As winter’s icy grip begins to loosen, and nature awakens from its slumber, beer enthusiasts around the world eagerly anticipate the arrival of spring. With the emergence of blooming flowers, longer days, and warmer temperatures, there’s no better time to celebrate than at a spring beer festival, like Wayland Brewing’s first ever Spring Beer & Food Festival, which takes place Saturday, April 6 (1-4pm), in Wayland Hall.

“We’ve been talking for months about putting together a small beer fest, taking advantage of our banquet space,” head brewer PJ Dunn explains. “Wayland Hall is a really beautiful, wide open, 5000 square foot blank slate that is attached to, but separate from, the rest of our facility. Our team put our heads together and decided to do a small festival that’s a bit more intimate and slower paced than you typically see at those types of events.”

In addition to Wayland beer, the inaugural Spring Beer & Food Festival will feature craft beer and cider from Strangebird, Frequentem, Mortalis Brewing, Dancing Gnome, Personal Best, Autark Brewhouse, Smoldered Society, BriarBrothers Brewing, Brazen Brewing, Brooklyn Cider House, Aurora Brew Works, OSB Ciderworks and more to be announced.

“For this event, we have a relatively small list of breweries and cideries,” Dunn says. “These are all folks that are either friends of ours (like Dancing Gnome out of Pittsburgh), have inspired us (like Godspeed out of Toronto), or are also newer, smaller scale folks like ourselves (like Brazen and BriarBrothers).  So it’s a fairly unique list of producers that will be participating and I think will introduce guests to some new, interesting and really high quality stuff.”

No beer festival would be complete without delicious food to complement the brews. The Spring Beer & Food Festival will feature an enticing array of culinary offerings, ranging from traditional beer hall fare to gourmet delicacies. A lineup of local restaurants bringing a selection of small bites will be announced soon.

“We’ve also got a handful of local restaurants coming in and offering some small bites as part of the event,” Dunn says. “We haven’t yet released the list, but I think it’ll pair really nicely and follow the same theme.”

Tickets are $55 and include beer and cider tastings, food and a commemorative tasting glass. This is a 21+ event. Tickets can be purchased online or at the brewery taproom. It should be noted at only about 200 tickets will be made available to this event.

Spring beer festivals encapsulate the essence of the season, celebrating renewal, growth, and vitality. Whether you’re raising a glass with friends under the warm spring sun or exploring the latest beer trends with fellow enthusiasts, these festivals offer an opportunity to connect with others and create lasting memories.

“In the future, we’d like to host more festival-type events, perhaps even taking over our entire facility,” Dunn says. “But for the first one, we wanted to keep it small and make sure we do it right. The plan is coming together really nicely and I’m excited for the date to come.”

As the days grow longer and the world awakens from its winter slumber, there’s no better way to welcome the arrival of spring than by raising a pint at a beer festival. So gather your friends, dust off your beer stein, and join in the festivities as we toast to the season of renewal and new beginnings.

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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).