The tap list at the Buffalo Brewers Festival is one of the, if not the, best lists the summer fest has had in its four year existence. With over 20 local breweries, a NYS Cider and Mead Tent and a Guest Brewery Tent, there is going to be a lot to drink, plain and simple. So we want to makes things a bit easier on all of you so that you can head down to the Outer Harbor with a plan. A beer plan. Yeah, we like the sound of that.
Just consider us your Beer Sherpa. Oooh, we love the ring of that too. Basically, we’re just here to make things easy for you as you navigate each brewery, ciderery and meadery the fest has to offer. We want to make sure you get the best bang your buck. Or make that the best beer for your buck.
We’ve formulated a list of the top 11 beers you can’t afford to miss as you hit the Buffalo Brewers Festival. These are beers that you need to target early, and perhaps often, to ensure you imbibe before the kegs run dry, because, let’s face it, those kegs aren’t bottomless – as much as we can pray and dream that they were. They might be someday (the future is a crazy place), but not today.
Here are our can’t miss-must drink beers at the Buffalo Brewers Festival:
42 North Brewing Company – Treaty Farmhouse Saison (5.8%): A unique, tart Farmhouse ale soured with a Lactobacillus strain new to the professional brewing industry (L.P.), dry hopped with Galaxy for notes of fresh mango, passionfruit, and apricot. It’s been a while since we’ve had this one – looking forward to a pour.
12 Gates Brewing – Hermetic IPA (5.9%): A softly bittered IPA with loads of hops to give it tons of tropical fruit and citrus flavor and aroma, including pineapple and grapefruit. It’s new, so you have to try it.
Flying Bison Brewing – Newport Pleasureale IPA (5%) & Low Gear Session IPA (4.8%): Why wouldn’t you want to try a pair of new Flying Bison IPA’s? We had a test batch of Newport a few weeks back and it was drinking great even though it was so young, and Low Gear is one of our favorite new beverages from Flying Bison. So that means you should seek these out too.
Riverworks Brewing Company – Rejuvenator NEIPA: We had to shoehorn a New England style IPA into this list right? In all honesty, Rejuvenator is one of the best beers of Riverworks new lineup. It’s a juicy IPA with tropical fruit notes. Do you need any other reason to try it?
New York Beer Project – Panda Paws Porter (5.8%): A collaboration beer with Perry’s Ice Cream. That’s all you need to know. Want more? Alright. Expect a nose full of chocolate and fudge and hints of peanut butter and vanilla. The line will be long for this one.
West Shore Brewing – N.B.B. ESB (5.3%) & West Shore Wheat (4.6%): As Barney Stinson once famously said, ‘new is always better.’ Case in point with the brand spanking new West Shore Brewing. The Wheat is classic and sourced locally with WNY malt from NY Craft Malt in Batavia and is blended with Warrior and Saaz hops. Expect banana. The Not So Bitter Bitter is brewed with 100% Citra hops. This will give the esters of an English beer but the citrus aftertaste that is 100% American.
Thin Man – Bliss DIPA (8%): We figured this list needed a Double IPA, so why not one of the best DIPA’s Buffalo has to offer? If you haven’t has Bliss yet, it’s time to. This one provides the right balance between juice and dank.
Other Half Brewing – Double Dry Hopped Space Diamonds DIPA (8.5%) & Double Dry Hopped All Citra Everything IPA (8.5%): Two of the best beers from one of New York State’s du jour breweries? Sounds like a plan to us. Especially since both beers are double dry hopped, so there’s not much wrong with that.
So hit Ctrl + P and print this list out because you’re not gonna want to leave home without it. Well this, and your tickets to the Buffalo Brewers Festival. Don’t forget those either. Tickets for the festival can be purchased online or at any of your local Consumers Beverages location, Aurora Brew Works or Premier Gourmet.
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.