A few short years ago, Buffalo was home to only a handful of excellent breweries. Fast forward to today, the pioneers of the local craft beer movement have welcomed nearly 30 new beer operations into the fold and Buffalo has joined the ranks of the nation’s great craft beer towns. Spread across neighborhoods and communities all over Western New York, craft beer continues to be a leading catalyst of our region’s renaissance. Once industrialized neighborhoods and quaint villages are becoming hotspots for breweries and beer gardens.
Since this time last year, several new breweries have debuted in architecturally significant downtown buildings and historic towns. Let’s take a look (and a few sips) of Buffalo’s newest breweries:
In the heart of Downtown Buffalo, the lower level of the Dun Building (the world’s first non-rectangular steel frame building) has become the city’s hippest basement. This relatively lean beer operation is also Buffalo’s only Japanese izakaya. The beers, “Belgian-inspired but with a Japanese twist”, are some of the region’s most creative brews. They were also the first to brew the trendy new glitter beer.
Located in the blue collar neighborhood of the Old First Ward, Pressure Drop Brewing has found a home in the renovated multi-purpose Barrel Factory building which was, as you may have guessed, a former barrel factory. Specializing in a broad range of beers from blonde ales, double IPAs to rich Imperial Stouts, the drink menu has something for everyone.
Like the railroad it’s named after, West Shore Brewing Co. has rolled onto the Buffalo beer scene like a freight train. With tradition and quality in mind, West Shore uses the expertise of past brewing generations as inspiration for their craft beverages.
RiverWorks has retrofitted a full brewery into the old grain silos located on the south side of the property. The old ruins have been repurposed into a functional brewery with a full service bar and beer garden (plus a zipline launch on the upper landing). A series of underground pipes and a complex network of tubes pumps eight different beers brewed in the grain elevator into the adjacent bar and restaurant.
Update / Name Change: Lafayette Brewing Co.
Opened in 2012, originally under the name of Pan American Grill & Brewery, and located in the fully restored Hotel Lafayette. The brewery is located in the basement of this historic hotel and features a full spectrum of six house brews and four changing seasonal brews made exclusively by Lafayette Brewing Co.
For more info on all 25+ local breweries, check out our page all about beer in Buffalo.
Photos above courtesy of Sato Brewpub, Pressure Drop Brewing, West Shore Brewing Company and Buffalo RiverWorks.