Yesterday, Big Ditch Brewing Company celebrated its fourth year in the craft brewing industry. Big Ditch opened its brewery in 2014 at 55 East Huron Street in downtown Buffalo, New York. Big Ditch sells and distributes beer in Buffalo and Rochester and with 93 employees, is one of New York’s fastest growing breweries.
“Four years ago, we opened this brewery not only to ‘celebrate beer,’ but to join Buffalo’s craft beer movement by contributing our own high-quality, delicious beer,” said Matt Kahn, president of Big Ditch Brewing Company. “We’ve worked hard to assemble an extremely dedicated team. It’s the work of our many brewers, managers, sales staff and tap room employees–and of course our loyal Big Ditch enthusiasts–that we’ve been able to see so much success in Buffalo and Rochester so far. We’ve brewed great beers with great partners and look forward to finding new ways to innovate.”
Founded in 2013, Big Ditch officially opened its brewery in 2014, followed by its Tap Room and restaurant in 2015. The brewing company pays homage to the Erie Canal, a project that skeptics never thought would materialize. Jokingly referred to as ‘Clinton’s Big Ditch’ after Dewitt Clinton, the New York State governor who championed the initiative, the Erie Canal changed Buffalo forever in 1825 by connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Hudson River.
The Erie Canal started as an idea, but ultimately served as the catalyst for the City of Buffalo’s rapid growth into one of the largest cities in North America by the early 1900s. The founders of Big Ditch know that the return of brewing to the City of Buffalo is similarly contributing to the region’s continued revival as well as its proud brewing tradition.
“The Erie Canal paved the way for prosperity,” continued Kahn. “And it’s for those who are shaping Buffalo’s next 100 years that we brew Big Ditch beer–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 Canal nearly two centuries ago.”
Big Ditch has collaborated with national brewers including Great Lakes Brewing Company, Harpoon Brewery and New Belgium Brewing, as well as local partners including 12 Gates Brewing, 42 North Brewing, the Buffalo Bisons, Community Beer Works, Consumer’s Beverages, the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market, Leonard Oakes Winery Estates, Lockhouse Distillery, Pressure Drop Brewing, Public Espresso, Resurgence Brewing Company, Upstate Brewing Company, Tommyrotter Distillery, Try-It Distributing.
Big Ditch Timeline:
· 2014 – Brewery opening
· 2015 – Tap room opening
· 2016 – Brewery and tap room expansion; canning line addition
· 2017 – Launch in Rochester market
· 2019 – Silver Medal, Excavator Brown Ale (Brown Ales, TAP NY)
· 2019 – Silver Medal, Packet IPA (India Pale Ale, TAP NY)
· 2019 – Bronze, Deep Cut IPA (Strong IPA, TAP NY)
· 2019 – Gold Medal, Cannon Call (America Double IPA, New York State Brewers Association)
· 2019 – Silver Medal, Fall Black (Amber/Dark Lagers, New York State Brewers Association)
· 2018 – Most Medals Won (One of two breweries, New York State Brewers Association)
· 2018 – Bronze Medal, Deep Cut (America DIPA, New York State Brewers Association)
· 2018 – Bronze Medal, Hayburner (American IPA, New York State Brewers Association)
· 2018 – Bronze Medal, Cinnamon Apple (Fruit and Spice Beer, New York State Brewers Association)
· 2018 – Bronze Medal, Imperial Towpath (Imperial Stout and Porter, New York State Brewers Association)
· 2018 – Award of Excellence, Rochester Market Entry (Events and Observances, PRSA Rochester)
· 2017 – Gold Medal, Deep Cut (Strong India Pale Ale, TAP NY)
· 2017 – Bronze Medal, Towpath (English Style Stout, TAP NY)
· 2017 – Bronze Medal, Deep Cut (American DIPA, New York State Brewers Association)
· 2017 – Western New York’s Best Reuben, Breuben (Best Reuben, All WNY News & Radio)
· 2017 – Best Local Brewery (Food – City, Buffalo Spree)
· 2016 – Second largest brewpub in the Northeast (Brewers Association)
· 2016 – Best Craft Brewery in New York State (NY TAP Festival)
· 2016 – Silver Medal, Deep Cut Double IPA (Strong IPA, New York State Brewers Association)
· 2016 – Silver ADDY Award (Logo Design, American Advertising Federation)
· 2016 – Best Local Brewery (Food – City, Buffalo Spree)
· 2015 – International Design Award (Company Branding, HOW)