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Beer Matters: Community Beer Works anniversary, Southtowns events

Four-Year Anniversary Party
Noon to 8 p.m. April 16
Community Beer Works
15 Lafayette Ave. (759-4677)

April marks the fourth anniversary of Buffalo’s first nanobrewery. Community Beer Works’ (CBW) motto and battle cry is “Embeer Buffalo." The founders of CBW all have roots in Buffalo and want the brewery to be an integral part of the city and neighborhood.

CBW has thrived in a market where numerous local breweries have opened during each of its four years in business. “It’s not as easy as it looks,” said Ethan Cox, co-founder and president of CBW.

Because it is a nanobrewery, CBW produces far less product volume than other Buffalo breweries. But according to Cox, that can be an advantage.

[See photos from Community Beer Works' third anniversary party]

“We have survived due to a relentless focus on beer, more so than the standard industry approach involving marketing and distribution," Cox explained. "Nanobrewing keeps the spirit of home brewing really close."

Despite being a nanobrewery, CBW is evolving and adopting models from larger-scale breweries. “We've learned a lot on the beer-making and industry side, and are certainly coming along on the all-too-unmentioned- and certainly easily as perplexing and relentless- business side," Cox added. "It's not so obviously the fun part, but it has its own rewards."

Cox said one of CBW’s proudest accomplishments last year was participation in the Buffalo Brewers Series, a three-pack of cans produced by local breweries. CBW made a beer called An IPA, Big Ditch Brewing submitted Low Bridge and Resurgence Brewing contributed Summer Saison. “The ballpark three-pack can project and all it stood for was a proud moment for sure,” said Cox.

Three pack of local 16-ounce cans includes a beer from Resurgence, Big Ditch and Community Beer Works.

Three pack of local 16-ounce cans includes a beer from Resurgence, Big Ditch and Community Beer Works.

But this next year is likely to bring change, as CBW hopes to relocate operations into a new building by its next anniversary. The move will result in increased beer production and pose challenges that are associated with scaling up a brewery.

“Watching the scene grow has been rewarding but we at CBW- and Buffalo in general- have so far to go still,” said Cox.

At the four-year anniversary party, CBW will offer its mainstay beers, including Frank, an American Pale Ale, The Whale, a brown ale and That IPA. Pun Intended, a light sour gose-style beer brewed with coriander and sea salt also be available, among others.

Frank’s Gourmet Hot Dog truck will be outside CBW selling food, and live music will be performed by Gravy. There is no admission fee.

Community Beer Works sales manager Brendon Van Allen holds the Amazing Larry. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)


Cabin Fever Beer and Wine Festival
4 to 7 p.m. April 16
Buffalo Ski Club
7414 Route 240, Colden (941-5654)

The Buffalo Ski Club Freestyle Team presents the Cabin Fever Beer and Wine Festival in Colden. Tastings from local breweries and wineries will be available and are included in the ticket price.

Vendors include 12 Gates Brewing, 42 North Brewing, Big Ditch Brewing, Ellicottville Brewing, Flying Bison Brewing, The Global Group wine and spirits, Hamburg Brewing, McKenzie's Hard Cider, Resurgence Brewing and more.

[Look through the wide array of new and old breweries in Buffalo]

Live music will be performed by Wagner & Winston. Raffles and prizes will be available during the event.

Tickets are $27.37 ($25 plus $2.37 in fees) and can be obtained on-line at the following link prior to the event. Tickets are $35 at the door.


Dogfish Head Record Store Throwdown
7 to 9 p.m., April 16
Ebenezer Ale House
4348 Seneca St., West Seneca (674-2337)

Dogfish Head representatives will be visiting Ebenezer Ale House to celebrate Record Store Day. The featured beer will be Beer To Drink Music To, a Belgian-style Tripel brewed with sweet orange peel, green cardamom, peppercorns and vanilla.

The Tripel style of beer is highlighted by complex yeast and fruit flavors with a sweet finish. Bitterness may be high, but is barely noticeable given the balance of malt and hops.

Beer To Drink Music To is 9-percent alcohol by volume and is a golden orange color with notes of toffee, cardamom, cloves and vanilla. More information about the beer can be found on the Dogfish Head website here.

At the event, participants can register for a chance to win a Dogfish Head record player.

A peek around Ebenezer Ale House in West Seneca. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)

A peek around Ebenezer Ale House in West Seneca. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)


3 to 6 p.m. April 17
Armor Inn Tap Room
5381 Abbott Road, Hamburg (202-1315)

More than 30 different beers will be available from local breweries as well as others. Participating breweries include Resurgence, Big Ditch, Woodcock Brothers, Four Mile, Muskoka, Ommegang, Rohrbach and Blue Point.

More details about Brewfest may be found here. Tickets are $31.74 ($30 plus $1.74 in fees) and can be purchased here. Tickets are $40 the day of the event. Tickets include admission, a complimentary tasting glass, tickets for food, beer and a door prize ticket.

Greg Conrad of Lakewood and John Hillery of Hamburg hang out on at the Armor Inn Tap Room. Conrad is drinking a Southern Tier IPA and Hillery is drinking Big Ditch Hayburner. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)


Big Ditch Tap Takeover
6 to 8 p.m. April 19
Butera’s Craft Beer & Craft Pizzas
32 Main St., Hamburg (648-5017)

A selection of Big Ditch Brewing beers will be on tap. Signatures beers such as Deep Cut, a double India pale ale, Low Bridge, a hoppy golden ale, Beautiful River, a Belgian-style farmhouse ale and Excavator, a rye brown ale, are expected to be on tap.

Butera's is at 32 Main St. in Hamburg. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Butera's is at 32 Main St. in Hamburg. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Kevin Wise, Ph.D. is a professor of Biology at Trocaire College who maintains a blog on beer science and beer reviews and can be reached at:; Twitter: @BuffaloBeerBio; Untappd: @BuffaloBeerBiochemist

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