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FeBREWary brings 5 eclectic Buffalo-area craft beer festivals

I am officially decreeing that February be renamed FeBREWary thanks to the multiple can’t-miss local beer events over the next few weeks.

Most exciting: Four of these festivals are new.

For those who enjoy variety in their craft beer, these events are tailor-made for you with everything from barleywine and hoppy beers to barrel-aged and cask beers, and even an entire festival dedicated to collaboration beers.

So if you’re a fan of local beer, there’s no reason to not attend at least one. But I recommend them all, because if nothing else, I’ll be there.

Barrel Jam, 2:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at 42 North Brewing (25 Pine St., East Aurora).

Barrel Jam is a new indoor/outdoor barrel-aged beer, music and winter celebration. In addition to beer from 42 Below Barrel House, Barrel Jam also will feature barrel-aged beer from Abandon Brewing, Collective Arts, Prison City, Big Ditch, Beer Tree and Thin Man.

Tickets are $45 here and include tasting glass and four hours of sampling. There will be live music, freestyle ski competition and local distilleries.

[Photos: Smiles at 42 North's Bills playoff game party]

Thee Barleywine Classic & Invitational, noon Feb. 9 at Community Beer Works (520 7th St.).

A first-of-its kind local festival, Thee Barleywine Classic, will feature beer from such breweries as CBW, Brickyard, New York Beer Project, Hair of the Dog, Firestone Walker and Bolton Landing. Tickets are $35 and include a glass, samplings of 10 barleywines, a chance to win a special bottle share with CBW President Ethan Cox and chili. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite.

Cask Festival 2020, 3 p.m. Feb. 15 at Brickyard Brewing Company (436 Center St., Lewiston).

This inaugural cask fest will host the finest cask beer from the likes of 42 North, Other Half, Buffalo Brewing, 12 Gates and Pressure Drop. Tickets are $25 and include a sampling glass, access to more than 20 cask beers and special curated draft sampling upstairs. Tickets at BBCcaskfest.brownpapertickets.com.

CollaBEERation Festival, 11:30 a.m. Feb. 16 at Resurgence Brewing (55 Chicago St.).

Another new event, CollaBEERation Festival is a collaboration between members of the Buffalo Beer Geeks community and local breweries. There are 27 one-off beers and meads created specifically for this event. Among the participants are Froth, Fifth Frame, West Shore, Mortalis and Britesmith Brewing.

Tickets are $55 and include a tasting glass, food and door prizes. There are two sessions: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit ECMC Level 1 Trauma & Emergency Department. Tickets can be purchased at HopMule.

Hop Fest 2020, 2 p.m. Feb. 22 at Gene McCarthy’s/Old First Ward Brewing (73 Hamburg St.)

The annual celebration featuring nothing but the hoppiest local beers will take place inside a large heated tent in the parking lot across from Gene’s to allow for more room.

Expect beer from OFW Brewing, Rusty Nickel, Hamburg Brewing, Flying Bison and Resurgence. Tickets are $30 and include a logo tasting glass and unlimited samples. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite.

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