As many of our long time followers know, when we were in the process of opening our brewery to brew beers for distribution around Western New York, we were very open and candid about our process and what we were up to.  We wanted to hit the ground running and therefore we shared lots of information about the brewery and the beers we’d be making.

However, we held back a lot of information about our tap room, mainly because we wanted you to have that “wow!” moment when you first saw it.

Well – here it is.

Yesterday, after several weeks of private, soft opening parties, we opened our doors to the public for the first time, fairly quietly, knowing full well that Buffalo is a small-big town where no secret goes untold for very long.  It was a great night.  Everyone seemed to have a great time and have lots of great things to say about the space, the beers and the food.   We want to take the time to tell you about it in our own words and pictures here.

The space

In a word, it is beautiful.  We have two main areas open to the public in right now.  First the main tap room area:



Highlights are a) the overhead doors which open into awnings (still a bit cold to use these now – let’s hope things warm up soon!) b) the “Strength Pride Ambition” mural on the wall facing Huron Street – these words have come to represent our company values c) the Erie Canal map table, which took months to design and build.

Secondly the upstairs bar area:



Featuring a smaller bar with the same beers we have downstairs, some more table seating, as well as a gaming area (currently includes darts; will soon include a shuffleboard table), and finally a lounge area complete with fireplace.  The leather sofas here are amazing.  With all the hours we’ve been working and how comfortable these sofas are, frankly it’s hard to sit in them and not take a nap!

The exterior you've seen before, but maybe without the Big Ditch Brewing Co. sign atop the building.  Oh, and did you know it lights up at night?



Not yet open is an area we call the “beer hall”.  This area will soon be filled with German-style biergarten furniture.  This space will be best for bringing large groups of friends and tossing back a few beers.  Hey, speaking of beers:

The beers

You may have heard us say that our tap room will include 8-12 beers on tap.  We are starting with 10, and we may have two more beers on in the next 1-2 weeks.  Offerings at the moment include our signatures:

• Low Bridge Hoppy Golden Ale
• Excavator Rye Brown Ale
• Hayburner American IPA

Our past and present seasonals:

• Last Blacksmith Smoked Black IPA (spring)
• Vanilla Oatmeal Stout (winter)
• Cinnamon Apple Amber Ale (fall)

And formally introducing our initial set of limited releases, which will be nearly exclusively designated for our tap room:

• Galaxy Red.  Galaxy Red is a super juicy India Red Ale loaded with late kettle and dry hop additions of tropical Galaxy hops. The result is a malty-sweet beer with pineapple, mango and papaya flavors. Yum!  ABV: 7.0% IBU: 75
• Golden Shovel.  Inspired by the more secular Belgian breweries, this Belgian-inspired golden strong ale has a fantastic aroma of white grape, tangerine, clove and fresh-cracked peppercorn. Golden Shovel is the first Belgian-style beer brewed in our commercial brewery, commemorating the opening of our tap room.  ABV: 7.6% IBU: 19
• Lock Porter.  This dark beer features a mild roast and prominent smoke character with a lightly earthy and hoppy finish. Smooth, warming and complex, Lock Porter is a true sipping beer.  ABV: 7.7% IBU: 46

We also plan to keep one of our taps filled with rotating selections of beers from other local breweries, because we don’t just celebrate our beers, we celebrate all of Buffalo’s beers.  Currently on tap is High and Rye, a dry rye stout.  This beer was a collaboration Corey did with the brewers at Old First Ward Brewing Company.

All of our beers are $5 or $6.  We also serve a Flight of Five (get it?) 5 oz beers for $10.

Flight of Five
The food

Ru's Pierogis

Flatbread pizzas
The Breuben
When we first started working on the plans for our tap room, we knew we wanted to have high quality food, but the original thought was that the purpose of the food was mainly to keep people in their seats to enjoy the beer for longer.  After months of menu and recipe design, we are proud to say that the quality of our food rivals the quality of our beer.  Our GM, Jon, spent many months assembling a menu of items that would both pair well with beer and in many cases use beer in the preparation.  Our chef Mike perfected these items over the last few months.  Here is the menu:



Highlights:
• Hayburner wings.  Our wing sauce is prepared using our Hayburner IPA to yield a tangy and almost citrusy chicken wing.
• Hand cut fries with a selection of six different dips, including orange chipotle ketchup, roasted red pepper balsamic ketchup, smoked tomato and shallot ketchup, malt vinegar aioli, roasted garlic mayo, and gribiche.
• Breuben.  Our take on a classic Reuben with corned beef brined in Excavator Rye Brown Ale
• Mac and Cheese.  Prepared in Low Bridge cheese sauce with carmelized onions and smoked bacon.
• Local.  We attempted to use as many locally produced items on the menu as possible.  Our pierogis come from Ru’s.  The bratwurst and sausage come from T-Meadow.  Coffee served in the tap room is exclusively from Public Espresso.  For dessert, we feature a flight of ice cream from Lake Effect.  We are very proud to use our tap room to feature some of the best of what Buffalo has to offer when it comes to artisanal food.

Celebrate.

The logo

We had the folks at Block Club (yet another local partnership) help us tweak our logo to make it a bit sleeker and easier to use with merchandise.  We like what they came up with, don’t you?



The staff

We couldn’t be happier with our staff.  It is still so strange to me that this idea that started in a lab almost four and a half years ago has grown to a company of over 60 employees.  The staff we’ve hired have fully embraced our energy and excitement over craft beer and the idea of making Buffalo better.  They are able to speak confidently about our beer menu – so much so, they might wind up being our biggest customers!

At the top of the tap room staff is Jon, who put this whole thing together from when it was a gravel pit to what it is now over the last 9 months.  Stand and feel your worth, Jon.  Kudos.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION!

First, in case you didn't have our address:

55 East Huron Street (corner of Huron and Ellicott Street)
Buffalo, NY 14203

Second, our hours:

Tuesday, Wednesday 3pm – 10pm
Thursday, Friday 3pm – midnight
Saturday noon – midnight

We may open on Sundays in the near future, but not yet.  We don't take reservations yet, but if you're concerned about long waits, please call ahead to confirm.

We also have brewery tours on hold while we figure out staffing, tour routes and times.  We’ll announce a tour schedule soon.

If you have a large group coming (>10 people) please call ahead.  We don’t take reservations right now and can make some suggestions regarding visit times to reduce your wait and give your group some space.  Our office phone # is 854-5050.

Yes, we still sell growlers and kegs.  Call ahead for keg availability, we don’t necessarily hold everything in stock at all times; this is particularly true for limited releases and guest taps, which we won’t sell in kegs, as well as seasonal kegs, which may be fairly limited.

Parking!  Currently, we advise that those that can't find street parking should use the Mohawk Ramp at the corner of Mohawk and Ellicott street.  It’s about a block from the brewery, mostly empty after 5pm, only $2 on weekday nights and free on Friday nights and Saturday.  We may work on additional parking solutions in the future.

That’s it!  We hope to see you soon.  Thanks in advance for all your support Buffalo.  Cheers!

2 Comments