6 great places for craft beer - Gusto

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6 great places for craft beer

Show of hands: Who loves beer? We thought so. But who knows some of the best places in Western New York to partake of the varied craft beer choices showing up on menus? Here are five places that you will consider among the best. Read more

Blue Monk / 727 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo / 882-6665 / www.bmbflo.com

The No. 1 spot for beer in Buffalo. A giant blackboard listing the 32 taps showcases craft brewers from around the globe. Belgian and American beers are often joined by German, Italian, Dutch and Norwegian offerings. Patrons typically order by the number of the tap, instead of attempting to properly pronounce their choice to the bartenders. If one of the taps doesn’t suit you, a bottle list of more than 75 high-quality options is available.

Photo by Derek Gee/Buffalo News

The Griffon Pub / 2470 Military Road / Niagara Falls / 236-7474, TheGriffonPub.com

With nearly 50 craft beers on tap, the Griffon Pub is more than just an eater's paradise in Niagara Falls [Resto reviewer Andrew Galarneau gave it 8 plates out of 10]. Supporting local and regional breweries like Big Ditch, Southern Tier and Great Lakes -- while also housing an impressive list of West Coast brews -- the offerings are helpfully split into categories by type, from lagers to stouts and ales. Expansion plans point toward a 100-tap restaurant opening in Clarence in December 2014.

Photo by Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

Ebenezer Ale House / 4348 Seneca St. / West Seneca / 674-2337, EbenezerAleHouse.com

You know beer is central to the Ebenezer Ale House when its website posts the list of brews before the food menu. The offerings are frequently updated online, and the vast array of bottles (Rogue, Duvel, Dogfish Head, Rochefort, among many others) should intrigue even the most die-hard of craft-beer fanatics. Local choices include Big Ditch, Flying Bison, Ellicottville and Southern Tier. Heck, there's even Tyskie on the menu.

Photo by Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News

Pizza Plant / 7770 Transit Road / Williamsville / 632-0800, www.pizzaplant.com

What Pizza Plant lacks in ambiance is more than made up for with the only tap and bottle list in the area to rival Blue Monk. Twenty eight taps plus one cask conditioned beer include only high-quality offerings. The bottle menu of 30+ choices has interesting, hard to find beers from an array of styles, including some great sour beer options, such as Oude Gueuze Tilquin. Bottles can be enjoyed at the bar, or taken home for a nightcap. Second location is at 5110 Main St., Williamsville.

Photo by Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

Gene McCarthy's / 73 Hamburg St. / Buffalo / 855-8948, www.genemccarthys.com

Gene McCarthy’s has been serving beer for decades, but within the last few years has become a stop for craft beer lovers. The long, slightly uneven bar remains the same. Old photographs hang in the same spot they’ve occupied for years. What’s changed is the blackboard opposite the bar, that lists the 11 taps. McCarthy’s focuses on beer from states that border Lake Erie, primarily New York state craft brews. Alongside the mainly local taps, McCarthy’s just recently started serving its own beer brewed next door to the bar, under the name Old First Ward Brewing.

Crabapples / 3298 Genesee St. / Cheektowaga / 895-2911, www.crabapplesmicrobrewpub.com

Crabapples doesn’t try to be fancy. The beer isn’t trying to be fancy either. Almost all of the 38 taps are poured into pint glasses for $3 a beer. Gulden Draak, Piraat Ale and Petrus Aged Pale being served in pint glasses? Some beer snobs might be astounded at the quality of beers being poured into pints here, but owner Peter Orfanos relishes the opportunity to have craft beer not just be available, but also approachable to everyone.

Photo by Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 8:58 PM

How isn't the Ebenezer Ale House ON THIS LIST ??? It's the best combination of Craft Beer and Food in Western New York !!!

Guy Zaczek
Friday, August 29, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Where is this place located?

Sunday, April 12, 2015 at 4:12 PM

It is there, to my chagrin.
It is a dump. Dirty on the outside and just as bad on the inside, Ebenezer has fallen far from where it used to be. Agree, disagree, I will never go back until the new owners invest in it and the results are obvious.

Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 5:12 PM

Agreed..the food is not good!

The beer list is pretty average.

I don't know who "Brian" is from the above post,but, he needs to get out more often.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 12:43 PM

Ebenezer Ale House?

Rotten food!,

Seating area is filthy!

