The Draft Room- Buffalo, NY

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Some of you may have seen it already, but the anticipated The Draft Room is set to open to the public tomorrow (11/17) alongside the new Labatt Brew House.

Last weekend I was able to attend a preview night and it was a pretty cool experience. From the tasting room by the entrance, to walking around the building and ordering the food, the staff was very knowledgeable, service was quick and overall friendly.

 Beer Flights

Beer Flights

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I think it is going to be a hot place to check out whether for a casual happy hour or for drinks before or after attending an event downtown. Its one of a kind and will bring many beer drinkers together.

-B

My top food picks from the food we split:

  • Candied Bacon

  • French Bread Pizza

  • Poutine Burger

Beer Picks:

  • Labatt Blue Citra

  • Kellerbier

  • Hefeweizen

  • IPA

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Experience Great Beer

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Back on April 2, 2014 I shared my first brewery interview with my followers. That brewery has become one of my favorite places in Buffalo and it is Resurgence. Fast forward to present day and I can now say that Jeff and his team have taken me under their wings to let me be apart of their team, "their family" and its quite special. 

I thought it would be fun to catch up with Jeff and see how life is going. So please read on! 

If you haven't heard by now, Resurgence is opening another location in the Old First Ward {specifically 55 Chicago St.} and offering up a lot more space, more beer, open air beer gardens, a banquet hall, a parking lot to accommodate up to 250 spaces and the list goes on. While the new location is prime for those in the OFW and downtown, the Niagara St. location will remain open and become more of an R&D location, providing an opportunity to experiment more. 

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When I spoke with Jeff I asked him what he enjoys most about owning his own business, specifically a beer business and he said he enjoys talking about beer, it was that simple. He enjoys talking about it with his customers, he enjoys flavor profiling and growing the business together with his employees. Its a fun place and to see his employees expand out into bigger roles is exciting to watch. 

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When I asked him what scares him and what he has learned, he said he's learned more about business over the last four years than he could ever imagine. From cash flow, to making beer, packaging, customer service, employee excellence, its all about learning something new everyday, its the best lesson for anyone. 

His favorite memory so far? The first anniversary party. To look back and recap the first year and next year when the Niagara St. location turns five, that will be another favorite memory and when the new location open, another. Its about thinking of more ideas and having them come to fruition. 

 Good friends, Jeff and Rob 

Good friends, Jeff and Rob 

One of the best parts of the industry? The opportunity to work with some cool partners like the one he has with the Buffalo Bisons. For both parties its an opportunity to work with cool people and collaborate on new ideas and do fun things. 

Another perk to being a brewery owner? Travelling to other breweries around the country and learning from other brewers and gaining more knowledge from one another.

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So after four years what is one thing Jeff enjoys the most? The creation process, the "recipe development." Experimentation is fun.

Why do you think people come back to Resurgence? Because of the variety, the beer, the area and because anyone is welcome. Resurgence is approachable. We take risks and at times may take some flack, but it brings openness to the brewery, the experience and the process. 

The final question I asked him was would he do it all over again and what did he say: Yes.  

This interview was important for me to share because Jeff was one of the very first people to open his doors to me and show me around, even when the Niagara St. location was still under construction. Hands down, Jeff is one of the best business owners I know in this area. Resurgence is a place where literally anyone can go and enjoy some beer {or wine}, have some laughs, sit out in the best beer garden in Buffalo {that's my opinion} and just relax. 

Thank you Jeff for letting me share your story 4 years ago and again for sharing it today. 

-B

A Day Trip to Rochester - Part Two - Beer, Tacos and Margaritas

 The Lost Borough Brewing Co.   Drink Local

The Lost Borough Brewing Co. 

Drink Local

Part two of my day trip to Rochester post is highlighting places that I never heard of, but Arica took me to. One was a neat brewery call the Lost Borough Brewing Company. The Apple Pie Ale was very good and bonus if you have a dog they are welcome into the building (I'm not sure how that passes health codes, but its nice to know you can bring your furry pup with you on the trip if you want). Overall it was a cool place to go watch a sporting event and have a few beers. Its small, but when we were there we were able to snag a table so it was all good.

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Dorado 

serve me up a margarita 

 

The last stop on the day trip to Rochester was this very, VERY small Mexican restaurant called  Dorado on Park Ave. Arica and her friend Tyler warned me that it is very small, but I didn't realize as soon as you walk in, the bar is right in front of you and then there is seating on the side and that's really it. In a crazy way I loved it though, it was cozy and the food was really good. The margaritas were delish too! Arica was telling me in the summer they use the patio outside to add more seating, making for a great place to go on a warm summer night. 

