Buffalo has a long history of brewing, with more than 35 breweries located in the town as early as the 1800s. While Prohibition stanched the flow of brewery development, both literally and figuratively, a coterie of local craft brewers are bringing about a hop-fueled renaissance in Buffalo.
Along with the many other activities and opportunities in Buffalo, the brewery scene has grown rapidly during the past several years. We’ve put together a list of some of the breweries we think you should check out, as well as providing some unique and interesting options for seeing (and tasting) all they have to offer.
Resurgence Brewing Company
Resurgence Brewing Company has two Buffalo locations, including its newest, sprawling brewery/event center located in The Cooperage development.
Visitors to Resurgence Brewing Company can taste their wares in the beer garden or can enjoy a brewery tour. Guests will have the opportunity to observe the transformation of the location from a mill factory to a state-of-the-art breweries.
And, more importantly, you’ll also have the opportunity to taste three samples from whatever inventive and interesting options Resurgence currently has on tap. Warning: you can’t be a beer lover visiting Buffalo without trying their famous Sponge Candy Stout.
Because of the popularity of Resurgence Brewing’s tours, it’s recommended that you schedule your visit in advance.
Community Beer Works
Community Beer Works strives to provide the high-quality, focused feel and flavor you get from expert home brew batches. Their commitment to creating great beer and building community make them a fun spot to visit, and a fun brand to wholeheartedly buy into.
Because of their community-focused feel, they make breweries tours available even for small groups (larger groups should book ahead to make sure space is available). Even if you’re not interested in touring, the on-site taproom makes a great place to hang out, enjoy some snacks and sample their wares.
From their slogan, Embeer Buffalo!, to their cheeky and quirky brews (including Ruth Bader Gins-beer, a Belgian-style wheat ale, and Bang a ‘Uey, a New England IPA), Community Beer Works is just plain fun to visit and flavorful to imbibe.
The name “Big Ditch” may not necessarily conjure up images of a delighted palate. It’s actually meant to reference the Erie Canal and its world-changing effect on both Buffalo and Western New York.
Big Ditch Brewing is seeking to do the same thing in their own way, showcasing the strength, pride and ingenuity that fueled both Buffalo’s early boom and its current renaissance.
The brewery’s taproom features six to 12 of their beers on a rotating schedule, which means you can always find something unique to add into your flight. Favorites include the FC (Fantastically Crushable) Session Wheat IPA and the Passion Fruit Hayburner.
Brewery tours are available during retail hours at the top of the hour.
Can’t decide what to drink for brunch? Ellicottville Brewing Company makes it easy with their Mimosa IPA, a potent brew that blends the flavors of sabro and blanc hops with Brazilian oranges.
The brewery offers weekend tours of its brewing headquarters and German brewhouse; each tour is designed to demystify the brewing process, highlight features of specific beer offerings and (the best part) allow guests to sample four of Ellicottville Brewing Company’s on-tap options.
How to Visit Buffalo’s Breweries
If you tried to get to every brewery in Buffalo on your own, you just might run out of time during your trip. Thankfully, several local businesses and hotels offer brewery tour options and outings to make it easy to squeeze several into your trip.
Brew Bus gives you easy access to several popular downtown brewing options. With their all-inclusive guided tours, you can enjoy craft brews from Flying Bison Brewing Company, Resurgence Brewing Company and Lafayette Brewing Company.
This tour option is a great fit for those who want to get behind-the-scenes and understand the brewing process. Plus, as an added bonus, you can buy some of your favorites at each location and Brew Bus will keep them chilled and ready for you to enjoy once you finish the trip.
The Giacomo Brewery Package
If you’re planning a fun weekend trip with friends or a significant other, you may want to spend more of your touring time talking with each other. Staying at The Giacomo and taking advantage of their brewery tour packages gives you the opportunity to enjoy carefree visits to local brewing hotspots.
At each brewery location (Live Edge Brewing, Woodcock Brothers Brewery and Brickyard Brewing Company), you’ll receive complimentary flights and the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere at each location.
We’ve provided just a small sampling – a flight, you might call it – of beers and breweries to check out while visiting Buffalo.
However, as you’ll find, there are dozens of breweries and hundreds of beers you could sample while you’re here. In fact, you’re probably going to need more than a weekend in Buffalo to try them all, so plan to stay a while!