And there Beer selection is average at best.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 1:42 PM

Funny... 40,000+ other people say the exact opposite....sounds like someone's jealous !!!

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 1:43 PM

Funny....40,000+ others say the exact opposite....sounds like somebody's jealous......

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 3:22 PM

40,000 others?


Jealous of what?,bad beer choices,bad food,wait staff that look like they need a bath?

(Where did pick the number 40,000+ out from?, probably when you were bending over and reaching around,which is very reminiscent of the Ale House)

Read below..it's a dump!

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 4:43 PM

You must either be from one of the other "restaurants" in town that couldn't compete and closed, or a disgruntled ex-employee that wasn't up to standards. Either way, the facts are that the third Ale House is opening in Akron, proof that you are nothing but a liar, and honest reviews reveal the truth - Great Food, Great Beer, Great Service, so get a life, poser.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 5:16 PM

I do not work for any restaurant,I have never worked for any restaurant.

I am not a liar or a poser(seriously?, are you 12 years old?)

The service sucks,the food is lousy,and the facts are that there thousands of McDonald's all over the country,and that does not make them any good either.

Multiple restaurants is no proof.(in this case,it might be proof of a substandard restaurant, times 3)

The Ale House has an average at best beer selection,lousy food,dirty wait staff and no ambiance.

When compared to Pearl Street,the Buffalo Brew Pub,Big Ditch,Griffons,Resurgence or Blue Monk, the Ale House looks like,smells like and serves beer like an Outhouse.

There is a good name for them The Ebeneezer Outhouse!

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 5:33 PM

You obviously are a foolish child that has a grudge....if any of the above are an outhouse, it's definitely Blue Monk...and Resugence is a great place, but if you think the beer is good, you are an amateur. Bye Felicia ✌️

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 5:47 PM

No grudge at all, it's just a bad restaurant,with bad service and bad food.

Foolish?, you are welcome to your opinion(since your opinion is that the Ebeneezer Outhouse is a 5 star restaurant,your opinion is more than a tad bit suspect)

Blue Monk has a great selection,decent food,Resurgence has some very original brews,Big Ditch is perhaps the best of all the new places.Pearl Street is what all hope to be.Griffon's is an amazing place.

Ebeneezer's Outhouse, is just that,an outhouse.

You need to get out more often Felicia,your tastes are limited(A perfect match for your unintelligent writing style)

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 5:51 PM

"Pearl Street is what all hope to be" ? Wow, you just proved my point, rookie. Go play in traffic, your opinions are irrelevant.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 6:04 PM

Rookie eh?

You are a piece of work!

Pearl Street is a multi million dollar operation,on of the largest brew pub in the US,highly successful and profitable.

read some of the reviews for the Outhouse:

"Been here a few times when its usually busy. Takes along time to recieve drinlks. When they finally showed , one beer was totally flat. Told server and returned with a different beer albiet this one was ok. Server brought wrong appetizer and the right one came with dinner. Took it home. With a Full house the noise is deafening. The food actually isnt too bad. If you dont mind the sound level of a school cafeteria, flat as a board beer,waiting at the auto bureau , then this place is for you. Give it a try at least and prove me wrong. Hope they make a go of it but count me out !"

"Uh?...really!. I just came back from my first visit to the bar/pub/ale house. The service was SLOW!!!!!!!..it took 20 minutes to get two appetizers.When the arrived, they were less than stellar!.Your Bavarian Style pretzel were bread sticks with Webers Mustard, $6.99 for that?.The stuffed banana pepper? That is a stretch!.(stuffed with what?..sausage?.I could not find any!..several different cheeses?..cream cheese is all!,,they were very hot, but NO FLAVOR!!).It was accompanied with a pile of shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes that looked as if it fell off out of the end of a sandwich wrap.(What for?..no flavor either!..what was the purpose?..fill up space on the plate?) It also had some sort of toast on the plate, what that was doing there I have no idea.It was very hard,almost burnt,no seasoning.Your beer was ok,(how can you screw up a draft of Railbender!),however your selection is no better than any other bar/restaurant.. Also, if you are going to let your disgustingly dirty kitchen staff stand outside and smoke while customers are arriving,and or leaving,you can bet they won't be back. It was revolting!

I wont be back,and it won't take long for others to come to this same conclusion!

