Buffalo Breweries, Brewpubs, and Taprooms
| Read Time: 9 minutes
545 Swan St, Buffalo, NY 14204
Flock of Flamingos, that makes us laugh. You could order a flight of beers at Belt-Line and they could all be New England IPAs. Not that there is anything wrong with that, not at all. Belt-Line offers patrons solid pub grub, including pork belly, keto burgers, and delicious wings, as well as their late night menu.
Perhaps the best part about Belt-Line is their Reverse Happy Hour, a promotion that offers $5 drafts from 9pm-11pm on Tues-Thurs and 10am-12pm on Fri & Sat. This works for us as we are always interested in a $5 pint of beer at 10am on Saturday. All in all a great South Ellicott destination.
Big Ditch Brewing Company
55 E Huron St, Buffalo, NY 14203
A hip, industrial brewpub less than a half mile from Niagara Square. Big Ditch is arguably the best place to enjoy the NYE ball drop at The Electric Tower. In fact, they're even throwing a big bash to ring in the new year. $80/ticket gets you four drink tickets, a special food & beer menu, and an excellent party.
Big Ditch is no stranger to using a wide variety of hops and malts - we're pretty sure that their core beers do not use the same hop or malt twice. Beyond seasonals and limited, Big Ditch Brewing celebrates Stoutsgiving, so you may still have time to get your favorite BDBC barrel aged or mudlarked brew. If you wish to drink something far lighter, opt for the Lemon Cherry Giraffe or the Cinnamon Apple.
Weekly Beer Show covers Big Ditch Brewing
Here is a review of Big Ditch Brewing's Make Me Wanna Stout from the Weekly Beer Show. While not a podcast per se, they've made it to our list of the Best Beer Podcasts. Give these fellas a listen if you got the time, it's enjoyable, if for the random Buffalo Bills commentary alone.
Community Beer Works
520 7th St, Buffalo, NY 14201
Community Beer Works is looking to close out decade number one, having opened in 2012. Community Beer Works offers curbside pickup and daily home delivery (yes!) for craft beer acquisition. The taproom may only be open Thurs-Sun, but you can still stop by to grab some four packs in person from 3pm-7pm Mon-Wed.
Their singularity series is great to try for the local Buffalonian who has the time and inclination to return often, thereby picking up on the subtleties of the consistent malt bill with the alternating single-hopped brew. CBW also brews one of the best oktoberfest beers in the state, so don't sleep on them in the Fall. They also host fun events, such as the Pop Punk & Emo Mixtape Night coming up in December (17th).
Our Community Beer Works flight would look as follows:
- Power Ballad
- Ring Modulator
- Snozzberry Sour
- Spruce Springsteen
Flying Bison Brewing Company
840 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY 14210
Electric Turkey forever. What a hilarious beer name.
Flying Bison Brewing hosts interesting and eclectic events, like book signings. How many breweries do you know that host book signings? In this case, Flying Bison hosted a signing for, The Seasons of Buffalo Baseball (1857-2020). They also host Jazz quintets, Big Bands, and holiday markets.
According to the brewery, they were the first stand alone brewery to operate in Buffalo since 1972. If you want to get a sense of their history, take a tour of the brewery, which they offer on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On tap is a core group of 6 year-round brews for you to enjoy. Mix in the HERC Barleywine and Paula's Peanut Stick Porter as well as a few other esteemed choices and you'll get a complete sense of what Flying Bison is trying to accomplish.
Electric Turkey forever.
Froth Brewing Company
700 Military Rd, Buffalo, NY 14207
Double IPAs, Hard Seltzers, a 10% ABV Imperial Stout named Pastry Works that features local coffee beans from small batch roaster, Bean Bastard Coffee down on Elmwood ... Froth Brewing has our attention. Froth lives up to the name, brewing Liquid Lollipops that have the words Banana Cheesecake and Bubble Gum in title. Or, order their Vanilla Ice Cream / Cherry Frothsty.
Want to feel like a kid again? Visit Froth Brewing Company on Military Road.
Lafayette Brewing Company
391 Washington St, Buffalo, NY 14203
Book a Happy Hour Party. That's a grand idea. Glad you thought of it, Lafayette.
You can only purchase LBC's beer from LBC itself, so if you want to experience the Industrial Sunset or Ctrl+Alt+Delete Wheat, you need to march yourself down to the hotel on Washington Street. Not even making that up. There was once another Lafayette associated with Washington. Lafayette's 15bbl system cranks out beers all year-long and the brewpub is open daily until midnight. So what are you waiting for?
Oh, fun fact: $18 gets you Bottomless Mimosas at brunch. Keep that in your back pocket.
Gene McCarthy's Old First Ward Brewing Company
73 Hamburg St, Buffalo, NY 14204
Gene McCarthy's hosts trivia on Tuesdays, live bands on Saturdays, and live Irish Music on the third Thursday of the month. As for craft brews, there are a variety across a few landscapes: Light, Clean & Crisp, Malty & Dark, Hoppy & Aromatic, Fruity & Flavorful, and Seasonal & Specialty. If fruity is your thing, you're in for a treat, as the Old First Ward pours Mon Cherry, Sacre Bleu!, and Razzputin, three wheat beers built around tart cherries, blueberries and raspberries respectively. Plus, their Against the Grain Hefeweizen is exceptionally smooth.
