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5 musts for Buffalo Beer Week

The fifth annual Buffalo Beer Week kicks off this Thursday with a launch party at Templeton Landing.

What’s better than a “Beer Week?” How about a beer week and a half, with this year’s festivities extending from Thursday until Sunday, Oct. 5.

There’s an event for every beer drinker during this 10-day celebration. Some deals last the entire week, like Amherst Street bar Rohall’s Corner, which offers $3 pints of Flying Bison Bisonfest all day.

There’s also plenty of beer pairing dinners and beer pairing menus at local restaurants. And there’s even free beer; including this Sunday at East Aurora bar/beer store, Aurora Brew Works, for all customers with a copy of their Buffalo Beer Week advertisement.

The full listing of Beer Week events can be found at, but these five, listed in chronological order, are the highlights of the festival…

1. Friday (Sept. 26): “Brewed in Buffalo” at Adam Mickiewicz Library - It’s not just Beer Week, it’s Buffalo Beer Week, and this is the local themed party of the week. Ten different area breweries and cider makers will all feature at least one of their beverages. A couple of beers to look for include a collaboration between Hamburg Brewing Company and Community Beer Works, called Iron Sikh Porter and also Southern Tier Brewing’s Buffalo Local.

Southern Tier brews a beer specifically for Beer Week, with this one being a Belgian-style Pale Ale brewed with tangerine peel. Look for the fruitiness of the Belgian yeast to intermingle with the citrusy Azacca hops and tangerine peel. Adam Mickiewicz Library, 612 Fillmore Ave., 847-0839

2. Saturday (Sept. 27): “Jack’s Abby Invades Blue Monk” - Jack’s Abby is a Framingham, Mass.-based craft brewery that was founded just three years ago. Its popularity has grown quickly throughout the Northeast.

While the majority of craft brewers focus on the production of ales, Jack’s Abby brews only lagers. As opposed to ales which have a top fermenting yeast, lagers and their bottom fermenting yeast take about three times as long to ferment, but leave a cleaner, crisper tasting final product.

Craft beer is poured from a tap at Blue Monk, one of the sites of a prime Buffalo Beer Week event. (Derek Gee / Buffalo News file photo)

Craft beer is poured from a tap at Blue Monk, the site of a Jack's Abby tapping during Buffalo Beer Week. (Derek Gee / Buffalo News file photo)

Blue Monk will feature 25 different Jack’s Abby beers on tap, including five variations of their bourbon barrel-aged Baltic porter, Framinghammer. Baltic porters are typically big, strong, full bodied, rich tasting beers with a slightly sweet and roasted malt character.

Look out for the Peanut Butter and Jelly Barrel-aged Framinghammer, which is aged in bourbon barrels with peanut butter and raspberries. Blue Monk, 727 Elmwood Ave., 882-6665

3. Sunday (Sept. 28): “Community Beer Works/The Black Sheep Beer Dinner” - A great way to check out one of the hottest new restaurants in Buffalo. The Black Sheep, run by the former owners of Bistro Europa, will team up with their West Side neighbors, Community Beer Works, to offer a five-course beer pairing dinner.

$75 plus tax and tip gets you a seat for the evening, with dinner beginning at 6:00 PM. Reservations can be made by contacting The Black Sheep. The Black Sheep, 367 Connecticut St., 884-1100

4. Sunday (Sept. 28): “Roll Out the Barrels” at Pizza Plant Transit - Barrel-aged beer takes center stage at this Pizza Plant event. With beers aged in bourbon barrels, wine barrels, cognac barrels, and even French Pomerol Barrels, I’d recommend getting a flight of beers to sip on and note the wide ranging complexities of these beers.

From a rare Italian sour beer in Birrificio Del Ducato’s Baciami Lipsia, to Goose Island’s thick, heavy, bourbon forward imperial stout, Bourbon County Stout, this event will showcase the vast flavor profiles craft beer can take on. Pizza Plant Transit, 7770 Transit Road, Williamsville, 632-0800

5. Thursday, Oct. 2: “Hop Kitchen” at Artisan Kitchens & Baths - The same group that holds the Nickel City Chef competitions at Artisan Kitchens & Baths presents a beer dinner that doesn’t feature just one restaurant and one brewery, but instead takes five local chefs and pairs each up with a local craft brewer to create an appetizer-sized portion to enjoy with a beer pairing.

Tickets are $55, and can be purchased online. Featured chef/brewer pairings include: Jennifer Boye of Mansion on Delaware with John Russo of Hamburg Brewing Company, Adam Goetz of Craving with Tim Herzog of Flying Bison, James Roberts of Park Country Club with Ethan Cox of Community Beer Works, Josh and Satomi Smith of Sato with Matt Kahn of Big Ditch Brewing, and Jill Gedra Forster of Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile with Jeff Ware of Resurgence Brewing. Artisan Kitchens & Baths, 200 Amherst St., 873-4100

Matt Kresconko also writes about beer as Buffalo Brewhound at Follow him on Twitter @BfloBrewHound.

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