With beer geeks and beer goddesses, a “brewbash” and beer film screening, there should be enough at Buffalo Beer Week to keep the attention of the greatest beer enthusiast while sparking interest in the beer novice.
Buffalo Beer Week, which actually lasts 10 days, starts Friday and runs through Sept. 29, and will feature events at bars, pubs, restaurants and breweries in Erie and Niagara counties.
The number of breweries in the country has grown to more than 2,100, and with nine new breweries open or set to open in Buffalo Niagara, there will be 16 local brewer-brew pubs, according to festival organizers.
“Buffalo is reversing history right now, and that trend is happening across the country,” said Willard Brooks, chairman of the festival. “Craft beer is becoming a theme in the region. It’s going to get bigger.”
Buffalo Beer Week is held to highlight craft beer and the regional brewing history, and to serve as a showcase for bars, restaurants, pubs and other businesses with ties to the craft beer community. Three family-run businesses were inducted into the Buffalo Beer Hall of Fame, and a special Beer Week keg of imperial pilsner by Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant was tapped and poured round the tables at a kickoff lunch Tuesday at Cole’s Restaurant.
“It’s kind of close to 7.8 percent alcohol, so be careful when you drink it,” warned Matt Redpath, who brewed the pilsner.
This year’s inductees to the hall of fame, who received 1-litre beer steins, are Certo Brothers Distributing Co., which started in Niagara Falls 101 years ago; Try-It Distributing, founded by the Vukelic family in 1928 in Lackawanna; and Becky and Paul Dyster, the operators of Niagara Tradition, selling home brew supplies in the Town of Tonawanda.
“Most gratifying of all is to see this beer revolution isn’t going to die with the baby boomers, that it has flashed over to a new generation of people who are truly going to revive America’s brewing culture for the next century,” said Paul Dyster, the mayor of Niagara Falls.
“If you look at the restaurants that are succeeding around town, they’ve got fresh food, flavorful food, great service. They’re accessible,” said Tim Herzog, owner of Flying Bison Brewing Co. “Craft beer, particularly locally brewed craft beer, is all that as well.”
Among the activities are a Brewed in Buffalo Release Party from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave.; Ballpark Brewbash from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Coca-Cola Field; “Beer Hunter” film screening at 7 p.m. Monday at the Pan American Grill and Brewery, 391 Washington St.; an evening with the Buffalo Beer Goddesses from 7 to 10 p.m. at Mr. Goodbar, 1100 Elmwood Ave.; and Buffalo Beer Geek Festival from 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Artisan Bath & Kitchen, 200 Amherst St. There’s also a “Beer Week Passport” app to check in at various events to be entered into a contest for a “beercation” in Atlanta, and other prizes. For more information and events, go to www.buffalobeerweek.com.