Each week we round up the best and biggest Buffalo beer news, releases, and events happening in Buffalo and Western New York. Here’s what’s trending:
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1. Belgian Beer and Chocolate Fest Returns to Pizza Plant
Pizza Plant’s annual Belgian Beer and Chocolate Festival returns on February 9 (6pm) to their Transit Road location. The event will feature a number of Ommegang beers, who will be bringing their Oak Aged Tripel, Witte, Bourbon Barrel Aged Adoration and Three Philosophers. The beers will be available in a flight or ala carte. Each flight comes with free Chow Chocolates, who will also have chocolate gift boxes for sale. There will also be a swag raffle for those in attendance.
2. Big Ditch Debuts New House Lager at Casey’s Black Rock
Casey’s Black Rock (484 Amherst St.) has a new house lager on tap courtesy of Big Ditch Brewing – Casey’s Big Ditch Energy. This 4.9% lager is brewed with rice, which makes it dry and crushable, and Citra and Simcoe hops, which provides notes of lemon and orange. “Our brewers and owners have had personal relationships with their owners since before our brewery was open,” Big Ditch President Matt Kahn said. “They asked us to brew a special beer for them and we were more than happy to oblige.” You can find Casey’s Big Ditch Energy on tap right now exclusively at Casey’s Black Rock.
3. Buffalo Whiskey Riot Returns to RiverWorks Bigger and Better
Whiskey Riot, Buffalo’s largest annual whiskey festival, returns to Buffalo RiverWorks this year with more craft spirits than ever before on February 18 (4pm). Attendees will be able to try more than 150 whiskies, while also enjoying whiskey cocktails, opportunities to meet master distillers, and more. You’ll be able to sample wares from Old Forester, Brothers Bond, Woodford Reserve, Basil Hayden, Knob Creek, Laphroaig, Four Roses, Bruichladdich, Michter’s, West Cork and many more. General admission (4-7pm, $75.54) includes tasting glass, samples and access to cigar-smoking tent, while VIP (3-7pm, $150.35) includes access to limited edition and rare whiskies, tasting glass, balcony access and buffet. Purchase tickets here.
4. Limited Tickets Remain for Barrel Jam, Brewer’s Invitational
A limited amount of tickets are still available for this weekend’s Barrel Jam at 42 North Brewing (February 4) and Brewers Invitational at New York Beer Project (February 5). You can find the complete beer list for Barrel Jam here, which features barrel aged everything, from imperial stouts, quads and sours to porters, saisons and farmhouse ales. The event runs 2 – 5pm (VIP at 1pm). All tickets include a complimentary tasting glass and a food voucher for Fat Bob’s BBQ. Tickets on sale here.
The Brewer’s Invitational features over 50 innovative small batch brews from more than 30 local breweries, cideries and meaderies. For $50, you will receive a commemorative glass, gift card for food from NYBP’s gastropub menu, and access to all tastings. Grab tickets here.
5. Buffalo State Offers New Crafts and Corks Class Program
Buffalo State’s new Crafts and Corks program is a six-week ultimate tasting session for lovers of beer and wine featuring tastings, light fare and materials. The craft beer program covers beer history and the brewing process, lager vs. ale, German, Belgium, U.K. and American brewing styles, glassware and food pairings, as well as taste and service. The course is taught by Flying Bison’s Tim Herzog and Craig Altobello, Certified Cicerone®️ and owner of Magic Bear Beer Cellar, as well as special guests. Testing for Cicerone®️ Certified Beer Server is included. Classes run Mondays, February 20 – March 27. You can register here.
6. Froth Brewing to Celebrate Fourth Anniversary
Froth Brewing is throwing a party for their fourth anniversary on February 4. Whether you’re in the mood for a plate of fresh Wingnutz wings and a house lager pouring from an authentic LUKR side pull tap or crave a pour of that latest Liquid Lollipop, Froth’s fourth anniversary party is the right time to satisfy those urges. There will be Heady glass and merch giveaways, live music at 6pm, fresh Froth beer drops, cocktail specials and more. Cheers Froth – here’s to many more years.
7. Thin Man Elmwood to Close for Renovations February 13
Thin Man Brewery’s Elmwood location will be closed for renovations on February 13 – 26. While complete details of the project will be announced soon, Thin Man says they will be making major changes to the first floor, including an entire facelift that will “transcend aesthetics and customer experience.” On the second floor (Game Room), plans call for new seating arrangements, aesthetics, draft tower updates, new furniture, and lighting in the Bar & Dining Area. Then, finally, the third floor will be repurposed into a smaller, private event space dubbed “The Brew Deck.” This features two 75″ TVs, couches, and more. Stay tuned for more details soon.