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Beer lovers get a taste of Brewfest

With evidence of the NHL draft on tap, those gathered early Friday afternoon in First Niagara Center were focused on a draught of a different flavor.

They were there to serve up some samples of the 11th annual Buffalo Brewfest, to be held in the downtown showplace from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 10. After the announcement, a ceremonial keg of this year's version of the official Buffalo Brewfest beer was tapped and offered to those in attendance.

A total of 5,000 tickets will be sold for the event, which costs $30 in advance and $35 the day of the event. The price of admission includes a souvenir sampling glass and 20 tickets to taste craft brews from as many as 150 brewers, including several from Western New York and from as far away as Poland.

"While the 2012 Brewfest promises to be a good time, it also helps a great cause," said Joseph Cozzo, president and CEO of Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center. All proceeds will benefit the organization.

Last year, 4,000 people attended Brewfest. Cozzo said this year's event is expected to attract more, with additional space available to the expo and an increased number of brewers and craft beers on tap.

Brewers will be set up across First Niagara Center's first two floors and outside in the plaza area. Beer-inspired food will also be available.

Tim Herzog, president of Flying Bison Brewing Co., tapped the ceremonial keg and poured glasses of the specialty beer his company brewed for the announcement. Another batch of the beer will be available at Brewfest, he said.

"In Buffalo, a good time means a good beer," Herzog said.

Tickets went on sale Friday and are available at www.buffalobrewfest.com or www.tickets.com. Retail ticket sales get under way July 2 at all Western New York locations of Craft Beer Exchange at APlus stores.

email: jharris@buffnews.com