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Beer notes: Woodcock anniversary, Thin Man Sour Series

Allagash Night
6 p.m. Nov. 16 at Pizza Plant, 7770 Transit Road, Williamsville, (632-0800)

Beers from Allagash Brewing Company out of Portland, Maine, will be available on tap and in bottles at this event. The beers are:

  • Northman (tap): French bière de garde aged in Calvados barrels. 10.3 percent alcohol by volume.
  • Josephine (tap): Dark farmhouse ale with Brettanomyces (Brett for short, a wild yeast that imparts funky farmhouse character in beers) aged in Cognac barrels. 10.4 percent ABV.
  • Avance (tap): Strong sour ale aged in oak barrels, finished on locally picked strawberries. 9.5 percent ABV.
  • Farm to Face (tap): Sour golden ale aged with peaches. 6.2 percent ABV.
  • Golden Brett (tap): Dry hopped ale aged in oak barrels fermented with Brett. 7.7 percent ABV.
  • FV13 (bottle): Four year aged blended sour ale aged in French oak foudres. 8.8 percent ABV.
  • Hive 56 (bottle): Dark sour ale brewed with honey aged in oak foudres for 18 months with Brett. 7.7 percent ABV.
  • Tiarna (bottle): Blend of 100 percent Brett fermented oak aged beer and a clean stainless fermented saison. 7.1 percent ABV.
  • Cuvee D’Industrial (bottle): Blend of select barrels aged one to five years in American and French oak barrels. 7.5 percent ABV.


Woodcock anniversary party
Noon to close Nov. 12 at Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company, 638 Lake St., Wilson (333-4000)

It has been almost four years since Woodcock Brothers opened in Wilson, and the brewery is celebrating with two special beer releases.

  • Imperial Orange Chocolate Stout, brewed with cocoa nibs and orange peel.
  • Stiff Mitten Spiced Winter Ale, brewed with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

These two beers have both been aged in used Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels for six months. The brewers were especially fond of the balanced additions of toasted oak and charred vanilla imparted by the barrels. As the beers are in very short supply (only two kegs of each are available), the only place to try them will be at the Wilson brewery.

The all-day party also includes free chowder on the patio (while supplies last) and live music from 4 to 7 p.m. with Mike Tilton.


Thin Man launches Sour Series
11 a.m. to close Nov. 19 at Thin Man Brewery, 492 Elmwood Ave. (923-4100)

Fans of sour beers will have a few reasons to head to Thin Man. The first two reasons are the releases of two test batches of sour beers, dubbed EXP.001 and EXP.002.

Brewer Rudy Watkins said he is excited for the release of these batches, and continues to work with mixed culture fermentations at the new brewery. He also indicates that some time within the next few weeks, Thin Man will be releasing a Brett-finished Belgian golden ale.

As to the wild ales, EXP.001 is an American wild ale fermented with standard Saccharomyces yeast, Brett and the souring bacteria Lactobacillus (Lacto for short, the same culture found in yogurt), aged on local plums (6.6 percent ABV). EXP.002, on the other hand, is an American wild ale made with peaches and sauvignon blanc juice, fermented with Brett and Lacto, then dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops, which hail from New Zealand, and impart a white grape/melon character akin to that found in certain white wines (7.1 percent ABV).

Thin Man also will have a large list of other sour beers on tap from the likes of Almanac, Grimm, Crooked Stave, Brewski and Stillwater.


Taking over Big Ditch
5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 18 at Big Ditch Brewing Company, 55 E. Huron St. (854-5050)

As part of Lockhouse Distilling Company’s Single Hop Spirit series, Big Ditch will have a Lockhouse takeover. Big Ditch took part in this series with a Cascade hopped version of the spirit. The brewpub will have the spirit available for serving during the event, and will be making a variety of different beer cocktails using it.


Holiday Valley Beer and Wine Festival
3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at Holiday Valley Resort, 6557 Holiday Valley Road, Ellicottville (699-2345)

This popular festival is returning for its 13th year with more than 100 beers and wines from over 30 craft brewers and wine producers from New York State and neighboring regions.

