Buffalo taps in: Buffalo Untapped adds wine, more food trucks in second year

Second annual event gives UB students taste of Buffalo


Kevin DeMaison very strategically chose which wines he would bring to UB based on the clientele: college students, who don’t exactly have a refined taste but were just happy to try the different samples.

DeMaison, vice president and viticulturist of Long Cliff Vineyard and Winery, left most of the dry selections at home and offered about 10 different wines for students interested. And students, despite cold weather and an overcast sky, seemed to enjoy what DeMaison and the other vendors had to offer at the Student Association’s second annual Buffalo Untapped on Sunday.

Buffalo Untapped gave students the chance to sample the various Buffalo beer, wine and food truck vendors that were set up in the Lake LaSalle Lot and Alumni Arena’s Triple Gym Sunday afternoon. Food trucks, including Lloyd’s Tacos, Big Blue and The Black Market, sat outside the arena for anyone looking to offset the beer and wine samples offered for students 21 and older inside the Triple Gym.

SA Treasurer Joe Pace said this year’s Buffalo Untapped cost $15-20,000, with approximately half going toward free food tickets for students. SA funded the event through the mandatory student activity fee of $104.75 a semester.

The event did not seem as crowded as last year’s, which may have partly been due to the colder weather, but it made lines shorter, eating at trucks easier and moving through the crowd more fluid.

SA made several changes in the event’s second year, like adding five additional food trucks from last year and offering wine in addition to the beer.

“There was a thorough effort on SA’s part to try to expand it,” said SA President Minahil Khan. “We have more food trucks which is helping the lines and we added wine.”

DeMaison and Long Cliff were just of the wine vendors that took advantage of Buffalo Untapped’s expansion into wine sampling.

“This is our first time here,” DeMaison said as he poured samples of wine to students. “We looked at it and saw it as a great event for students and people seem to be really excited about it.”

To enter the Triple Gym of Alumni Arena, students had to show ID to prove they’re 21 or older and then receive a bracelet, allowing them five free drink samples and five food tickets that were equal to a dollar each.

Students weren’t allowed to leave the gym with any drinks.

“We’ve always kept the alcohol section inside, it’s easier to contain,” said Scott Van Patten, SA chief of staff and assistant treasurer. “We’ve kept this setup every year because it works.”

Most beer vendors brought two or three selections to showcase what they had. They varied from IPAs to stouts, American beers to foreign flavors, depending on which vendor was serving.

Brendon Van Allen from Community Beer Works explained that the company is one of the smallest breweries in Buffalo, so the opportunity to serve at UB was valuable.

“We want to introduce our beer to as many people as possible,” Van Allen said. “We reached out and made calls to see who else would be here. It’s UB, it’s Buffalo and it seemed like a perfect place for us to go.”

Other brewing companies, like Big Ditch, offered three different types of beer – Fall Black, Low Bridge and Hayburner, each unique name bringing a new taste. Fall Black was a stout with a bitter flavor, while Low Bridge was a lighter, American beer.

Darren Bea, a graduate urban planning student, said after eating at the desert food truck with friends, his favorite bear was the Belgian Winter from Resurgence.

Indoors, students could move easily from table to table, asking questions about the beer and taking recommendations from those at the tables.

“I have minimal knowledge about beer, but this is a pretty cool event,” said Sharon Ricci, a junior social sciences major. “We came for the Frank’s and of course the free wine and food, so it’s a lot of fun.”

Khan said Buffalo Untapped allows students the chance to experience Buffalo.

“If you don’t have a car you can be limited to North Campus,” Khan said, “but this lets you experience Buffalo in a satellite setting without leaving campus.”

Tom Dinki contributed reporting.

Tori Roseman is the senior features editor and can be reached at tori.roseman@ubspectrum.com.