Our trip back from Toronto dropped us in Buffalo, New York for a few days. Luckily we got out just before the massive snowstorm, but in our short visit we were able to try a few great craft beer places. So the next time you find yourself in Buffalo, NY and want to check out its craft beer scene, here are three great places to stop.
Blue Monk Buffalo
Perhaps the best craft beer bar we stopped at in western New York was the Blue Monk. The Blue Monk has the casual, comfortable atmosphere we love, mixed with a top-notch curated craft beer list. The traditional chalkboard beer list included several delicious sours from Jolly Pumpkin and Birrificio Del Ducato. The food is nearly as interesting as the beer, with a small menu of interesting, craft beer appropriate, options. Mussels, duck fat fries, mac and cheese… You won’t go hungry as you sample your way through their 30 or so draft lines. See the current beer list on their website
Offering high quality, small-batch beers to real enthusiasts, Resurgence Brewing has the aim of ‘delivering memorable beer moments to the drinkers of the Greater Buffalo Region.’ Known for its great atmosphere and friendly service, the beer list is wide and varied, featuring standard, seasonal and speciality brews to cater for all tastes. As a matter of fact, one of their more popular brews is a peanut butter porter, which tastes exactly as you’d expect. Located in a somewhat nondescript warehouse, the Resurgence Brewing facility has an industrial chic vibe. A long wooden bar lines a bold red wall, the brewery is wide open and brightly lit off to the side. There are a few giant “Jenga” games stacked about. Picnic tables line the floor and a small back patio has a fire pit and some additional seating. They also serve a traditional pub menu and while the brewery is easy to see and explore, they also offer brewery tours for anyone who wants to learn about the history of the company. Check out the website for times and booking options: resurgencebrewing.com
Flying Bison Brewery
When beer is the main thing on your Buffalo agenda then you need to visit the flying bison brewery. Another example of a success in small brewery expansion, it’s the one and only distributing craft brewery in Buffalo and its flagship beer Aviator Red is a solid Irish Red with a strong, full-bodied flavour. Tours of the brewhouse are available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday if you want to take in the history of the place. If you don’t want to visit the actual brewery a lot of the brewpubs in Buffalo also pour fresh Flying Bison beers, which were notably better than the bottles I have tried in the past. Check out their website here: flyingbisonbrewing.com.
Recognized for the quality of its beer and customer service, the Buffalo Brewpub is New York State’s oldest brewpub. Situated on Main Street and opened on Halloween night in 1986, the Buffalo Brewpub brews onsite in a 10BBL system. In addition to their own beers, they also have over 34 guest beer taps on-site, making them one of the best craft beer bars in Western New York. Find them here: buffalobrewpub.com
Amy gets a bit too excited about Carousels
Being that we do more than just sample breweries and brewpubs (I know can you believe it!) we also want to give a shout out to the Herschell Carousel Factory Museum
. This museum is an interesting look at an almost forgotten industry which was at one time a huge part of the North Towanda and Buffalo area. As a matter of fact, more than half of all of the hand carved carousels that remain in the world today were made in the North Towanda / Buffalo area. At the museum you can learn about the hand carving process, the automated organs, and even ride an antique carousel. See more at carouselmuseum.org
The Buffalo craft beer scene continues to grow and evolve. Brewpubs continue to pop up with their own unique twist on classics, driving the quality even higher. Of course, we only had a few days to explore, before heading south to escape the snow, so let us know what we missed!