Buffalo’s best brews

The best breweries to enjoy a cold beer and destress with friends

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There are over 7,000 breweries in the U.S. and 41 are right here in Western New York.

 And what’s a better combination than a cold beer and a Bills game in a fun, rustic location?

Breweries are the perfect spot for a delicious drink and good conversation. Most customers can find a beer to enjoy in each brewery and most, if not all, offer the option to try a flight, allowing customers to get a taste of four or five different beers. Most breweries also have beer experts on-site to answer questions and give brewery tours.

We’ve narrowed down some of the best in Buffalo for you to relax and get a drink before midterms roll around.

Big Ditch Brewing Co.

55 E Huron St.

My favorite: Blonde Peach

Big Ditch Brewery sees roughly 1,500 guests per week and is located in the heart of downtown Buffalo. 

 Big Ditch has 14 beers on tap, ranging from IPAs to ales to sours to stouts. For fall, they have Cinnamon Apple on tap, an amber ale brewed with apple cider. It was a little too dark and cinnamon-heavy for my liking, since I’m more of a light, citrus, refreshing beer person. 

My favorite is their Blonde Peach. It’s both refreshing and citrusy. The brewery also offers an array of foods from pretzels to burgers to salads.

 Initially, president and co-founder Matt Kahn just wanted a “small retail spot” for the brewing process. But since opening, the brewery and tap room have expanded. Kahn said the brewery has since built a “great reputation” based on quality.

 “Our emphasis on quality is so high, we almost make ourselves crazy,” Kahn said. “I think guests usually notice, they trust us to put out something very good quality and that’s really difficult to do in this day and age.”

Resurgence Brewing Co.

1250 Niagara St.

55 Chicago St.

My favorite: Blood Orange Saison

BRITTANY GORNY | The Spectrum

Resurgence's sweet, rustic spot on Niagara Street in downtown Buffalo.

 

Resurgence Brewery opened in 2014 and has a sweet, rustic spot on Niagara Street in downtown Buffalo and a larger location on Chicago Street, which opened in 2019.

 Jeff Ware, the owner of Resurgence Brewing Co., opened a craft brewery featuring a large indoor-outdoor beer garden where people can relax with family and friends. The breweries both have natural light, games indoors and outdoors and a fire pit, with a garage-like look to them.

Ware started the brewery in his kitchen, where he brewed the first three beers: Sponge Candy Stout, IPA and Loganberry Wit, all beers that emanate Buffalo-vibes.

Resurgence has 15 beers on tap at both locations, including a vanilla cappuccino pumpkin ale for fall, which tastes like an actual pumpkin. Even those who say they don’t like beer or pumpkin will likely enjoy this beer.

My personal favorite was the Blood Orange Saison, a fruity and spicy beer with a refreshing orange after taste.

Thin Man Brewery

492 Elmwood Ave.

166 Chandler St.

My favorite: Minkey Boodle

ALEXIS HENG | The Spectrum

Happy hour specials menu at the Thin Man Brewery.


Thin Man Brewery opened in 2016 and the Elmwood location sits right in historic Elmwood Village. It operates with fun, trendy vibes and a patio with a view of the village.

Thin Man isn’t only known for the excellent selection of beer choices, but also the amazing food. Thin Man Brewery holds events every weekend, including Bills Sunday Parties, holiday events and live music on Fridays and Saturdays.

The brewery also has $5 all-day happy hour every Monday and Tuesday from January to March and $5 happy hour Wednesdays and Thursdays year-round from 3-6 p.m.

 It has 24 beers on tap at Elmwood and 16 on tap at Chandler. This includes Pills Mafia, which is a classic German Pilsner in honor of the Buffalo Bills. And for fall, they offer a seasonal Oktoberfest beer, which is a marzen beer that is sweet and nutty, one of my favorites. 

Flying Bison

840 Seneca St.

My favorite: 716 IPA

 Flying Bison, located near Larkin Square, was the first stand-alone brewery to operate in Buffalo.

The inside has a rustic feel with a lot of open space and natural light. They also have an outdoor beer garden with string lights and picnic tables, perfect for a nice cold beer on a hot summer night. Flying Bison also holds events including game nights, yoga and trivia.

The food options aren’t as great as the other four breweries, but the beer makes up for it.

The 716 IPA is my personal favorite. It’s a hoppy beer with a crisp, refreshing, floral taste.

New York Beer Project

6933 S. Transit Rd.

My favorite: Apple Pie Milkshake IPA

New York Beer Project, located in Lockport, resembles an old brewing house and aims to provide a New York City atmosphere.

NYBP is a laid-back brewery with spaces for bigger events on the second floor. It has a comfortable, dim interior, a fun rooftop terrace and a patio with an outdoor beer garden, tiki bar and fire pit that can be enjoyed all year long.

 Right now, NYBP has Apple Pie Milkshake, Drunkin’ Punkin and Frankensteiner on tap for fall. Apple Pie Milkshake is aged on sixteen gallons of apple-pie filling, and tastes like cinnamon and fresh apple pie.

It’s a great location to hang out with friends, have some picture-worthy beer and browse delicious food choices. 

Brittany Gorny is the senior news editor and can be reached at brittany.gorny@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @BrittanyGorny.