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About Our Brewery


About Our Brewery

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About Our Brewery


About Our Brewery

The Erie Canal opened in 1825, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Hudson River.  When the plan for the Canal was presented, skeptics never thought it would materialize.  They jokingly referred to it as “Clinton’s Big Ditch” after the New York State governor who championed the project.  But when it was filled with water, the Big Ditch changed Buffalo forever and marked the beginning of more than 100 years of prosperity for the City of Buffalo.  

The Big Ditch remains a part of us today.  We still embody the spirit of the men that built the Canal with their bare hands.  As with the prosperity that followed the completion of the Canal, Buffalo today is a city reborn.  And those who are shaping the next 100 years of prosperity are the ones we brew Big Ditch beer for – a beer that celebrates our roots and serves as a reminder that the Buffalo of the future is being built with the same strength, pride and ambition that created the Erie Canal nearly two centuries ago.

Made from the best ingredients available, and crafted with just the right balance of art and science, Big Ditch beers are innovative, flavorful and drinkable…glass after glass.

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Our Production Facility


Our production facility

Our Production Facility


Our production facility

 

 

All of Big Ditch’s brews are produced on site. Big Ditch Brewing Company makes its beer using a 20-barrel (620-gallon) Criveller brewhouse that was manufactured in Niagara Falls, Ontario. We have a 2-vessel brewing system consisting of a mash-lauter tun and a boil kettle-whirlpool. We have five 40-barrel and six 60-barrel fermenters, allowing us to brew the same recipe up to three times in one day to fill up each fermenter. Beers ferment in these tanks for anywhere from two to eight weeks. After fermentation, we carbonate the beer in a brite tank, filling from the brite tank into ½ and ⅙ barrel kegs using a semi-automated keg filler or into 12 or 16 ounce cans using our onsite automated canning line.

The expansion of our 15,000-square-foot brewery on East Huron Street, including the Tap Room and Restaurant, has been made possible thanks to our ongoing relationship with Iskalo Development. One of the region’s leading developers, Iskalo has been instrumental in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Buffalo. Their passion for collaborative, innovative property development has been key to Big Ditch’s exciting new facility. 

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Company History


Company History

Company History


Company History

Big Ditch Brewing Company began with a dream. Matt Kahn and Corey Catalano, two aspiring scientists and beer lovers, were working in a biotech lab in early 2011, and wanted to start a new business for themselves. They used a food-grade bucket—otherwise destined for the trash—as their first fermenter, and they created new and exciting beers right then and there in a garage. Over the next two years, while they were perfecting their craft, they met Wes Froebel, himself a previous co-owner of other breweries, who was also interested in starting a new brewery project. The trio’s pursuit of a building to house their brewery intersected with Iskalo Development Corp.’s redevelopment of a former Verizon fleet maintenance facility at Ellicott and Huron Streets in downtown Buffalo.  The two groups worked intently for more than a year planning the brewery and tap room, with Paul Iskalo joining the Big Ditch team as its principal investor.  Big Ditch opened for business in October of 2014 and is now available at fine establishments throughout Western New York. Their Tap Room opened in the summer of 2015, serving Big Ditch beers alongside fresh food in a fantastic downtown setting.

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The Erie Canal


The Erie Canal

The Erie Canal


The Erie Canal

Our name refers to the working name of the Erie Canal, the historic waterway that altered the trajectory of Buffalo and the Great Lakes region forever. The canal was a groundbreaking innovation that opened trade between the Great Lakes and the Eastern Seaboard at either end: downtown Buffalo, at the mouth of Lake Erie; and Albany, in the Hudson Valley. It changed regional commerce and distribution, giving faster access to bulk goods. With an innovative lock system, the Erie Canal allowed ships to carry cargo across various canal depths. The once small idea of a “big ditch” went on to change the way people bought, sold and shared goods, and ultimately put our great City of Buffalo on the map as one of the finest in the country.