 This is the El Plato Grande Dish  I got it with Chicken, and it comes with chips sour cream, beans, rice, cheese and guacamole

This is the El Plato Grande Dish

I got it with Chicken, and it comes with chips sour cream, beans, rice, cheese and guacamole

 

Overall my day trip to Rochester was a blast and featured an variety of different local places to visit. While some of it was planned I loved the surprise of the two places Arica just thought I would enjoy and we ventured around. Life is about experiences, living in the moment and enjoying it. I look forward to more experiences and just living more in the moment this year and I hope you do to. 

-B

 

 

BNBA Brewers Festival

This coming Saturday is the 4th Annual BNBA Brewer's Festival at the Outer Harbor {Wilkeson Pointe}.  Tickets are still available and its sure to be a fun time by the water. For more details click here.

Opening a New Gate...

IMG_8665 Sometimes you just need to have a few drinks with your Mom and forget your stresses and worries and that's what I did a couple weeks back. I met her at 12 Gates Brewing Company out in Williamsville and drank the mid-afternoon away.

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Tucked in the corner off Earhart Drive they have a good variety of beers to try and a nice food menu full of small plates too. If you're into the craft beer scene and haven't made your way out to the suburbs yet, this is a place to check out.

Cheers!

{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

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From the 716 to the 585

IMG_8692 Continuing with my trip to Rochester a couple weekends ago, after paying a  visit to Black Button Distilling, we drove past the Public Market that had ended and then grabbed some food at La Casa a delicious Mexican restaurant {I highly recommend going there!} and then we met up with some of Arica's co-workers at Swiftwater Brewing. If I had to compare it to a brewery in Buffalo I would say it reminded me of Big Ditch with their big garage style doors and open feeling. That was a pretty cool place and I would definitely go back again.

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{La Casa}

Its funny how Rochester is so close, but when I was there I felt like I was on a mini road trip.

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Until next time..

-B

{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

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{Swiftwater Brewing}

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NY Beer Project, Another Great Addition to WNY

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{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

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Fairly new to the Northtowns, NY Beer Project sits off of South Transit Rd in Lockport and its pretty hard for you to miss it. I went there last weekend to celebrate a friend's surprise birthday party and was overly surprised at how massive the venue is.

With a restaurant and bar downstairs and an open area upstairs for private parties and games it is a place Western New Yorkers should check out if they are into the beer scene or just need a new place to go to grab a bite to eat.

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{Upstairs game area and private party areas}

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{Group shot}

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{Bar photo from upstairs}

NY Beer Project is hosting their Grand Opening on January 20 with their craft beers pouring at 5pm. If you have nothing going on and are looking for something to do, this is what I predict will be a fun event to attend.

 

Be a Tourist in Your Own City

Part of my " Buffalove Sunday Funday" consisted of taking a spin class with Revolution Buffalo down at Canalside before heading over to Buffalo Riverworks to watch the boaters and kayakers on the water. It made for the perfect way to start your day. I haven't had the chance to take any of the exercise classes down at Canalside before Sunday. With a beautiful view of the water and boats it in some way makes you forget you're even working out and the time goes by fast. I really recommend you taking a class down there sometime. rev canalside

{Rev Ride at Canalside}

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At Riverworks they had the Jack Craft Fair taking place from 11-5pm. There were a lot of artist and craft vendors along with live music making it a great day to meet new local businesses and explore a new venue in your city. Sometimes a mini day trip in your own city can be fun and beneficial.

-B

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{Part of the Sunday Funday was at Resurgence Brewery with a beer flight}

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{Jack Craft Fair}

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{Buffalo Riverworks}

People Who Move Buffalo {Rusty Nickel Brewing Co.}

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{The guys - Scott, Dave, Jay}

Last week I stopped by the new Rusty Nickel Brewing Co. in West Seneca and had a chance to try a few of their hand craft beers and meet with the guys behind the Brewery. It’s nestled behind Ebenezer’s Ale House on Seneca St. and is a pretty awesome place to go. Just from the brief time I spent with these guys, I could immediately sense their hard work, drive and passion behind this business and its pretty awesome to see. Make sure to follow them on social media!

Below is my interview with Dave, Jay and Scott. Thanks guys for letting me share your story.

-B

How did everything get started? How did the brewery get started?

It all started in 2009 when Jay started a 100 member beer club; in 2012 he met Scott who had a beer blog {to educate people on craft beer – woodenbarrel.com}. From the beginning the goal was to establish a brewery. In 2013 they met Dave and started to put together a business plan. They would meet at Ebenezer Ale House because it was centrally located and through that they met the owners, Sean and Nate. From there the rest is history.

Do you distribute your product yet?

Distributing is phase 2 of their plan and a goal they hope to reach soon. It’s about building their brand right now.

Have you always been interested in being a brewer? What is a typical day like in your life?

Dave has been a brewer for 25+ years and just won the Craft Beer Tourism Award. For all three guys whether it was college or sports – they got bored with the regular beer and expanded to imports and so on.

