Hello, fellow craft beer lovers. We’re about to break down some of the best breweries in Western New York for craft beer. Craft beer is an up and coming industry and it’s growing rapidly. People either love or hate this trend. But really, there is something for everyone to love.
Where to enjoy Craft Beer in Buffalo
These ten breweries specialize in craft beers and they are a great place to find the perfect craft brew for any palate. Ranging from beer that tastes like sponge candy to beer that honors Buffalo pride, there is something for everyone. Here is a breakdown, in no particular order, of the ten best places to get craft beer around Buffalo, NY.
Big Ditch Brewery
Named after one of the first (if not controversial) nicknames for the Erie Canal, Big Ditch Brewery is located in the heart of downtown Buffalo at 55 East Huron St. Buffalo, NY 14203. The brewery first opened in October 2014. Big Ditch is distributing its brews all across Western New York and they have a restaurant attached to their brewery.
The brewpub has a fine selection of many different beers, cleverly named, I might add. One that stands out is the Big Ditch Hayburner. This India Pale Ale is “a luscious and citrusy IPA with primary notes of orange, melon, and grapefruit, and a slightly earthy finish.” It packs a firm bitterness but remains balanced by abundant late hop additions and a soft and airy malt base.”
Pairing well with a sunny day or a medium meal, Hayburner is a good IPA to have around. Big Ditch is open for events and food. The only thing, which I have experienced, is that it is not open on Mondays. Check out their website for details about reservations for events, bus & limo information, menu options, their latest beers, and more.
Southern Tier Brewing Company
In 2002 Southern Tier Brewing Company opened. Since pouring their first draft the brewery’s commitment to using the finest ingredients to craft outstanding beer won it a loyal following. As the young brewery continued to grow, so did its fanbase. By 2009 the brewery was so popular that they constructed a 20,000 square foot building in order to keep up with the ballooning national and international demand for their beers.
Eventually, they moved the Empty Pint, which was originally housed in the production facility that is now Southern Tier Distilling Company, to this new facility. The new Empty Pint is a glorious space that comes alive every Wednesday through Friday soon after they open the doors at 4 pm. It is not uncommon to see people lining up at the door at a quarter to four in order to be the first to quaff one of their craft brews. On Saturdays and Sundays, it opens at noon.
What better way to enjoy this marvel of brewing excellence than with a tour? If you show up on Saturday you are welcome to take a tour of their immaculate state-of-the-art facility for 15 bucks per person. Imagine being led through their sophisticated operation and your appreciation for your libation deepening with every gulp. Once you have seen the facility, you are then led to the tasting room where you are entitled to sample some of their best products.
Flying Bison Brewing Co.
Flying Bison Brewing Company is a packaging brewery located at 840 Seneca Street, Buffalo, NY 14210. Being the first Brewing Company of its era since Iroquois Brewing closed its doors in 1972, Flying Bison Brewing Company has taken the reigns on a trade that used to be highly popular.
Now that craft beer is coming back onto the scene, this Buffalo-proud company has a lot to offer. One of their most popular options that you’ll find on tap around Buffalo and sold in stores is Rusty Chain. A tribute to the “rust belt” of Buffalo, Rusty Chain is described as a beer with a soft, nutty, malt flavor. It is a medium-bodied Vienna amber beer with a 5% ABV. This is perfect for those times when you’re looking for something to pair with a good, hearty burger or heavier meal. It’s definitely refreshing on those winter days, or all year round, for that matter.
Flying Bison Brewing Company has many events coming up and they urge you to stop in at their location for a tour or an event. You can find out more information on their website .
Pearl Street Grill & Brewery
Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, you guessed it, is located on Pearl Street in downtown Buffalo at 76 Pearl St. Buffalo, NY 14202. This is probably one of the older places for craft beer in Buffalo as it was opened in 1997 as a partnership investment with a bigger, successful brewery in Denver, Colorado.
A great place for food and beer, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery is the place to go with friends or to host a small party in their upstairs bar area. Their wings? To die for. But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here for the Trainwreck. The Trainwreck Amber Ale, that is. This signature brew from the vast variety Pearl Street offers is made using German-style malts and hops. “Its complex malt aroma and flavors evoke sweet bread, chocolate, and dry-roasted nuts all balanced by a slight spiciness from the hops.” (as per their website description) This pairs well with their heartier sandwiches and some good friends.
During the summer, check out their outside patio located upstairs and to the back of the building. It boasts a great view of Buffalo and Canalside. For more information about events, food, and the rest of their great selection of beers, go to their website.
