from the raffle will go to benefit

Amongst the food options available, Sahlen’s hot dogs will be served and the Coyote Café food truck will also be on hand.

Tickets for Rock the Gates Volume 3 are $15 presale ($20 door) and include a voucher for a 12 Gates pint glass (while supplies last) and 1 beer, while VIP tickets ($50 pre-sale / $60 door) include a limited edition swag bag, 12 Gates branded Teku glass, 2 beers, snacks and VIP Tent Access, which includes all eight exclusive beers. Admission is free for active military and veterans (must show a valid government issued I.D. at the gate).

For more information, click here.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, 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), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and