The three most important parts of the beer process are 1. Pour 2. Drink 3. Learn

What do you love best about Buffalo? Do you have a favorite place, attraction, etc.?

Scott: I love to venture out and see the progress that is happening in the area. To be a part of that experience is special. There is something authentic about this area and the passion that comes from here is nice to see.

Jay: This area is seeing a unique “revival” – its taking what we once had and bringing it back to life and that’s pretty cool to see. To be able to be a part of bringing something special to the “burbs” and to provide a care in this area is important to us. We’re living in the experience and have had opportunities to leave, but we’re making a difference here.

Dave: Canalside and seeing the excitement happening is a unique experience.

What is your favorite beer you make? How often do you make new beer?

The guys like to have fun with the beers they make and have constant turnover. So what you may have one time when you visit may not be on tap the next time you visit. They offer up to 12 on tap - IPAs, a Cream Ale, Maple Porter and a Pale Ale are just a few on tap right now. They try different styles and with that each one has a distinct taste and flavor, making them have something different than other breweries.

Will you be at any upcoming events?

The first event they were at was Beerology in April and a few weeks ago they were at the Sheas Event. You can find the guys at the Ballpark Brewbash in September at Coca-Cola Field and at the Canalside Beer Festival in June.

May 30th is your Grand Opening, any surprises or specials you’d like to share with the public?

It’s an all-day event with a VIP option - offering 1 hour early entry and a custom mug. Live music from 4 local bands, brewery tours, a ribbon cutting, Consumers Craft Cruiser and games will all be a part of the festivities. Keeping it local and bringing tourism to West Seneca is what the guys are looking forward to doing.

rusty nickel brewing co.

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{One of the flights my Mom and I ordered}

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{Let the tasting begin}

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{Some movie trivia with are beer}

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{Cheers}

A Resurgence Has Started!

IMG_6659 A new hot spot to go in town is one of the local craft breweries. While I have been to a handful of them, I must say my two favorites are Resurgence and Hamburg Brewing, maybe its because of convenience, or maybe I love the layout, the "vibe" and the beer! Both breweries do an awesome job and I'm happy Buffalo can experience great beer.

-B  

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A LOT of BuffaLOVE in NYC

gals This past weekend I set sail and headed up the 90 to Albany to visit my friend Shanna. On Saturday we took the train from Poughkeepsie and headed to the big Apple to visit our friend Lacey. Let's just say the 3 of us combined = A LOT of BUFFALOVE!! Are trip consisted of not shopping, but instead, enjoying each others company, our friendship and having some beers and seeing the Holiday sights and sounds.

We landed in Grand Central Station and our first stop was the Buffalo Bills Bar, McFaddens. After that we went on the subway and headed to Brooklyn to have some beers at Brooklyn Brewery {what an awesome place!}. We played Uno, had some laughs and then headed to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas Tree! Something I've never done before. It was crazy how many {more!} people were there, but it was so pretty! Afterwards we walked around Times Square, stopped at Mercury Bar to have dinner and then headed back to Grand Central to end our day.

It was a nice day trip in the city, with some of the bestest friends I have. I can't wait until the next time!

-B  

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{Lacey and I at Brooklyn Brewery}

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{Shanna and I hanging out at the brewery!}

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{Subway}

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{Model and Pep}

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{Just a blonde in Buffalo in front of the Rockefeller Christmas tree}

What's a Bash Without the Brews

image This past weekend Coca-Cola Field was home to over 50 breweries who were sampling some of the best craft brews around Western New York and beyond. Ballpark Brew Bash not only offered a wide array of beer, but it also provided local food from 5 food trucks, games of all sorts and a unique experience to walk on the field, making it the perfect place to snap some Instagram pictures.

Each year the event grows and grows and with the ever so popular craft breweries on the rise in Western New York, I can only see this event growing bigger and better in the years to come.

A few of my favorite spots that night were: Resurgence Brewing Company, Black Bird Cider Works and Brooklyn Brewery.

Cheers!

-B

Brewing in the Burbs

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The other day Lacey, Nicole and myself went to Hamburg Brewing Company in Hamburg, NY. What a beautiful place it is! While we went to attend an event held by the Buffalo Beer Goddesses the event didn't seem to really exist, but regardless we had a good time. We each ordered a flight that was $8 and came with the opportunity to choose 4 beers out of a handful of options including the Derailer that has a 9.4% alcohol content. The brewery has a beautiful pond with a nice patio and gives off a lodge type feel. They offer light appetizers, like soft pretzels with mustard and such.

I was with two ladies who have their Cicerone so I was able to learn about the beers I was sampling. Hamburg Brewing Company is a place I would definitely go back to and tour the facility and enjoy a few brews outside next time. If you can't make it out to Hamburg check their Beer Finder to see if a local bar or restaurant serves it near you!

