It’s no small secret that Buffalonians love to drink and they certainly love their beer. They also love to be around other beer drinkers while imbibing their favorite brew; a major reason as to why the Buffalo-Niagara region is teeming with exceptional beer bars that serve only the finest libations.
From Buffalo and Niagara Falls to East Aurora and Williamsville, countless beer destinations await to serve you a frosty glass of the good stuff and even more are opening soon. Picking the right place to go can be tricky (who are we kidding, you should go to all of them), so let us help put your mind at ease and make your decision a little easier with our guide to the most popular Buffalo beer bars. What we have provided here is a hand-picked list of the bars that have their finger on the pulse of the world of beer both here and away, in no particular order.
Did we miss one? Did one of these places close? Send us a note!
1. Allen Burger Venture (ABV)
175 Allen St, Buffalo / More Info
There aren’t many more satisfying combinations in this world than beer and burgers. Thankfully for all of us, these are two things Allen Burger Venture, aka ABV, do very well. With over 20 rotating taps of fresh craft beer, bourbon flights and dozens of unique dry-aged, grass-fed Angus beef burgers, including the Italian Sausage Burger and the Spanish Chorizo Burger, Allen’s ABV is one-stop shop for all of best Buffalo has to offer. They also have late night and takeout menus available.
2. Mr. Goodbar
1110 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo / More Info
Mr. Goodbar has been a staple of the Elmwood area since 1968, thanks to over 30 taps and a beer engine pouring micro and import cask-conditioned ales, as well as canned and bottled beer from around the world. Goodbar offers some of the area’s best chicken wings as well (don’t sleep on the tater tots), in addition to beer-centric events, live music most nights, open mic nights for both music and comedy and karaoke. You can also pretty much find drink specials any night of the week at Mr. Goodbar.
3. Colter Bay
561 Delaware Ave, Buffalo / More Info
Co-owners Mike Shatzel and Tony Martina resurrected Colter Bay, which was closed for one year, transforming it into a veritable ski lodge full of free-flowing craft beer from over 25 taps. Burnished gold bar stools and copper-accented architecture touches make for an inviting atmosphere in which to imbibe. And if you’re looking for a little grub to go along with a fresh pint, Colter Bay offers a full food menu, including the Elk Alley elk burger.
1104 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo / More Info
Coles, a true Buffalo institution, has been serving the people of Buffalo for over 80 years. With over three dozen taps featuring a good mix of local and non-local brews, it’s no small secret why Coles has been a favorite neighborhood watering hole for so many years. Beyond the nearly unmatched beer selection, Coles is also a revered eatery, offering a wide variety of wings, sandwiches, and burgers. Come for the food, stay for the beer.
5. Thin Man Brewery
Thin Man Brewery, located in the heart of the Elmwood Village, combines the brewery’s own creations, which include a healthy stable of hoppy IPA’s like Very Friendly and Burning Money and the Bliss Double IPA courtesy of head brewer Rudy Watkins, with a vast selection of the finest wares from breweries both near and far. Thin Man features three floors (and a rooftop patio) with plenty of seating area to enjoy selections off of their food menu, which includes offerings like poutine and the mile-high Tokyo Burger. It’s also a great place to catch a Sabres game, so at Thin Man, beer is just the beginning.
1 Naval Park Cove Buffalo / More Info
Located in the heart of the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park, Liberty Hound offers some of the most picturesque views the area has to offer due in large part to its massive waterfront patio. Pairing a dozen different draft beers and hand-crafted cocktails (try the Old Bay Bloody) with a contemporary menu featuring such dishes as Truffle Fries, Saku Tuna Nachos, and the Liberty Burger, the Liberty Hound is a must-see destination when visiting Canalside, or anytime for that matter.
716 Swan St, Buffalo / More Info
Not only is Larkinville’s Hydraulic Hearth a premier location for craft cocktails, it also houses a satellite brewery for Buffalo’s own Community Beer Works, with Robert Turley handing the brewery side of things, churning out fresh CBW beers made in-house. Speaking of house made, Hydraulic Health also specializes in gourmet wood-fired pizzas, which couple perfectly with any one of the 11 beers and ciders the Hearth has on tap at any given time. Add to that weekly brunch events, live music, and a massive outdoor seating area and you have a memorable time waiting for you at Hydraulic Hearth.
8. Pizza Plant
Ok, so this one actually fits into both the Buffalo and Suburbs categories. The oldest and one of the best beer bars in the region and known as the home of the Pod, Pizza Plant offers a relaxed atmosphere and informed beer staff to go along with its superlative list of craft beers, both at their Transit Road and Canalside locations. There’s live music weekly at the Williamsville location to go along with tap takeover events and happy hour specials, and the Canalside location is within walking distance of KeyBank Center as well as the waterfront & Canalside, enough to make both worth a trip.
191 Main St, East Aurora / More Info
Endless bottles and a handful of taps await you at East Aurora destination Aurora Brew Works, a brewpub/bottle shop hybrid that gives patrons the rare opportunity to drink beer while shopping for more beer. There’s ample seating and board games to help pass the time while you enjoy one of the top bottle selections around, which you can purchase and drink right at the shop (for a small fee). Not sure what style of beer you want to drink? Spin the beer style wheel to help decide. And make sure to catch ABW on a night when the Cellar is open for even more taps and more beer in a chic lounge vibe.