Ps..an "ALE HOUSE" should not be decorated as if its a failed 70's style restaurant. It reminded me of a "Ground Round".It was not at all warm and inviting!,but if your service and food are good you should do ok!,oh sorry!...STRIKE THREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Best spinach dip you've ever had ...? Really!? You must not get out much! The bartender recommended the spin dip as if it were some orgasmic explosion that would knock our pants off ... WRONG! Gross! Frozen spinach, burned and greasy (that's putting it nicely) triangle things for dipping ... Beer was good out of a bottle ... The draft was warm had to switch to a bottle ... Probably won't be back

What Happened?????. When they first opened we absolutely raved about the place. We brought friends and gave them a thumbs up if asked.
The last 2 visits have been less then stellar. the first one my husband ordered the short ribs and they were almost frozen inside. Staff brought them back to the kitchen and when they returned they were just awful...the "manager" was just pacifying . We took them home to the dog and even she didn't want them...( seriously) Manager said there were changes in the kitchen...blah blah blah...just went last night and one friend had pasta primavera spilled on him and the best part of it was when it was place before our other friend it was cold. They did comp him a beer but offered nothing to our friend with the pasta on him. Food and service were slow and the poor servers very nice but seem to spend a lot of time apologizing. Something seems to have changed as the quality of food and service has declined...

Terrible Customer Service. Went to try the place for our work Christmas party...Food overall was decent and beer selection nice but that's were the good part of this review ends. It was snowing pretty well so the place was not busy but we still waited a long time for our entrees. We presented the deal coupons we had purchased in advance for this event but was not told we could not use them both until they were brought back at THE END. The waitress and manager both were not apologetic, would not do anything about it and tried to blame it on the deal web site. On top of that they tried to charge us for a beer that no one drank that the waitress brought extra and said "don't worry about" . We all left there less than happy ... and we all had to shell out extra out of our own pocket, and are stuck with a coupon no one wants to go back and use. Not a fun way to end our long awaited holiday get together... DO NOT GO THERE!!!!

And the hits just keep on coming!

Dodging traffic now are you?

My opinions are irrelevant?, what about those that I just posted?

The place is a dump!,an OUTHOUSE!!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 6:09 PM

More reviews of The Outhouse!

"Mixed reviews... Bartender was not very friendly and had her back to us most of the time. It took numerous glasses to find one that wasn't absolutely filthy! Even the glasses we finally got were dirty! I had to wipe off lip marks from the rim before drinking from it!! That was the ONLY beer I would drink! Another patron had the same problem and asked for plastic cups!! The food was quite good, but I don't want to even think about how dirty the utensils that were used to make it were!!! I would recommend take out only!!"

"Just a bar review. Service is pretty slow, the layout of the place isn't too great. The beers on tap are fun and when you get served it tastes good. I can see where the beers are a little flat but eh. The only real problem I have is that the bar tenders can be a little too interested to talking to one customer and not helping anyone else. When I stand there with money in hand and she is talking to some guy about some random stuff...it's frustrating."

"Too salty, I don't know if it was an off night but geez. I love salty food but this was too much, I'm not and old lady who complains about how sally everything is either. The batter on the fish fry and the battered banana peppers were the culprit. I picked off all the batter on my fish and did not eat it it was so bad. My food came out very very hot which is great. The fries and the coleslaw were good. Pasta salad sucked."

"Worst! Avoid!. This place is the WORST! Food stinks. Service is slow. Bartender is rude! Seriously, don't waste your time!"

Horrible Service Even Horrible Food. Went to eat there for the first time on Saturday for lunch. i ordered a Reuben. It comes with homemade rock hard chips or u can add fries for extra cost, but the waitress didn't even mention that. She was very short and impersonal. Every time she came to the table id reply with a thank you and she would walk away all snooty. My Reuben was disgusting!!!! i didn't even eat it and she didn't even ask me why and when she asked if i wanted to take it home and i said no i didn't like it, she didn't even ask me why or anything. just horrible table side manner. I think she was mad because I asked for a beer list when i first sat down but opted for water instead. She treated me like i wasn't going to tip her, which wasn't the case but i only left $2.00 and she wasn't even deserving of that. The corned beef was ROLLED i mean floating in a SOUP of thousand island dressing, it was disgusting i couldn't believe it. you couldn't even pick it up. I would never ever recommend this place to anybody. they care more about their beer sales than their restaurant.


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