Buffalo Beer Week: Best Use Of A Library Ever!

Oh it was packed at The Library!

Oh it was packed at The Library! The author can attest to that!!!

Kielbasa and Kraut for free! That’s right: If you missed Beer Week’s Brewed in Buffalo Release Party at the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle (home of Torn Space Theater), you missed some great homemade sauerkraut – but perhaps I’m burying the lead here. Local breweries were the feature of this great event in Buffalo’s oldest Polish-American private clubhouse, and they brought their A-game. I was lucky enough to sample some great beers – all brewed right here in our sunny, unseasonably warm backyard — and also to snag myself some free Polish food.

The great bartenders who catered to the packed Library.

The great bartenders who catered to the packed Library.

When I arrived at the Library, people were just starting to file in, among whom were some folks who were there for a theatrical presentation as well. I got myself a seat at the bar and struck up a conversation with the couple who were seated next to me. As we chatted about the great events coming up during the Buffalo-Niagara Brewer’s Association’s Buffalo Beer Week, people started to pile in to the barroom, and before long the crowd overflowed into the lobby of the building. The bartending staff worked frantically to keep up with the crowd, and the patience of those in attendance was well rewarded. While I held my coveted barside position, I was served small samples of each of the beers that were on tap at the time. EBC had offered their Eagle Trail IPA. I found it to be a bit sweet, but not bad. Community Beer Works and Hamburg Brewing collaborated to bring us their Tamarind Porter. It was good – smoky at first, and then sour to finish. This may have been the most interesting of the beers brewed for this great event. Resurgence brought their Oktoberfest, which is well documented as one of the best brewed locally. Several people stopped me to tell me how much they loved the beer, confusing me for Resurgence owner Jeff Ware (which may have been the highlight of my night, despite the great beers available). The Pearl Street Brewery’s Pumpkin Ale was spicy; I think I tasted some ginger in there. It seemed very carbonated, but that may have been the facility as some of the beers weren’t pulling correctly from the taps. I had The Hopster from OFW, which is one of my favorite IPAs, and the Black Bird Cider Works Organic Cider, which was very good. It lacked the syrup-flavor that I don’t like about mass-produced ciders. My favorite beer available that night was the Southern Tier Buffalo Local. After a year-long love affair with IPAs, I believe I have fallen for Belgians, and I found this to be a delicious Belgian ale, with a nice, sweet citrus flavor to compete against the bitterness of the hops. If you tuned in to Channel 7’s 11 o’clock News on Friday night, you got a glimpse of me enjoying a sip of the beer!

Southern Tier's Buffalo Local

Southern Tier’s Buffalo Local

After sampling the beers, I gave up my seat at the throne and headed upstairs to help myself to some of the Polish food featured at the event. There was some great, moist rye bread, which I filled with kielbasa and kraut, instantly inventing the Reubenski – a Polish reuben. I received another compliment about Resurgence’s Oktoberfest, which I graciously accepted, and headed back downstairs to spend some time chatting with some of Buffalo’s best brewers. I did run into Jeff and his head brewer Dave Collins and shared all of the great remarks I’d received about their beers. I spoke with Chris from CBW and told him they were The Ramones of Buffalo Craft Beer, in that everyone saw what they did and thought, “Hey! I can do this!” Since then, I’ve compiled a list of the local breweries and the punk bands they represent, but I’ll save that for another article.

Resurgence Brewing's Jeff Ware - mein doppleganger!

Resurgence Brewing’s Jeff Ware – mein doppleganger!

All punk rock analogies, TV stardom, and brewhaus dopplegangers aside, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Friday night. Sampling some of the area’s best beers as well as the opportunity to experience some of the city’s most unique and innovative brews, makes for a great start to the weekend. Be sure you check the upcoming Buffalo Beer Week events. There is so much great beer to try and so many great people to talk to. We owe a debt of gratitude to these men and women that toil to bring us some fantastic locally brewed beers that are far superior to most of the national options. Next time you see get a chance, thank a brewer, a barkeep, a server – heck, anyone! We aren’t the city of good neighbors, we’re the city of great neighbors. Let’s show one another some grateful Buffalove.

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  1. | Community Beer Works - October 2, 2014

    […] from What’s Going On In Buffalo wrote about the Brewed In Buffalo launch party, in which he called us “The Ramones of Buffalo Craft […]

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