ADVERTISEMENT

A planned micro-brewery in downtown Buffalo got some help from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency today.

Iskalo Development Corp.’s $2.6 million project to renovate a former Verizon Communications service center into a new home for craft micro-brewer Big Ditch Brewing received $174,000 in tax breaks.

Big Ditch is expected to occupy about 45 percent of the two-story building at 337 Ellicott St. in downtown Buffalo for its micro-brewery and tasting room. Big Ditch plans to be a production brewery, producing up to 15,000 barrels per year, although the company’s initial output is expected to be limited to one or two batches per week, or about 1,500 barrels. Big Ditch’s brewing capacity would be about the same as Flying Bison and slightly bigger than the Pearl Street Grille, IDA officials said.

The company does not plan to operate a brew pub on the site.

Matthew Kahn, Big Ditch’s president, said the new micro-brewery will be part of a groundswell of new craft brewing businesses opening in the Buffalo Niagara region.

“Buffalo has been a little behind the curve, but we’re catching up,” he said. “It’s becoming a major force in the region.”

The brewery is expected to employ 13 people, with most involved in the brewing operations.

The tax breaks apply only to the portion of the building that will be occupied by Big Ditch. The rest of the facility will be fully taxed, IDA officials said. Overall, the project is expected to generate an additional $27,000 in tax revenues during the seven years covered by the IDA tax breaks.

drobinson@buffnews.com