There are few things more gratifying than the combination of clear skies, hot sun and a fresh pint.
As Buffalonians, I think you’ll agree that we don’t have enough great weather, so we have to make the most of it while we can. One way is to spend time on the many picturesque outdoor spaces attached to breweries.
Now is the time to don your hottest sunglasses and freshest flip-flops and venture outdoors armed with a fresh pint of locally brewed goodness. Here is a list of potential landing spots for your sun and beer needs.
73 Hamburg St. (855-8948)
A true beer garden in all its simple glory – Adirondack chairs, traditional picnic tables and larger round tables fill Gene McCarthy’s beer garden, some set under large shade sails for those looking to get out of the sun. The beer garden provides views into Old First Ward Brewing’s brewhouse via the large front window. The space is full service so you can enjoy a meal. There’s a handy beer window so you don’t have to go inside to order your next pint. And it’s pet-friendly.
Beer suggestion: OFW Heisenberg Imperial Hefeweizen
[Related: Gene McCarthy's redefines a neighborhood bar]
6553 Boston State Road, Hamburg (649-3249)
One of the most bucolic spots in the area beer scene is Hamburg Brewing’s patio, which offers multiple levels of waterfront seating (there’s a pond with a water fountain out back) and options to sit in the sun or shade (seating under an awning and umbrellas).
Round tables equipped to handle most parties (with room for one to at least eight) line the water, so there’s plenty of room to eat and drink. The full food menu is available. There’s also standing room and ledge space for seating, and an outdoor bar for busier days.
Beer suggestion: Just Saying...Vol 1: We're Having Fun, Dammit! IPA
359 Ganson St. (342-2292)
RiverWorks offers the biggest and most spacious waterfront brewery patio in the area. There are long tables for large parties wanting to eat (RiverWorks offers a full food menu) and smaller tables for those socializing while overlooking the Buffalo River. Tall chairs line a lengthy drink rail, so you can sit or stand as you gaze out on the water. There's plenty of high-top bar tables or you can grab a spot at one of RiverWorks’ outdoor bars.
Beer suggestion: RiverWorks Brewing Conveyor Cream Ale
76 Pearl St. (856-2337)
Adorned with beautiful hanging flower baskets, Pearl Street’s historic multilevel balconies offer unparalleled views of the city. Tables accommodate any size party, whether it's for dinner with the family or a quick pint, with standing room and additional seating available as well. Large umbrellas provide shade and patio heaters give warmth. An outdoor bar on the upper level offers convenient service.
Beer suggestion: Pearl Street Sabres Edge Double IPA
1250 Niagara St. (381-9868) | 55 Chicago St. (768-6018)
Resurgence’s Niagara Street Beer Garden features long picnic tables with umbrellas and smaller tables for more intimate parties. A large circular fire pit sits in the middle of the beer garden, with room to fit about a dozen people around it. You can also get a spot on the upper deck along the drink rail overlooking the beer garden.
The new Chicago Street beer garden is a long and narrow space between the brewery and neighboring gym, featuring three fire pits (two small, one large), a handful of smaller tables and cornhole boards.
Beer suggestion: Cosmic Truth Session IPA