Get ready for bedazzled beer, Buffalo.
The craft beer trend of mixing edible glitter into brews caused a brief social media stir in 2016 in Colorado, California and North Carolina, and it's about to pop up in Buffalo - for a very limited time.
Sato Brewpub head brewer Andrew Hardin will release three different glitter beers as part of the brewery's spring launch from 4 p.m. to midnight March 23 at 110 Pearl St. About two half-kegs of the glitter beer will be available in total, which may not last beyond Friday.
Happy hour specials run from 4 to 7 p.m. - where the glitter beers will be a dollar off of the roughly $7 usual prices.
After receiving clearance from Sato's management team, Hardin announced that glitter would be used in three seasonal beers - Brewnicorn, an IPA; Shimbo rice lager; and Peppy Hare, Sato's Rabbit in the Moon table beer - for the one-night stand.
To appreciate the glitter, it's best to drink the beer under relatively strong light; natural light is ideal, but that's tough in the basement of the Dun Building, where Sato's brewpub dwells. Expect the lights to be a little brighter Friday, and considering Hardin plans to dose and blend the beer on Friday morning, the plant-based glitter will have plenty of time to shine. If you're the social media type, give the beer a quick swirl and snap a pic.
Buffalo has done well to balance the art to brewing beer with a sense of fun; Community Beer Works' recent release of the Kelly RIIPA brew is an example of a craft beer scene that's heavy in humor. Through absent-minded browsing and a bit of a calculated risk, Hardin stumbled upon the next piece of beer-related entertainment.
Scrolling through his social media feed while working, Hardin crossed a picture of glitter beer and the rather judgmental commentary of industry peers. Already in the process of creating a seasonal beer list for Sato Brewpub, the brewer said to himself: "I could put glitter in this."
As Hardin expected, the notion of glitter beer was met with skepticism - even disbelief - from other Buffalo brewers. To his knowledge, these three brews will be the first glitter beers ever brewed locally.
"A lot of people said, 'You are crazy,' and they thought it was a joke," said a bemused Hardin. "When I told them we'd release it in late March or early April, they said, 'Oh yeah, April 1,'" referring to April Fools Day.
To make sure he had the proper cleaning methods and brewing process, Hardin drank glitter beer exclusively for two weeks. The trial period confirmed two suspicions: that the glitter would not affect the taste, and that it would dissolve long before it exited the system.
"And now it's on like glittery wildfire," Hardin summed.