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Beer Matters: Crabapples, NY Craft Malt, Gordon Biersch, Woodcock Brothers

Tower Kickoff Event


Peter Orfanos tends bar.

6 p.m. April 28
Crabapples Micro Brew Pub,  3298 Genesee St. (895-2911)

Crabapples Micro Brew Pub will be hosting a tower kickoff event featuring beer from Rhino Beverage Distribution. A tower is a beer-dispensing device that contains a collection of taps. These taps may include beer with a similar theme or from the same brewery.

For this event, Crabapples owner Peter Orfanos will feature beer from Rhino Beverage Distribution. Established in 2012, Rhino is based out of Rochester and features a portfolio of Western and Central New York craft beer.

Also featured will be Wagner Valley Brewing Company and Roc Brewing Company. Wagner Valley is based in Lodi in the Finger Lakes region and produces such beers as Sled Dog Dopplebock, IPA and Oatmeal Stout. Based in Rochester, Roc Brewing features such beers as IPA, Dark Mild and Golden Pale Ale.


Homebrew Class
10 a.m. April 30
New York Craft Malt, 8164 Bank Street Road, Batavia (585-813-5389)

Ted Hawley, owner of New York Craft Malt, has announced the latest roster of homebrewing classes available at his Batavia-based malthouse. Hawley will be teaming up with members of The Sultans of Swig to bring four classes to local brewing enthusiasts.

The Sultans of Swig include Brandon Kapral, Alex Buckley and Devin Carman, who have won numerous awards for their own homebrew recipes. Buckley is planning a brewery in Buffalo and Carman is an assistant brewer at Big Ditch Brewing Company.

Here are the classes.

April 30: Introduction to brewing methods. This class will provide demonstrations of both extract and grain brewing.“Most people start by using extracts when they begin brewing and then move on to all-grain," Kapral said.

Having Buckley and Carman in attendance will “eliminate the ‘pot-watching’ that occurs in all beer-making. We will give the students their choice of beer style to brew while showcasing beers that can be produced using both methods,” Kapral said.

June 25: Showcase on grain and water. Learn about different varieties of grain, the chemistry relating to malt/beer, and the grain flavor wheel. Water chemistry as it relates to malt/grain flavors in beer will be discussed.

Aug. 27: Showcase on hops. Learn about various hops varieties, hop flavor/bitterness, different methods for introducing hops to beer and how to grow hops for home brew use.

Oct. 15: Showcase on yeast. Learn about the vast numbers of yeast cultures and their variants and how to make healthy yeast. We’ll also discuss bacteria additions for sour beers and fermentation control methods.

Classes run 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include discussions on the equipment needed to create special home-brewed beer. “We want the home brewer to have the necessary equipment that won’t break the bank,” Kapral said.

The cost is $30 per class and lunch is included. Class size is limited to 20 students and registration is required. Call (585) 813-8399.

Alex Buckley, left, Devin Carman and Brandon Kapral will host a series of instructional classes at New York Craft Malt in Batavia. (Via Resurgence Brewing)

Alex Buckley, left, Devin Carman and Brandon Kapral will host a series of instructional classes at New York Craft Malt in Batavia. (Via Resurgence Brewing)


Beer and Donut Pairing
5 to 7 p.m. April 29
Gordon Bierch – Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga (683-0050)

Gordon Biersch will be hosting a beer and doughnut pairing. Select Paula’s Donuts will be matched with a beer that will accent, contrast or complement flavor profiles. Beers will be partially selected from a list that can be found here, but will include other beer made in-house.

Tickets cost $15. Call Gordon Biersch for reservations.

A cold glass of Märzen at Gordon Biersch in Cheektowaga. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

A cold glass of Märzen at Gordon Biersch in Cheektowaga. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News file photo)


Brews News

Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company will be releasing one of its most popular beers — XPA — in 16-ounce four-pack cans for the first time.

XPA 6.0 is brewed with Mosaic, Citra and Azacca hops. XPA 6.0 is very much an East Coast-style IPA that is packed with citrus and herbal flavors, has a moderate bitterness and a very light malt profile.

The beer will be available at the brewery (638 Lake St., Wilson) and there is a limit of one case per customer.


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:; Facebook: @BuffaloBeerBiochemist; Twitter: @BuffaloBeerBio; Instagram: @buffalobeerbiochemist; Untappd: @BuffaloBeerBiochemist

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