Maybe you’re really getting into mid-century modern furniture, 90s hip-hop or old episodes of Seinfeld. It’s helpful to remember that these things got pushed off our radar at some point; outdated by hype cycles and trends.
Something similar is happening with craft beer right now. Styles like hazy IPAs and fruited sours have such a firm grip on the minds of some craft beer drinkers, that classic styles emphasizing malt are mocked as “old man beers”. But as any hipster with a mullet and a fanny pack will tell you, things that get mocked eventually become appreciated again.
One-Eyed Cat Brewing on Main Street in Williamsville is a new local brewery carrying the torch for classic styles like amber ales and English bitters. Whether they are ahead of the craft beer curve or behind it is kind of beside the point. The new brewery is doing its own thing.
Owner and head brewer Patrick Alexanderson says being brewer-owned is a big reason why One-Eyed Cat offers newer styles, yet doesn’t treat juicy, fruity beers like catnip.
“I think we pay less attention to what other breweries are making,” he says. “If I were not a brewer and opening a brewery, I would look around to see what other people are making. Maybe some breweries are making a lot of fruit smoothie sours and others are making a lot of New England IPAs. I might see that and say our brewery needs to do that.
“But instead of copying what others are doing, we realize that there is money to be made by offering classic styles.”
After homebrewing for a few years and ‘getting the itch‘, Alexanderson started taking a hard look at opening his own brewery in 2017.
“We put feelers out there to see if there was room for another brewery,” he says. “Because back then, it seemed like Buffalo had a lot of breweries already, especially ones that were firmly established — places like Community Beer Works, Resurgence Brewing Company, Thin Man Brewery and places like that. But we found that versus the rest of the country, Buffalo was not at all what would be considered saturated.”
In addition to focusing on classic styles, One-Eyed Cat carves out a niche with its welcoming space and vibe. A typical evening in the tasting room feels like a neighborhood bar, a place where you can find locals from different backgrounds and of all ages. The kitchen serves a menu of Texas-style barbecue and on Thursday nights, local acoustic acts fill the space with songs. The brewery also hosts big, family-friendly events on its lawn.
Since opening in late May, the brewery has been busy, with the range of newer to classic beer styles really resonating with customers.
“The feedback we’ve received has been extremely positive,” he says. “People that come in say how refreshing it is to see a Scotch ale on tap, for example. New styles hyped on social media are definitely popular, but I think there is a large gap in the market that drives people to come out for something else.”
Hours at time of publishing (Subject to change): Wednesday and Thursday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 p.m. – 12 a.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Monday and Tuesday CLOSED
One-Eyed Cat Brewing
5893 Main Street Williamsville, NY 14221 • $$$$$
One-Eyed Cat Brewing specializes in lovingly brewed craft beer in a variety of traditional styles. This neighborhood brewery located on Main Street ...
- Bar Area
- Dog-Friendly Patio
- Live Music
- Family Friendly
- Good for Beer Lovers
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