42 North Brewing Company
42 North Brewing Company is situated south of Buffalo in East Aurora, a town with a lot of character and often overlooked. 42 North Brewing Company embodies a distinct local character and they offer a wide selection of craft beers. They are located at 25 Pine Street East Aurora, NY 14052. East Aurora was built on creativity and hand-craftsmanship. Appropriate to the profession, 42 North decided to lay their foundation in this town. The reason for the “42” is in reference to the 42nd Parallel, where many great cities have been built, including Boston, Detroit, and, you guessed it, Buffalo. The 42nd Parallel also crosses Italy, France, Russia, and Spain.
Already doing a great job by paying tribute to their location, 42 North has various craft beers to pay even more homage to the area in which it was built. We know that Buffalo pride is prominent, but 42 North takes it to another level with their beers. for example, their Asylum Porter, is named after the famous Richardson Complex, the Wallonia Wit, a Belgian Wit remembers the French-speaking Belgian immigrants who settled across NYS.
You can read more about their history-acknowledging craft brews on their website.
Ellicottville Brewing Company
Built in the valley of the north section of the Allegany mountain range, right in the heart of Ellicottville, NY, Ellicottville Brewing Company’s beers tap into the ski country feelings of the area while also mastering the production of a fine tasting craft beer. With all different kinds of craft beer from their Blueberry Wheat beer to their American IPA, Ski Bum, EBC has created a wide variety of seasonal, annual, and year-long craft beers to go perfectly with their selection of great fare that is offered in-house at their restaurant. Located in a small, but
Located in a small, but well-loved, town EBC is a local favorite. It also distributes all around WNY and beyond. One of their most popular craft brews is the ever popular Blueberry Wheat Ale, a refreshing, crisp beer to have all year ‘round.
Thin Man Brewery
Located in the heart of the Elmwood Village, at 492 Elmwood Ave, in Buffalo, NY, Thin Man Brewery is an open air, weather permitting, brewery dedicated to offering a huge selection of some of the best craft beers in the Buffalo area. One of the greatest things they offer is their flight list. You can pick up to a ten flight option so you can try at least a good amount of what they have to offer from their extensive beer list.
Thin Man Brewery is celebrated for its innovation and the spirit of progress. Thin Man brewery is interested in keeping this spirit in their beers while, also, “satisfying the foodie within” with their yummy selection of delicious options. Just to name one of these fantastic brews, Thin Man’s Juicemaster, a tropical sour beer, is infused with flavors of mango and passionfruit, a combination that will send you into a tropical, tangy, island mood. You’ll have to go visit this brewery to get the pleasure of their extensive selection.
Resurgence Brewing Company
Resurgence Brewing Company, a brewery on the West side of Buffalo on Niagara Street, is yet another one of the best craft beer breweries. You’ll have to make sure you visit this one on your craft beer adventure. They have a wide selection of beer including many that embody the spirit of Buffalo. Some of these include the Sponge Candy Stout and the Loganberry Wit. Resurgence is not only a brewery but a beer garden as well. It’s perfect, especially in the summer, for a get-together with some good friends. One of their most popular brews is their Cosmic Truth Session IPA, a hoppy IPA with citrus tones but a little lighter on the palate than most IPAs.
With a great atmosphere, along with some fun games like Jenga and cornhole, you can’t go wrong checking out Resurgence Brewing Company.
12 Gates Brewing Company
12 Gates Brewing Company, a hidden gem in the Buffalo craft beer world. It’s a newcomer to the craft beer scene. It is named after Ripley’s Twelve Gates which they explain on their website as this: “Ripley’s prose explored the alchemic method in twelve steps, or ‘gates,’ as he referred to them…The Ninth Gate, ‘Fermentation,’ described the process of transmutation that forms a new product due to age, bacteria, or flame – a procedure still widely used today.”
Since it’s opening in 2015, 12 Gates has showcased their beer across WNY at their location in Williamsville, NY. One of their great beers is their Apricot Wheat beer, a medium bodied beer with a lovely flavor of apricot for those fruit beer lovers. Their West Coast IPA is also a real winner. It stays true to the west coast flavor from Citra hops.They distribute all across WNY and they are located at 80 Earhart Drive, off of Wehrle Drive in Williamsville, New York
Four Mile Brewing
Four Mile Brewing, a company dedicated to the history of the craft beer world and brings beer back to the Enchanted Mountains, and is located in Olean, NY at 202 E. Greene Street. There was a brewery open there in 1907 called Olean Brewing Company, a company open for only 13 years before Prohibition shut its doors. Four Mile has brought the spirit of this brewing company back to the place it started over 100 years later so the Enchanted Mountains can brew again.
Now back to its original purpose, Four Mile Brewing is home to an array of beers from their Allegany IPA to their Strawberry Wheat. Both of these brews are distributed across the WNY region and both are fan favorites.
With all of these excellent local brewers, you will have a lot to explore and a lot to enjoy. Let us know if you have a favorite or if we left out a great brewery that you love to visit.