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Buffalo Beer Week brews up a good time

Allie Ralbovsky hates to break it to all you guys out there, but pretty much all beer has estrogen.

That’s why she and the five other ladies at Rusty Nickel Brewing Co. don’t want to hear anyone balk at trying their new Estrogen Ale.

The West Seneca brewery will release the new brew – the first of six in its new FemAle series – at a party in the coming days on its premises, during Buffalo Beer Week.

“One thing we’re really good at is educating people on all the styles of beer, so it’s going to be talking to them about whatever beer they have in front of them has estrogen in it,” Ralbovsky said. She means phytoestrogen, a plant-based compound that isn’t quite the same as that produced in the human endocrine system.

Allie Ralbovsky checks the sugar content of the Estrogen Ale with a refractometer at the Rusty Nickel Brewing Co. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

Allie Ralbovsky checks the sugar content of the Estrogen Ale with a refractometer at the Rusty Nickel Brewing Co. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

Beer Week runs from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2 at more than 50 area restaurants, taverns and craft breweries. Yes, that’s more than a week, and yes, that’s yet another reason to help explain how much Buffalo loves beer.

Tap takeovers, new craft beer release parties like the one at Rusty Nickel, and a brew bash at Coca-Cola field will be part of the fun.

“Beer Week is in a sense like Beer Christmas,” said Willard Brooks, president of the Buffalo-Niagara Brewers Association, which organizes and promotes the festivities.

The seventh annual installment also includes a special Beer Week Eve unveiling Sept. 22 of Wise PA, a hop-forward collaborative beer brewed this month in memory of former Gusto Beer Matters columnist Kevin Wise, who died July 19. The beer will be available during Beer Week at many of the craft breweries Wise featured in his writings.

“He was a real jovial, fun, great person to be around,” said Matt Kahn, president of Big Ditch Brewing Co., where brewers from across the region made the 20-barrel batch. “He was a positive supporter of the community.”

12 Gates Brewing Company, 42 North Brewing Company, Community Beer Works, Four Mile Brewing, Flying Bison Brewing Company, Hamburg Brewing Company, New York Beer Project, Gene McCarthy's/Old First Ward Brewing Co., Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, Resurgence Brewing Company, Rusty Nickel Brewing Co., Thin Man Brewery, and Woodcock Brothers Brewery, along with the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association and the Buffalo Beer League all collaborated to brew a beer at our brewery! (via Big Ditch)

Thirteen local breweries and two local beer organizations collaborated to brew a beer in honor of Kevin Wise. (via Big Ditch)

Wise, a biochemist and professor, was a beer-loving man about town who reveled in the explosion of the Buffalo beer scene and was up to trying any style brew. It’s the kind of approach Ralbovsky hopes folks will bring to Beer Week.

There were four breweries in the Buffalo area when Brooks – an IT specialist at a regional health care agency, and homebrewer – moved back to the area from Silicon Valley five years ago. Today, he said, there are more than 20, each with an eclectic array of flagship, seasonal and one-off batch beers.

Those breweries will collectively unveil more than two dozen regional beers during the next several days. Several well-known craft breweries around the world also have sent brews for special events at breweries and nearly three dozen other establishments in the region.

“Big Tent Buffalo” is the theme, one that embraces diversity and togetherness in all things beer.

Read more:

*5 tips for enjoying Beer Week

*5 must-try Beer Week beers

*Sampling of Beer Week events

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