With the seventh annual Buffalo Beer Week firmly planted in all of our rear view mirrors, we are already getting excited about next year’s festivities, which returns for an eighth year September 22 – October 1, 2017. It’s never too early to get excited right?

So, looking back at this year’s Buffalo Beer Week, what is there left to say that we haven’t already said honestly? There were plenty of notable and potable beer to write home about, a tasty and hoppy list we’ve already written, though it does bear repeating. Some of the highlights included the Wise PA, brewed as a collaboration between the entire Buffalo beer community to celebrate and honor the life of local beer enthusiast Kevin Wise, the release of Thin Man Brewery’s beer and 42 North Brewing’s 20A Red Rye IPA.

But when it came to the beer of Buffalo Beer Week 2016, collaboration was the name of the game, as many of Buffalo’s breweries partnered up to showcase the comradery and friendly atmosphere of our beer scene. Community Beer Works led the charge, collaborating with Canada’s Brimstone Brewing (Across the Border Porter), Rochester’s Swiftwater Brewing (The Other Dunkel Roggen) and Southern Tier Brewing (Make America Grape Again Witbier), while Four Mile Brewing and Old First Ward Brewing teamed up (FourWard Double IPA) and Resurgence Brewing and Lockhouse Distillery joined forces (FitzBEERald). As they say, teamwork makes the dream work.

kevin-wise-beerIn terms of Beer Week events, there’s no way to possibly list them all. Wait, we already did that too. Anyways, from 42 North winning the 2nd Annual Brewery Shuffleboard Tournament at Big Ditch Brewing on Beer Week eve, the 10-day celebration was a nonstop boozy rollercoaster. There were tap takeovers, beer releases and plenty of festivals to drink your way through and we surely hope that you did. From the Ballpark Brewbash, Hamburg Brewing’s 3rd Anniversary and 12 Gates Philosofest to Lockhouse’s Casks For a Cause, the Buffalo Beer Goddesses 4th Anniversary and Woodcock Brothers’ WNY Fall Beer Festival, there was more than a handful of places to enjoy a fresh local beer.

Perhaps the biggest mark Beer Week left was its charitable offerings. Each tent pole event was tied to a certain charity with donations being made to the Wise family, Old First Ward Community Center, Torn Space Theatre, the Cigars for Warriors Foundation, Slow Food Buffalo Niagara, Sole Buffalo, Evergreen Health and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

We sincerely hope that you took the chance during this Buffalo Beer Week to enjoy a new experience, visit a new venue and drink a new beer or cocktail. We hope you participated in some way, because if you did, the Buffalo-Niagara craft beer is truly better for it. So thank you – thank you for caring about our local craft beer scene and thank you for reading. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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 for The Public. He can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com.