Other beers of note are the St. Patrick's Pilsner (is it time for green beer yet?), the Teleporter, and the OFEST! (excellent for Okterberfest. There's also Geney's Lager, which Gene McCarthy's considers a great alternative to Corona or Bud Light, and, Cremated REmains, a traditional German rauchbier. And last but not least, they offer patrons both gluten-free beers as well as non-alcoholic beers. Truly a complete brewery.
Pearl Street Grill & Brewery
76 Pearl St, Buffalo, NY 14202
A great pre-game option if you are on your way to Sahlen Field or to the KeyBank Center. One of the most fun establishments downtown, Pearl Street features countless porches and decks (including a roofdeck) across it's 4 level warehouse. Tons of pub grub, pool tables for hustling drinks off your good buddy, and outdoor space for people watching and you've got yourself a winner. People even get married on-site. Plus, the Don Cherry Wheat is everything we ever needed to know about Pearl Street Grill & Brewery.
Pressure Drop Brewing
65 Vandalia St, Buffalo, NY 14204
With a, "you can't make this up" attitude, Pressure Drop calls The Barrel Factory home. Pressure Drop is upfront about their IBUs which you don't always see from a craft brewer. As for beers, their Sticky Trees IPA and Buckstar Coffee Cream Porter have managed to garner some awards over the years - those would be good choices to build a flight of beers with. PDB also loves their collab beers.
Pressure Drop Collaborations
Pressure Drop collaborates and collaborates often with other area breweries. Here are a few.
- Big Ditch Brewing Company. Aqua Flying Spaghetti Monster, Aqua Jesus, Aqua Shiva.
- Community Beer Works. Fat Rips, Knives Out.
- Thin Man Brewery. Dog Birthday Party, Happy Molecules, Night Terrors, Panic Attacks.
The collab we love the most is Can Confirm, a fruited sour that was brewed in 2019 with 12 Gates Brewing Company. Maybe Pressure Drop should have been the next brewer of Puppers Beer, after all, they also brew Pitter Patter.
Resurgence Brewing Company
55 Chicago St, Buffalo, NY 14204
Resurgence Brewing brings the party to you with their pop-up beer garden. For real, Resurgence can handle your soiree for up to 500 people. Hiring RBC is a real strong way to spend 3-6 hours on a weekend.
As for the Resurgence taproom, they're busy pouring from their 15 taps. They focus on aromatic IPAs and sour beers. Their food is sandwich & salad based, with a handful of burgers, wraps and small plate starters. If you're in the mood for outdoor beers, try their Niagara Street locale.
110 Pearl St, Buffalo, NY 14202
One part Japanese gastropub, one part tiny brewery, all parts Japanese-Belgian brewery. Sato utilizes soba buckwheat, togarashi and yuzu, as well as local Niagara-grown hops. Small plates, bowls, skewers, sushi, and ramen fill up the menu in this brick-lined, classy brewpub located in downtown Buffalo.
Fun fact, the Sato Brewpub is located in the basement of The Dun Building, the city's first skyscraper. The building was built on the site of an old schoolhouse that was built in 1808, so there's quite a rich history at the site.
Thin Man Brewery
492 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222
Upscale small plates support a fine craft beer menu that travels from Marzen to Fruited Sour and back again. Thin Man has excellent craft beer names, including The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, Sci Fi Hamster Wheel and Trial By Wombat. Thin Man also collaborated with rock band, Mastodon on Savage Lands, a Hazy IPA that is chock full of pineapple, tangerine and berry.
Like a number of other breweries on this list, Thin Man Brewery has a few taprooms that they operate, one on Chandler and the other on Transit Road in Williamsville.
Western New York Breweries near Buffalo, NY
12 Gates Brewing Company
80 Earhart Dr, Williamsville, NY 14221
A 30 barrel brewhouse that pours from 18 taps, 12 Gates Brewing Company has been serving up fun for over a half a decade. We recommend you check them out in the cool weather as they have a covered patio with area heaters. There's an on-site kitchen to supply you with some food as you enjoy a few Vanilla Cherry Wheats, or perhaps a couple of Table Smashers.
The Band Sign-Up Form is a nice touch. So is the Corny Keg fill up that they offer. Remember, customers must own their own keg (hint: no using other breweries' kegs). And, kegs must be cleaned.
They've even named their production area The Bunker. It's where the bands play. Strong work, 12 Gates. Strong work.
Ellicottville Brewing Company
28 Monroe St, Ellicottville, NY 14731
Sit in the beer garden or take a tour of the brewery, the choice is yours at Ellicottville Brewing. Established in 1995, EBC hosts an annual beer festival just before Thanksgiving that is fun for you and 1500+ others. They also have several locations, including Fredonia, Bemus Point, Little Valley and the EBC Tap & Bottle Taqueria.
Ellicottville Brewing likes to create serial beers, with their Publican, Redeye, Seasonal, Limited Release and Every Day Series. Puff Pastry Pork Pockets, Dueling Sirloins, and a variety of cocktails make EBC a great stop at any time of the day.
Southern Tier Brewing Company
We're big fans of Southern Tier's work, having enjoyed many of their tasty brews over the years. From the Creme Brulee to the Samoa to the Cherry Cordial, it's really hard to find one that isn't first rate. Also hard to find one that doesn't have a substantial amount of booze in it. Even their Pumpkin Ale (Pumking) checks in at 8.6% ABV.
Coming up on their 20th Anniversary, STBC isn't slowing down. An on-site smoker keeps the handhelds stuffed with meat. A dozen taps in The Empty Pint, their Brewhouse taproom, keeps the mugs filled. What's more, they've expanded to downtown Buffalo (along with Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Charlotte).
Be Excellent. Join Us.
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