10. Fattey Beer Co.
Multiple Locations / More Info
This beer store/bar is the same concept as Aurora Brew Works. Fattey Beer Co. describes themselves as a “unique bottle shop, tasting bar, brewing supplier, and social center”. These guys have fridges with 400 + bottles and cans from around the world, just ready to be purchased and taken home, or popped open and enjoyed right on the spot. They also have taps on hand, flights, and growler fills available at the tasting bar. Look out for a wide range of educational events and brewmaster visits coming up.
11. Buffalo Brewpub
6861 Main St, Williamsville / More Info
As New York State’s first and oldest brewpub, Buffalo Brewpub has become an area institution throughout its three plus decades in business. They offer 34 fresh and tasty drafts, bottled beers and wines, including their own house made lager, IPA and amber ale, and a number of local dishes, including wings and beef on weck sandwiches. Buffalo Brewpub is also noted for their fish fry, Reuben, chicken quesadillas, and salads. You can also join their Mug Club, which entitles you to $1 off pints (every day until 7pm and all day Sunday and Monday) and invites to club-only events, all for free!
Specializing in rare and hard to find beer, this craft beer bar houses a very knowledgeable beer staff pouring from 20 constantly-rotating taps of beer you normally can’t find anywhere else – not to mention a quality can and bottle selection as well – all in an intimate setting that fosters a deep relationship between you and your beer. Want to enjoy the weather? Then take your beer out to Moor Pat’s beer garden. They also offer a limited food menu, including wings and pretzels, and a healthy list of bourbon, whiskey, and scotch.
9500 Main St, Suite 100, Clarence / More Info
Murphy Brown’s is another beer bar/store hybrid, this time located in the Northtowns. While the shop side has plenty of options, what makes this spot stand out is it’s impressively long list of beers on tap. With roughly 25 brews on tap, a handful are local. They have a full food menu too complete with burgers, pizza, wings, and more.
14. Griffon Gastropub
Multiple Locations / More Info
With multiple locations throughout Western New York, the Griffon Pub is a craft beer mecca with literally hundreds of taps across its locales. Beer fans should have no trouble finding something to drink from the multitude of taps. And when you have that much beer to drink you need something to wash down and Griffon has you covered with a true gastropub menu full of unique, creative and fresh dishes.
4348 Seneca St, West Seneca / More Info
West Seneca’s Ebenezer Ale House offers quality food, an extensive selection of craft beers, on tap, in cans, and bottles, top-notch service and a comfortable environment in which to enjoy it all. Along with beer of the month, daily drink, and food specials, Ebenezer also provides regularly occurring events and promotions. With multiple TVs, there isn’t a bad seat in the house to catch a Bills or Sabres game.
4401 Transit Rd, Williamsville / More Info
Combining Old World tradition with Western New York fare, Brennan’s Bowery Bar is a place to relax after a long day of work with a cold beer and with nearly 30 different, constantly rotating drafts, featuring both domestic and craft beer, local and non local, as well as ciders. Brennan’s also offers lunch, dinner and late-night menus for those looking for delicious Irish-inspired foods and popular local favorites. Let’s face it – there’s a reason Brennan’s has been open for over 40 years.
17. Pour Taproom
490 Pearl St, Buffalo / More Info
As the name would insinuate, Pour Taproom is all about keeping the drinks flowing. This unique self-serve taproom allows you to help yourself to try a large variety and selection of beer, cider and wine. This is a great way to taste test different types of drinks to find what speaks to you. With 56 rotating self serve taps, you’re bound to find something you’ll love!
18. The Draft Room
79 Perry St Buffalo / More Info
Just a walk away from key Bank Center, the Draft Room is a great downtown location to grab a drink pre/post game. At any given time, you’ll find over 20 beers on tap as well as a selection of canned options. They also have classic American food and appetizers that pair perfectly with a cold drink.
19. The Beer Keep
1002 Elmwood Ave Buffalo / More Info
The Beer Keep’s focus is on helping you find the right drink for your style and preference. They have 10 beers on tap that are continuously rotating so there is always something new to try. Beyond the taps, they have a massive selection of cans that are easy for grab-n-go.
7 Scott St Buffalo / More Info
Located in the heart of Canalside, Southern Tier is a great bar atmosphere to grab a drink and catch a game on their big screen. As far as drinks go, they have 30 taps open at any given time so there are tons of drink options to choose from.
25 Pine St, East Aurora / More Info
While 42 North creates their own brews, they also have a rustic taproom to enjoy 20 drafts as well as bottles and cans. This is a great place to grab a drink with friends and play some games around high top tables. If you are really having a good time, you can also stay the night in one of the 42 North Lofts!
85 W. Chippewa St, Buffalo / More Info
Serving both seasonal and local favorites, Buffalo Tap House has 31 different beers on tap. This includes everything from ales and IPAs to light beers, ambers, domestic beers, and sours. Along with their extensive beer selection, you can also enjoy pub grub options including homemade burgers, wings, wraps, appetizers and more.
799 Seneca St, Suite B Buffalo / More Info
If you are looking to enjoy a drink but also gain a greater understanding of beer, add Magic Bear Beer Cellar to your list. Magic Bear Beer Cellar is a craft beer bottle shop and tasting bar focused on the education and elevation of craft beer. In addition to their beer selection, you’ll find they also have wine and food offerings.
4350 Seneca St West Seneca / More Info
Rusty Nickel Brewing has 25 beers on tap at their location in West Seneca. As a NYS Farm Brewery, they use locally grown grains, hops, and produce to create their brews. Their rotating tap list changes seasonally and with availability of certain local items.
Did we miss one? Did one of these places close? Send us a note!
This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.