By 1 p.m., it was about 80 degrees and everyone under Buffalo’s Outer Harbor gazebo wanted a cold beer.
But business first.
The Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association announced that it will host the third annual Buffalo Brewers Festival from 3 to 7 p.m. June 18. To accommodate new features, the event has moved from Canalside to Wilkeson Pointe at the Outer Harbor.
Tom Dee, president of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, said the Outer Harbor is an ideal location for the event.
“It’s the people’s waterfront, and every day it's getting better and better,” he said.
There will be 40 breweries from Western New York, across the state and Ontario under two large tents overlooking Lake Erie, said Willard Brooks, BNBA chairman. For the first time, there will be a tent showcasing New York State-made ciders and a “Farm to Pint” tent demonstrating how local ingredients are used to make local craft beer.
There will also be a “Meet the Brewers” session, where five local brews will be paired with local cheeses.
Brooks said the city’s craft beer scene is booming.
“It's a theme in Buffalo,” he said. “It's no longer dormant - it's active.”
Several local brewers talked about the connection between food and beer and Buffalo’s prime hops-growing location.
After all that talk of beer, it was time to drink it.
Tim Herzog, owner of the Flying Bison Brewing Company, tapped an experimental batch of pale ale he brought to the media gathering in a mini keg.
He made a small batch to test it and see how people like it.
“This is all you get,” he said. “If they like it, I'll make a bigger batch.”
He said he's looking forward to Saturday’s festival because after brewing for 16 years, beer festivals are still fun. “It's going to be a beautiful day with tremendous beers.”
Several tickets are available.
*The Brewers Fest General Admission Ticket: $40, includes all beer tastings from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
*The Brewers Fest Ticket (early admission): $49, includes all beer tastings from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
*The Designated Driver Ticket: $15 available at the gate, includes admission and a bottle of water. Tasting glasses are not provided.
More information can be found at buffalobrewersfestival.com.