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8 beery events to celebrate fall in Western New York

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Woodcock Brothers Brewing Co. is hosting two fall events this season, Fall Brew Fest and Cocktoberfest.

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The leaves are changing, there's a noticeable chill in the air and the beer in your glass is getting darker.

If you’re looking to experience Western New York’s glorious fall season, you can do so in style at a number of events hosted by local craft breweries and cideries. From beer and cider festivals to Halloween parties and family-friends events, throw on your favorite hoodie, grab a fresh pint and raise a toast to the fall season.

Sept. 17: Fall Fest at Resurgence Brewing Company (55 Chicago St.). Starts at 10 a.m. Resurgence’s Oktoberfest celebration includes $10 Stein & Pour (buy a glass stein, get your first pour free and every pour after for $1 off), pumpkin bowling, Chili Tasting Contest (4 p.m.), Stein Hoisting Competition (running every 30 minutes), Pumpkin Carving Contest (1 to 3 p.m.) and Pretzel Eating Contest (every 30 minutes starting at 2 p.m.) for prizes including beer, brewery gift cards and Fall Fest gift basket with RBC merch.

Sept. 24: Pumkingfest, Southern Tier Brewing Company (2072 Stoneman Circle, Lakewood). Starts at 5 p.m. The event will host a number of special features built around the fall beer favorite, including Pumking & Warlock Imperial Stout (with pumpkins) brewery exclusive variants, including three new versions (Fire, Habanero and Caramel) and seasonally inspired cuisine. Music includes performances by Joe Thompson (noon), Smilo & the Ghost (3:30 p.m.) and the Probables (7 p.m.).

Sept. 30 and Oct. 1: Fall Brew Fest and Cocktoberfest, Woodcock Brothers Brewing (638 Lake St., Wilson). Woodcock’s Wilson location is hosting a pair of events: Fall Brew Fest (Sept. 30) and Cocktoberfest (Oct. 1). Brew Fest features fall and harvest seasonal brews from more than 20 local craft breweries and cideries. There will be live music from Orange Zest (3 p.m.) and Experimental Sandwich (7 p.m.), lawn games, ping pong and vendors. The event is free. Tickets can be purchased per tasting.

The annual Cocktoberfest features live music from the Bergholz German Band (2 p.m.) and Jake Payne Jazz Quartet (6 p.m.), local vendors, German food and beer from more than 20 local and Rochester area breweries, in addition to Woodcock's Cocktoberfest beer. Tickets will be sold per beer tasting. There also will be a basket raffle for Open Arms Animal Rescue of WNY (2 p.m.).

Oct. 1: Cider Fest at Clarksburg Cider. (4493 Walden Ave, Lancaster). 2 to 6 p.m. Clarksburg is celebrating New York State Cider Week with its inaugural Cider Fest, an afternoon of cider tasting, fall-themed events, live music and food. Cider, spirits and beers are from SteamPunk Cider, Embark Craft Ciderworks, Iron Smoke Distillery, Britesmith Brewing, 42 North and more. General admission tickets are $15 (includes two drink tickets, Silipint wine tumbler) and VIP are $45 (includes production tour, Q&A and exclusive tasting session with local cider makers, charcuterie, unlimited drink pours, Silipint wine tumbler, food ticket, VIP lanyard).

Oct. 15: Ghost Lantern Autumn Festival, Blackbird Cider Works (8503 Lower Lake Road, Barker). Noon to 4 p.m. This festival features Blackbird’s full portfolio of ciders and 42 North Brewing’s TapTrekker beer van. There will be a ghost lantern orchard walk (limited to adults 21 and older) and food from Lloyd Taco Truck. The festival's namesake, Ghost Lantern Spiced Cider, is a semi-sweet apple cider brewed with autumn spices and gentle notes of warming ghost pepper in the finish. It’s balanced and easy drinking.

Oct. 29: Haunted Haus Halloween Party, Hofbrauhaus Buffalo (190 Scott St.). Starts at 7 p.m. Celebrate a Nightmare on Scott Street at this Hofbrauhaus costume party filled with brews, boos and tunes from XOXO Pop Band. Reserve your table  by visiting hofbrauhausbuffalo.com or by calling 716-939-2337. The event caps off Hofbrauhaus’ Oktoberfest. For a full list of events, visit hofbrauhausbuffalo.com/events.

Oct. 29: Tap & Craft Festival, Niagara Falls Convention Center (101 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls). Starts at 4 p.m. This inaugural beer festival will feature brews from more than 30 craft breweries, wineries and cideries from upstate New York, plus live music, food and a cornhole tournament. Tickets are $30 presale, $40 day-of and include admission, commemorative tasting glass and unlimited 3-ounce beer samples. Designated Driver tickets are $10.

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Marzens, brown ales and festbiers are met by pumpkin-flavored beers, spiced ales and Oktoberfestbiers, with some fall spiced ciders to boot, all of which are readily available locally.

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