Breweries and wineries include Ellicottville Brewing Company, Southern Tier Brewery, Ommegang Brewery, Community Beer Works, Big Ditch Brewing Company, CB Craft Brewers, Cider Creek Hard Cider, Erie Brewing Company, Hamburg Brewing, Lavery Brewing, Leinenkugel, Long Trail, Otter Creek, McKenzie’s Hard Cider, Niagara Distilling, Genesee Brew House, Magic Hat, Resurgence, Thin Man, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, 42 North Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing, Four Mile Brewing, Flying Bison, Great Lakes Brewing and Spirits, North American Breweries, Rohrbachs Brewing, Rusty Nickel Brewing and Victoriabourg Wine Estate.

The food menu includes sausage, pretzels, hot dogs, burgers, fries, poutine, cheese from EVL Cheese store, smoked meats from Dom's Butcher Block of Ellicottville, What's Poppin' Gourmet Popcorn, and the Bavarian Nut Company. Gary Liota from Santiago Cigars will be hand-rolling cigars on the second floor deck as well.

Live entertainment includes the Tim Britt Band, Hit ‘N Run and Michael Nugent. A free photo booth will be located just inside the festival on the first floor.

Tickets are $55 advance, $60 at the door (if still available) from Each ticket includes a $5 food voucher.


New beers at 12 Gates
12 Gates (80 Earhart Drive) is launching three new beers.

  • Lava Flow IPA (India Pale Ale). 12 Gates sponsored the IPA category of the Niagara County Fair Homebrew competition in August and the winning homebrewers - Brian Meyer, his wife Lori and their friend Paul Weisenburger - helped re-create their recipe on 12 Gates’ large system. The beer is brewed with all pale malt, and uses Centennial and Columbus hops in the kettle, and Amarillo, Citra and Simcoe varieties in the dry hop (for extra flavor and aroma). True to its name, the IPA is finished with Ancho chili peppers, giving it a hint of sweet smoke and a bit of heat. 7.6 percent ABV.
  • Seasonal fruit wheat series/Elderberry. Made for fall and winter with elderberries instead of cherry and vanilla, this American wheat ale is made with German white wheat, pale and pilsner malted barley. Magnum hops are used for bittering, along with some Mosaic hops.
  • Yoga Pants. This taproom-only American Blonde is a simple, approachable ale made with German pale and Vienna malts.  The beer is described by the brewery as “clean and crushable.” It has 4.3 percent ABV.


Date set for Buffalo on Tap

Tickets are now on sale for the fifth annual Buffalo on Tap festival set for Jan. 14 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). The festival will feature more than 160 American craft beers, including selections from local breweries.

As always, the event will also feature craft beer-focused experiences, live music, vendors and food.

“Craft beer and craft beer culture continues to explode in Buffalo, with breweries, brew pubs and specialty stores booming throughout the area, catered to a passionate and quickly growing fan base,” said A.J. Bodden, executive producer of America On Tap, which puts on events like Buffalo on Tap across the country. “We are so excited to be part of the rich Buffalo craft beer community and bring the highest quality releases and local features to this event.”

The event will consist of two sections, each with a VIP option available that includes one hour early entry and a food voucher. The hours are 1 to 4 p.m. (entry at noon for VIP) and 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. (entry at 5:30 p.m. for VIP). Standard tickets cost $35, while VIP cost $60. Tickets can be purchased via


Resurgence signs with Sanzo

Resurgence Brewing Company (1250 Niagara St.) has made a new partnership with Sanzo Beverage Company that will allow for wider distribution of its products into new markets. Resurgence has already partnered with Try-It Distributing for the past year, allowing its beers to be seen in various stores and bars around the Buffalo area.

This new partnership will add to the Try-It relationship, taking Resurgence further throughout Western New York, including into the Southern Tier markets it previously did not reach. While Try-It will continue supplying Buffalo and its close suburbs, Sanzo will cover the outskirts, including Orleans, Allegany, Wyoming and Cattaraugus counties.

“We’re excited to partner with the Sanzo team to bring our beer into the greater Western New York region, and offer craft beer lovers the beer experience we’ve been bringing to the Buffalo area for a couple of years now,” said Resurgence owner Jeff Ware.

“Since we first opened our doors on Niagara Street over two years ago, we’ve worked hard to bring the experience of our beer to people who appreciate quality, carefully crafted brews. Partnering with distributors help us do that to a larger group of people than we could on our own.”

Customers in these new distribution areas can expect Resurgence’s beers to enter the market soon, as the first orders have been filled already.

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