Who brews the best local saison? It will be up to you to decide in the People’s Choice Competition at the fifth annual Buffalo Brewers Festival, this Saturday (4-7p) at Canalside. New this year, the People’s Choice Competition will give festival goers the chance to try multiple versions of a beer style and pick their favorite example.
The process for the People’s Choice Competition is pretty simple. All you need to do is drink, then vote. Yes, it’s that simple. There will be 16 in total (subject to change) for you to try before you cast your vote – 15 beers and 1 mead. After you drink your fill, you simply fill out a ballot, then turn it into either Jill or Sarah, who will be collecting and tabulating all of the ballots. The winning brewery (or meadery) will then be presented with a one-of-a-kind trophy at the festival.
Saison, French for ‘season’ and its alternative title, Farmhouse Ale, refers to the tiny farmhouses that dotted the landscape of southern Belgium, where the style originated (the beer was also served to those who worked at said farms). This beer style is typically crisp, complex, fruity, spicy, sometimes tart and/or sour and light-bodied, clocking in around 4.5% – 8.5% ABV normally. Belgian saisons are brewed year-round with pale malts and are well dosed with English and Belgian hop varieties. Lively carbonation ensues from a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The color is classically golden orange and the flavors are refreshing with citrus and fruity hop notes.
Resurgence Brewing: Cucumber Saison
Community Beer Works: That IPA
Rusty Nickel: Farmhouse Saison
Pearl Street: Gin and Tonic Saison
42 North Brewing: Treaty Saison
Thin Man Brewery: Aura Saison
Brickyard Brewing: Saison des Fleurs
Gordon Biersch: Saison
Big Ditch: Beautiful River Saison
New York Beer Project: Watermelon Saison
Hamburg Brewing: Small Town Saison
Eli Fish Brewing: Awry Rye Saison
West Shore Brewing: Saison
Southern Tier Brewing: Science is the Art: The Psychic Laser
Woodcock Brewing: Honey Saison
Lilly Belle Meads: Ginny Bee Goode Saison Mead
In addition to the People’s Choice Competition, a number of Farm-to-Pint beers, made exclusively from local ingredients, will be available, food vendors include Lloyd Taco and Ru’s Pierogi, and new this year, you can purchase pints of your favorite beer right at the festival (limited availability, prices may vary). An after party will be held at Clinton’s Dish at Canalside following the festival’s conclusion. There will also be a number of local vendors on hand, including Smokers Haven Cigars, Travelling Growler, NY Craft Malt, Crooked Creek Hops, Trocaire College and Bavarian Nut Company.
Don’t drink and drive! Let Lyft do all of the driving for you, so all you need to focus on is having fun and celebrating all things Buffalo on the waterfront. New users can download the Lyft app and use the code ‘BNBA’ to receive special discounts off your first few rides.
Tickets can be purchased at BuffaloBrewersFestival.com and Ticketfly as well as at all 17 Consumer’s Beverages locations. For more information, please visit, https://www.facebook.com/events/992859620880355.
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 (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.