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Beer Matters: Marcy Casino, Farm-to-Pint, Southern Tier, Big Ditch

Western New York IPA Day
2 to 6 p.m. May 14
Marcy Casino Buffalo, 199 Lincoln Pkwy. (886-0088)

If last week’s World Beer Cup Awards are any indication, American-style India Pale Ale (IPA) is the most popular beer style on the planet. At the World Beer Cup, a category-leading 275 entries indicates that breweries worldwide are acknowledging this popular brew.

Our area is no exception with IPA found on tap at all breweries. IPA beer is characterized by a big hop presence that often is herbal and/or citric and high bitterness. Recipes often contain a strong malt backbone to balance the high bitterness.

The historic Marcy Casino will be the site of a festival to feature local IPAs.

Breweries in attendance will include: 12 Gates Brewing Company, 42 North Brewing Company, Big Ditch Brewing Company, Community Beer Works, Ellicottville Brewing Company, Four Mile Brewing, Flying Bison Brewing Company, Old First Ward Brewing Company, Hamburg Brewing Company, New York Beer Project, Resurgence Brewing Company, Southern Tier Brewing Company and Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company.

Tickets are $32.64 with fees and can be purchased here and include IPA beer samples. Food options will be available through Magnolia Events. A portion of the proceeds will support the Olmsted Park System.


Noon to 8 p.m. May 15
Hamburg Brewing Company,  6553 Boston State Road, Hamburg (649-3249)

The Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association and Hamburg Brewing Company present the third annual Farm-to-Pint (F2P) celebration of beer created exclusively from locally sourced ingredients.

Twenty area breweries will be in attendance, as well as farmers, maltsters and hop farmers such as Niagara Malt, New York Craft Malt, East Prairie Hops and Domoy Farms. Breweries used ingredients from these local locations and others in the construction of “one-off” beers made specifically for this event.

Locally raised meat and vegetarian grilled skewers will be available for purchase throughout the day. There is no admission fee; the event is free to enter and open to the public.

Here is the beer line-up for the event:

  • Hamburg Brewing Company Blackberry Gose (3.8 percent alcohol-by-volume): A traditional German-style sour featuring primarily NYS grown wheat and 2 row malt, brewed with blackberries, coriander and Mediterranean sea salt.
  • Community Beer Works Frank (4.7 percent): A mellow malt base consisting of a portion of Niagara Malts and hops from the Pacific Northwest.
  • Resurgence Brewing Company Cucumber Saison (4 percent): A saison dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace, aged on cucumbers - made with wheat and Munich malt from NY Craft Malt.
  • Flying Bison Brewing Company Seneca Saison (5.3 percent): made with 100 percent NY Craft Malt (2 row, malted wheat and rye), homegrown Chinook hops and Newport hops from Niagara Vines and Bines.
  • 42 North Brewing Company F2P Berliner Weisse (3.5 percent): An all-NY beer made with wheat and barley malt from NY Craft Malt and Erie County-grown Newport hops.
  • Four Mile Brewing REAP Vol. III Wheat Ale (4.4 percent): A hoppy wheat ale brewed with locally sourced red wheat.
  • Old First Ward Brewing Company Therapy Session Pale Ale (4.8 percent): This aggressively hopped pale ale features cascade hops and malt from Niagara County.
  • 12 Gates Brewing Company Sweet Orange Summer Ale (4.7 percent): Made with 90 percent from NY Craft Malt, Sweet Orange Summer Ale features orange peel that adds a refreshing splash of citrus.
  • Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company N 425 Pilsner: A light pilsner made with locally grown Newport and Czech Saaz hops.
  • Ellicottville Brewing Company Sky High Rye IPA (5.5 percent): Rye IPA featuring rye from NY Craft Malt that utilizes a variety of hopping methods to obtain a juicy Mosaic-forward blend.
  • Rusty Nickel Brewing Company - Hard Red - French Saison - (6 percent): French saison using  a blend of wheat from Niagara Malt and NY Craft Malt as well as pilsner malt from Niagara Malt.
  • Southern Tier Brewing Company Back Burner Barleywine (10.5 percent): A barleywine-style ale made with local blackstrap molasses and maple syrup.
  • Big Ditch Brewing Company Niagara Wild (4 percent): Belgian-influenced wild ale featuring local pilsner malt and hops from Niagara Malt and as well as wild yeast and bacteria collected from Western New York.
  • Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing Rye Pale Ale (5.2 percent): Brewed using rye malt for a spicy grain character with moderate hop additions using American hop varietals for a spicy, citrus flavor and aroma.
  • New York Beer Project Saison With Cherries: A saison crafted with malt from Niagara Malt and sour cherries.
  • Gordon Biersch – Walden Galleria Pilsner (Cask): Czech-style pilsner dry-hopped with Cascade hops from Niagara Hops.

