Over the past 20 years, craft beer has gone from a niche beverage option to all kinds of things: a hobby, a lifestyle, a collectible, a selfie prop, an investment vehicle for entrepreneurs looking to diversify the portfolio…
When something goes from Craft/Art to Commodity, it’s usually a good idea for us consumers to go back to the OGs who started it all, and when it comes to locally-available craft beer — that’s Mike Shatzel and Peter Braun.
Shatzel himself being a local craft beer powerhouse, he and Braun put world class suds on the map in Williamsville with the opening of Moor Pat in 2015. Six years later, the pair are expanding on the simple tap room concept with Moor Room.
Since opening, the modest-sized Moor Pat has become a craft beer beacon. On top of offering beers you just can’t find anywhere else in WNY, Moor Pat has also hosted a number of exclusive drops — local releases from breweries that weren’t distributing to this area. Once upon a time, if you wanted to grab a beer from a hip brewery like Other Half or Hudson Valley, you had to wait in line for an hour at Moor Pat on a Saturday morning. These FOMO-fueled can drops and tap takeovers led to Moor Pat becoming the point location for tastemaking in local craft beer.
Looking at the early-days beers at Moor Room, Shatzel and Braun apparently focused on the future, and looked backward to celebrate the classics. People who appreciate Dogfish Head’s 60-Minute IPA are taken care of as much as mercurial beer geeks who want the latest guava-raspberry sour from Drowned Lands. On our recent visit, we went for a classic: Allagash White ($7 for 16 oz.). Somehow, the flagship funky witbier actually tasted better coming out of the Moor Room tap.
As the name indicates, Moor Room’s food menu is bigger than the one at Moor Pat. While options at the latter were essentially bar snacks, the new place offers a pub burger ($14), chicken sandwich ($14), beer-brined wings ($16) and a chicken salad ($12). We sampled a hummus plate ($10) that included a variety of accoutrements including perfectly charred pita slices. The house-fried tortilla chips ($6) and beef cheese simply hit the spot.
We found the vibe very neighborhoody: North Buffalo newbies alongside Hertel Ave lifers. Three strategically placed TVs were all tuned to different sports channels. This being North Buffalo, you know one of those channels was YES – home of the New York Yankees.
Craft beer may have come a long way baby, but at Moor Room, it’s turned full circle to become a corner bar beverage — for the people.
Hours at time of publishing: Tuesday to Thursday 4 p.m. – 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday 12 p.m. – 2 a.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 10 p.m., Monday CLOSED