A Guide To Local Breweries in Buffalo, NY.

By Bernice Radle – Buffalo’s Young Preservationists

Do you like our “Local Brews on Tues” series? Taste it for yourself!  Join us on April 8th – 10th to taste the finest beers from around the Rust Belt. To kick off our weekend in PGH, we will be doing a “BYOB” Friday night opening event where everyone brings a six pack or growler of local beer with them. Thanks to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we will also be able to serve some of the finest Pittsburgh foods drink, talk and meet so many cool young preservationists from across the Rust Belt!!!  YES, you heard that right. Regional. Beer. Potluck. #BYOBrustbeltbeerparty

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program….

If there is one thing that is even better than beer, it’s when breweries open and make good beer inside historic buildings. Buffalo just happens to do this extremely well.

Buffalo is known for many things including chicken wings, snow and our 4am bar closings. 4am bar closings? Yes you read that right! We know how to drink beer. A mayor once said “Stay inside, grab a six-pack and watch a good football game,” when a giant snowstorm was coming. We have a grain elevator wrapped to look like a six pack of beer and Labatt Blue moved their headquarters to Buffalo because we drank the their beer the most out of any area. I won’t even begin to talk about our awesome ability to kayak down a river filled with grain elevators and bar crawl at the same time! (Editor’s note: Bernice, don’t lie. You’re totally going to do that in a future post. You’re too excited about it not to.)

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Summer in Buffalo means kayaking to Riverworks where you can drink and hang out with grain elevators wrapped to look like a Labatt Six Pack.

On top of that, it is no secret that BYP got its start by getting together to drink beers in local historic taverns and talking about preservation battles. Our happy hours are fairly infamous because they tend to attract 50 – 100 very passionate preservationists from around the area. Another reason why we love local taverns and breweries!

We have something we like to call “Beer Oriented Development” here in Buffalo, NY. Coined by Buffalo City Planner Chris Hawley, BOD is defined as “the ability of local craft brewing and distilling to attract people, dollars, and development.” Basically that means, when a brewery or cool craft tap house opens in a typically underserved area, it kickstarts attention and development in that area. BOD, much like TOD (transit oriented development), is a great way to help grow communities and increase the excitement needed to begin a rebound.

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Big Ditch Brewing Co. (Photo Courtesy of Big Ditch!)

Let’s explore the brewing scene in Buffalo!

Pearl Street Brewery:

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Pearl Street Brewery. (Photo Courtesy of Visit Buffalo Niagara)

Perhaps our oldest brewery, Pearl Street opened in the late 80’s in Downtown Buffalo where saving buildings and drinking locally-made beer was pretty much unheard of. Pearl Street decided to set up shop downtown, saving an incredible set of brick row buildings from the wrecking ball for their brewery! Rumor has it that the owner of Pearl Street has some serious ties in Colorado with Breckenridge Brewery, which is a Denver staple. Try the Lighthouse or Trainwreck – two of Pearl Street’s classics!

 

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BYP at Resurgence Brewery in 2014

Resurgence Brewery:

This brewery decided to land inside one of Buffalo’s very few saw tooth buildings on the West Side of Buffalo. Resurgence is known for their Sponge Candy Stout, giant Jenga and their large patio. Before Resurgence, houses were selling for $1, if they dodged the demolition. Now? Two art galleries and a local fitness company have opened and a wood fired pizza place on the way.

 

Community Beer Works: cbw_logo.jpg

CBW wins the “first in” award. In 2012, these guys took the
plunge in Buffalo when very few would. They serve delicious unfiltered beer and do it very very well. They teamed up with
Hydraulic Hearth to create a satellite brewery so Hydraulic could serve the freshest beer to their customers. CBW is nearing a big change – soon enough they will have a large tap room inside of a historic building located on the lower west side in an area that is ripe for BOD.

Big Ditch Brewing Co. :

Big Ditch Brewing Co. champions our Buffalo history all day, every day. “Strength, Pride and Ambition, the history of the Erie Canal” is a mural that looks over the brewery and happens to be one of the most highly instagrammed photos of 2015 in Buffalo. Well, Big Ditch took over a nondescript warehouse and turned it into an epic brewery equipped with meeting spaces, garage doors for the summer and a second floor. Located in Downtown Buffalo, Big Ditch helped to inspire others to invest in what now is known as “restaurant row” along Ellicott Street.

Gene McCarthy’s :

Perhaps my all-time favorite chicken wing spot is also a brewery! Gene’s has done a lot for the old first ward over the last 100 years. Despite the fact that it hasn’t changed much over the years, Just recently, there have been proposals for a new cafe and their first shipping container house. If you go here, order the McCarthy’s wings – they are delicious!!

And there’s so much more! Including Flying Bison, Ellicottville Brewing Co., 42 North and many others… I feel like I could write forever but luckily for us, someone already did! You can read this powerpoint equipped with some of the best beer quotes I’ve ever seen. And if you’re thirsty for more, click here for the official buffalo beer guide

Cheers!
Bernice

Preservation + Pints (Or Shots)

Preservation + Pints (Or Shots)

By Sarah Marsom – Young Ohio Preservationists

Craft breweries and distilleries have swept Ohio by storm. Many breweries are hoping to revitalize the state’s history as a beer capital, and many distilleries are using historical beverages to inspire their contemporary palates. Here are a few places you should try!

Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus – Columbus, Ohio

Both a popular bar and eye catching building in Columbus, Elevator Brewery’s history dates back to 1897. Located in the Bott Brothers’ Billiards building, this contemporary bar thrives on its historical elements—the billiards tables from the 1800s, stained glass entry, tile floors, decorative ceilings, and a well preserved bar. The Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Columbia Building. You can go to www.elevatorbrewing.com for more information.

elevator breweryImage source: elevatorbrewing.com

Rhinegeist – Cincinnati, Ohio*

Rhinegeist means “ghost of the Rhine”, and bringing a ghost back to life is exactly what this beer company did! Located in the historic Over-the-Rhine brewery district, Rhinegeist is revitalizing the beer industry, which, with the area, thrived in the late 1800s. Prohibition put 38 breweries out of business and left countless German immigrants unemployed. In the recent past, developers have been revitalizing the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, and Rhinegeist has sparked new life into Christian Moerling Brewing Company’s old bottling plant. Want to learn more about the building’s history and Rhinegeist? Take one of their guided tours. You can learn more at www.rhinegeist.com.

*Cincinnati is also home to underground brewery tours! This town’s beer history is deep!

rhinegeist Image source: rhinegeist.com

Homestead Beer Co  – Licking County, Ohio

While the brewery is not in a historic building, Homestead Beer Co has its headquarters in the very historic community of Granville, and the name evokes wonderment of the original farm settlements, which created a thriving Licking County in the 1800s. Homestead Brewing does not use modern yeast strains, instead preferring yeast which could have been used by grandfathers of the past to brew. With brew names such as 1805, Five Points Irish, and Barnraiser, one knows the people behind Homestead use the past as inspiration to create contemporary drinks. Go to www.homesteadbeerco.com to learn more.

homesteadImage source: homesteadbeerco.com

E.S. Distillery – outside Fremont, Ohio

Located in a 120-year-old barn, the Ernesto Scarano distillery is also worth a visit. This craft distillery is supposedly the smallest legal whiskey distillery in America. Visit www.esdistillery.com for more information.

What are some of your favorite bars, breweries, or distilleries in Ohio with historic elements?  Add your favorites to the list in the comments section below.