Cheers!

-B

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{ the first thing you see when you walk in - the brewery }

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{ a picture wouldn't be complete without two thumbs up }

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{ the list of brews to choose from }

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{ Cicerone Lacey }

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{ beer flight }

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{ saloon type doors in the ladies bathroom }

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{People Who Move Buffalo} Jeff Ware Resurgence Brewing Company

resurgence One of coolest people and projects I have got to see to date is Jeff from Resurgence Brewing Company. Located at 1250 Niagara Street in Buffalo, Resurgence Brewing Co. is more than just your ordinary brewery, but also will be offering something that Buffalo doesn't have right now, a communal beer garden for people to enjoy some fresh brews in a community type setting.

Buffalo is up and coming in the brewing business and in the downtown area for that matter, hence the name Resurgence. "Buffalo is coming back to life and I want to be a part of the great things that happen here," Jeff Ware.

When I asked Jeff what he loves about Buffalo and why he chose to stay here, he said; "Everywhere else has cool things, why can't we," there is nothing like it in this area. I chose Buffalo because its affordable, the lifestyle is great, there is a solid foundation here and its just a cool place to live and be.

Offering ales and lagers, Resurgence will have 10 draft lines and offer light foods, such as meat and cheese plates along with tastings and tours. This will be the perfect place to go for your happy hour. And after happy hour is over you can continue to enjoy the brews from Resurgence at local bars in the area, such as Blue Monk.

Born and raised in Western New York, Jeff has created a great place that is sure to be a hit with the locals. I for one am looking forward to coming back to see the finished brewery and enjoy some of their delicious Blood Orange beer.

Opening in May of 2014 make sure to follow Resurgence Brewing Company on Twitter and Like on Facebook to stay up to date on what I know is going to be an amazing, one of a kind brewery in Buffalo.

-B

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{ What is going to be the doors to the outside beer garden }

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{ Renovations are starting to begin on the beer garden }

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{ This brewery is going to look amazing! Keeping the original restoration, the construction crew working so Resurgence can open next month }

 

A place that has it all

A couple weeks ago I went on a wine tour with friends and we made a stop at one of my favorite spots that has it all ... Becker Farms. Offering wine tasting at Vizcarra Vineyards, a tasteful amount of brews at Becker Brewing, a shop that offers jams, fudge, baked goods, fruits, vegetables all while surrounded by beautiful scenery, it makes it a place to visit all year round - not just during the fall season.

Becker Farms is also known to be a great spot for those looking for a wedding venue or event space. They also offer activities such as; a concord stomp, hayrides and school tours. A place that offers a lot of variety.

Have you been? Do you like? Don't like? Let me know in the comments section below.

-B

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{ A couple good apples }

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Mini Buffalo Brewery Tour

Drink Local Poster at Community Beer Works

I like to go exploring around town, so with that, a few friends and I headed on a mini brewery tour this past weekend. We stopped at Community Beer Works and Flying Bison Brewery.

Community Beer Works was the first stop. Located at 15 Lafayette Ave. in Buffalo, its across the street from Santasiero's. When we entered the Brewery we were greeted with a friendly smile by Dan. We got to try some delicious brew and he even showed us around and told us how they make their beer.

Community Beer Works one-year anniversary is coming up in April and they already have so much success to be proud of. If you can't make it out to the brewery, they have a list of places where there beer is on tap. Click here to see.

Our next stop on the tour was to the well-known Flying Bison Brewery! When we arrived at 491 Ontario St. in Buffalo, the parking lot was full of cars and when we walked inside, we were greeted by a lot of friendly middle aged people lining the bar.

Flying Bison offers a variety of different tastings. And tours are available during specific times. Click here to see them. They bottle their own beer on site as well. Tim Herzog, award winning master brewer with over 30 years of experience took us on a tour of the brewery. While we were able to see how the beer is made at both places I will say there is more history and "know" at Flying Bison.

Both Breweries were relaxed, fun, and the tours and tastings were FREE! I recommend everyone over the age of 21 to take a visit. In my opinion, I think Community Beer Works appeals to a more younger crowd while Flying Bison has more of a history and is a larger brewery. Both places had beer that I am a fan of and some that I'm not a fan of. Either way, each place has their own distinct character that helps add to the Buffalo community.

Thank you Dan (Community Beer Works) and Tim (Flying Bison Brewery) for a memorable visit. You both have a lot to be proud of!

-B

Photo props to Lacey J.

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Just hanging out

Beers on tap at Community Beer Works!

Dan filling up my growler I purchased

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Flying Bison!

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CHEERS!

Tim Herzog pouring us some brew

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For more information on either breweries "Like" them on Facebook:

Community Beer Works

Flying Bison Brewery

Photo props to Lacey J. for capturing this experience for me!