Nothing like a mini road trip to break up January .. especially when it’s to a Beerfest!!
I have been to quite a few now in Canada but was excited to experience this on in Buffalo USA and compare to what I have been to here also for the new exciting beers I would be tasting… and the IPA’s mmm
First thing was first Coffee…Check, Passport….Check and thirst to quench…Check!
We opted for the 1pm-4pm shift so we could go out for dinner and explore some pubs at night. They had a 1-4pm option and a 6-9pm option to choose from. The cost was $35 US to get in but a bonus is you get your glass and you do NOT need tokens.. I repeat do NOT need tokens. Translation= Drink and enjoy as many styles and flavours of beer as you can.
It was held at the convention center and people were lined up well in advance but some how we got corralled to the front of a fresh line up they just started and let us in first!
We call this Tiffany’s super line Jedi mind trick powers…
It was quite a large room and there were a lot of different beers & ciders to taste, we opted for no organized tactic and walked to the nearest tap and got a beer.
One thing I was a little sad about was that all the breweries were not personally ton location so some people pouring were volunteers and knew little about the history of the beer or brewery. I like to chat and meet the brewers to see their passion and here their stories behind the beers. So perhaps a more intimate festival can be better?
I do understand some would have had to travel a ways and while being too busy brewing beer that couldn't happen but what about a few other Brewery members...
Regardless a few breweries were representing themselves and you could tell as soon as you approached. Friendly, proud of their brews and eager to get you a glass of your choice :)
To name a few that were present...
The Brooklyn Brewery - Great Beer, Cool People and I bought a sweet shirt of an eagle clenching hops & a bottle opener in its talons!
Kona Brewing Company- Had a delicious Coconut Brown Ale & another I can't remember haha
Schmaltz Brewing co.- A unique Brewery founded as “a Jewish celebration craft beer” HE'BREW Beer has incorporated quality, community, and schtick since 1996.
Ellicottville Brewing- Always love a friendly resort town crowd & beer. Had our "Last Call" at this tent :)
Some of the highlight tastings were:
Koko Brown by Kona Brewing Co.- Surprisingly delicious and not too sweet. Went down the hatch smooth and easy!
Yuengling IPL - I do love a yeungling beer and was unaware they had an IPL!
S’more Porter 6.2% by Saranac - wow this smelled live heaven, was sweet to taste but a nice treat to sample.
Blue Moon White IPA- wasn't heavy at all like I find some white beers and wasn't to powerful of an IPA... the flavours met nicely in the middle!
Brooklyn Sorachi Ace- A tasty Brew indeed with Sorachi Ace hop that is originally from Japan and is now a rare variety of Hops. A true dry saison.
Hop Manna IPA by Schmaltz Brewing-65IBU’s 6.8%- A nice creation with Floral & Citrus Hops ... I just freakin LOVE Hops ok?!!
A few other highlights were:
Buffalo Pedal Tours- Did you know you can rent a 15 seater bicycle and carry on your beer and drive around the streets of Buffalo for 2 hours (min) of fun with your friends?!!.
Yeah this looks like a riot and is a must-do next summer with friends.
The staff was super friendly, gave me a beer koozie which equal BFF in my books haha.
They do Pub Crawl Tours on streets such as Elmwood st a great street in Buffalo to visit! Check out their site for more fun ... http://www.buffalopedaltours.com
Ommegang Brewery has a Game Of Thrones themed beer and I had heard awhile back from the Brewer at Collective Arts in Hamilton that this place is worth the visit. They are located in Cooperstown, NY and are on my list to visit this winter, it looks stunning! (see below)
Fun photo ops throughout the Beerfest. If you know me I am a sucker for a fun Photo!
I am happy to leave with the feeling of appreciation for all the smaller Beerfests I have been to in Canada and not left with feeling we are missing out. Great job Canada in catching up with the Craft Beer scene and providing quality events <3
Saying that I am still thrilled I went as it was well organized and amazing variety of beer, good crowd and I enjoyed the not having to buy copious amount of tokens.
I will seek out other Beerfests in the USA and would be happy to go back to this one next year.
So yes it was well worth the Craft Beer (or IPA) headache the next day as we crossed back over to the homeland and settled onto the couch to watch my Seahawks loose.
Cheers and untill next time...