Buffalo Beer Week Launch Party! The Gods Have Smiled Upon Us!

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What a VIEW!!!!! At Templeton Landing!

At this moment, I consider myself and the city of Buffalo to be very, very lucky. Meer weeks ago, we were speaking in hushed tones so as to not alert the weather gods that we might know what they were planning to rain down on us. In the deepest alleys of the darkest streets, huddled masses whispered those two words that send chills down the spine: “Polar. Vortex.” As I strolled up to Templeton Landing on this amazing day in shorts and sandals, I realized that I could very easily be wrapped head-to-toe in wool and down, but alas! It is Buffalo Beer Week, and so our golden offering to the Beer Gods and the Weather Gods seems to have appeased them. Smiling in thanks, I received my mason jar, which would serve as the vessel of my sacrifice and all but skipped out onto the boardwalk to kick off Buffalo Beer Week.

An impressive list, indeed.

An impressive list, indeed.

The aptly titled Launch Party was an incredible collaborative effort between local breweries, The Buffalo Niagara Brewer’s Association and Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER. Representatives of Southern Tier, EBC, Hamburg Brewing, Woodcock Brothers, and Big Ditch Brewing worked diligently behind the bar to provide us with their best pours of the 19 beers available for sampling. The selection included several fall beers, which were particularly delicious. While I didn’t get a chance to drink all of them, some new friends agreed that Southern Tier’s Harvest was great. Big Ditch brought a freshly drawn keg of their Hayburner, an American IPA that may have been my favorite of the night. Also worth mentioning was Woodcock Brothers’ Amber – a delightful, low-alcohol beer that would be great for tailgating.

As the crowd grew and the sun began to set, fires were lit along the walkway. I was lucky enough to speak with Matt and Wes from Big Ditch about the craziness of Beer Week and the pending opening of their new brewery. They seemed exhausted and excited for both. We also chatted about Hayburner and its “80-something” International Bittering Units (IBUS); anything above 45 is usually considered very hoppy. Don’t let that scare you; it’s got great balance – a very flavorful, drinkable beer.

Vander, of Woodcock Brothers fame, models with their Amber Ale.

Vander, of Woodcock Brothers fame, models with their Amber Ale.

The conversation was great — rivaled only by the beer — and I had the opportunity to speak with a lot of people about the great things happening in the city, especially the great beer being produced here. One such person was Nicole Lipp Duffin, who is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER. This grassroots organization is working year-round to clean up our most beautiful of resources – our waterways. Originally, RIVERKEEPER was associated with a project to clean up the Buffalo River but has since expanded to include the Niagara River as well as the Great Lakes. Volunteers are always welcome for the amazing projects the group puts together, so be sure to check them out.

So here I am, one lucky person, and here we are, one lucky city. We have been blessed with a summer that will not quit and with breweries that are multiplying – expanding our opportunities to enjoy the weather and the beer. We are blessed with organizations such as the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association, who work tirelessly to bring the brewers and their beer to the people, with celebrations such as The Buffalo Brewer’s Festival that occurred early in the summer, and especially all of the great events that are taking place now for Buffalo Beer Week. This amazing observance of everything Buffalo goes until October 5th, with over a hundred events spread all across the region. It is a great way to start checking things off your Autumn Buffalove to-do list.

– If you’d like to know more about or book reservations at Templeton Landing then check their link here – http://www.templetonlanding.com/templetonlanding/default.aspx

Hamburg's Small Town and Oktoberfest, as well as Woodcock Brothers' Amber Ale were delicious!

Hamburg’s Small Town and Oktoberfest, as well as Woodcock Brothers’ Amber Ale were delicious!

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