The Farm-to-Pint lineup at Hamburg Brewing in 2015. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)


Public Day
Noon to 4 p.m. May 15
Southern Tier Brewing Company, 2072 Stoneman Circle, Lakewood (763-5479)

Southern Tier Brewing Company will celebrate American Craft Beer Week with the fifth annual Public Day, a beer and music festival. The event is free.

A total of 42 beers will be available to sample, including Pumking, Choklat, Mokah, Hop Sun, Harvest, Grand Arbor and limited-edition beer-week beers, a special cask offering and seasonal beers, special releases and some retired beers.

Additional beers will be available from Victory Brewing, which recently entered into a partnership with Southern Tier under the name Artisanal Brewing Ventures.

Customers can purchase $1 tickets for samples, and will receive a 5-ounce souvenir glass.

Southern Tier Brewing will provide house-smoked barbecue. Public Day will run from noon to 4 p.m. and the brewery’s tap room, the Empty Pint, will remain open until 10 p.m. Smoked chicken and veggie wraps will be served during the event until they are sold out.


Big Ditch/Toutant Anniversary Party
6 to 11 p.m., May 17
Big Ditch Brewing Company, 55 E. Huron St. (854-5050)

Big Ditch Brewing Company and Toutant Buffalo are each celebrating its one-year anniversary with a combined party at Big Ditch’s tap room.

"We feel as though the opening of not only Toutant and the Tap Room at Big Ditch Brewing Company, but all the new restaurants in this area is forging the re-birth of the Electric District. The commitment to quality and service by both Toutant and Big Ditch Brewing Company made this partnership to celebrate one year of success a very easy one," said Jon Robare, Big Ditch Tap Room Manager.
Toutant is named after Chef James Roberts' great-grandfather's trapping and fishing camp on the family plot of south Louisiana marshland. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Toutant is named after Chef James Roberts' great-grandfather's trapping and fishing camp on the family plot of south Louisiana marshland. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

There will be six food stations, hand-passed appetizers and desserts. Included with the admission price will also be drink tickets that can be exchanged for either two Big Ditch craft beers or one Toutant cocktail.

The featured menu will include:

Passed appetizers: Hush Puppies, smoked sausage, spicy beer shrimp
Toutant stations: Oyster shuckin' station, fried chicken, jambalaya
Big Ditch stations: Breuben sliders, pretzel bar, crostini station
Passed desserts by both Toutant and Big Ditch

Doors open at 6 p.m. and stations will serve from 7 to 11 p.m. The bar will remain open until midnight.

Tickets are $58.36 each with fees and can be obtained here.

Big Ditch Brewing Company will bring its Chocolate Gose to the Brewer's Invitational. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)

Big Ditch and Toutant turn one. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)


Good Beer Club Meeting
7:30 p.m. May 11
Mr. Goodbar, 1110 Elmwood Ave. (882-4000)

Mr. Goodbar will be featuring selections from distributor Remarkable Liquids this month with selections including:

Telegraph: What Hath God Wrought
Stillwater: G13
Westbrook: Gose
Evil Twin: Liquid Double Fudge
Lord Hobo: Hobo Life
Dark Horse: Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotty Karate
Dark Horse: Smell Like A Safety Meeting
B Nektar: Stupid Man Suit
Perennial: Hopfentea
Caldera: Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter

Tickets are available at the bar for $25.

Mister Goodbar is at 1110 Elmwood Ave. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Mister Goodbar will host a beer club tasting. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)


American Craft Beer Week takes place from May 16 to 22. More information regarding national events can be found at by clicking here.


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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