So this is the summer you’ve finally decided to dive head-first into Buffalo’s growing beer scene.
Good for you. There’s a lot to enjoy, but in many instances, the selection can be intimidating. Ordering a beer used to be similar to the movies — you’d yell out for a “beer,” and the bartender would give you a simple brew. Those days are gone, and have been replaced by draft and bottle selection that can skew from exciting and delicious to perplexing.
But don’t worry. This summer, you’ll find plenty of Buffalo-brewed beers that cater to your tastes. And to sort through any initial unfamiliarity, here are some seasonal suggestions to get you going.
Cherry Vanilla Wheat (4.8% ABV)
Made with Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans and New York State’s Singer Farms’ signature tart cherry juice, the wheat beer is an invigorating taste for those looking for a smooth tapped treat.
Find it at: 12 Gates Brewing Co. (80 Earhart Dr., Williamsville; 12gatesbrewing.com)
Wallonia Wit (5.4% ABV)
Already an accessible summertime favorite, the Belgian-inspired wit is a refreshing selection for lakeside sipping — and drinkable enough to make such occasions a regular occurrence.
Find it at: 42 North Brewing Co. (25 Pine St, East Aurora; 42northbrewing.com)
Deep Cut Double IPA (8.5% ABV)
The ambitious and award-winning IPA has quickly become a go-to for local beer geeks, yet its accessible flavor layers of citrus and berry hops have tantalized even the most casual craft draft neophytes.
Find it at: Big Ditch Brewing Co. (55 E Huron St., Buffalo; Bigditchbrewing.com)
1901 India Pale Ale (7.0% ABV)
Brewed in honor of Buffalo’s Pan American Exposition, the balanced IPA boasts the season’s favored citrusy aromas while available in walking distance of Larkin Square.
Find it at: Buffalo Brewing Co. (314 Myrtle Ave., Buffalo; Buffalo-brewing-company.com)
Rutherford B. Haze (5.4% ABV)
The drinkable and delicious Belgian-style wheat beer has risen to become a Buffalo summertime standard, and its annual disappearance has become as seasonally foreboding as the installation of the Ice Boom.
Find it at: Community Beer Works (15 Lafayette Ave., Buffalo; Communitybeerworks.com)
Summer Saison (5.0% ABV)
With a light, crisp citrus taste, Resurgence’s seasonal favorite is appropriate to hoist in its Niagara Street biergarten, around its outdoor fire pit, or to team with an in-game hot dog at Coca-Cola Field.
Find it at: Resurgence Brewing Co. (1250 Niagara St., Buffalo; Resurgencebrewing.com)
Coldspresso (7.0% ABV)
Because coffee’s delicious all year, EBC had an idea: Offer a cold brew-infused blonde ale that provides java lovers a lighter option to enjoy throughout the region’s warmer months — preferably after breakfast.
Find it at: Ellicottville Brewing Co. (28 Monroe St., Ellicottville; Ellicottvillebrewing.com)
Buffalo Kölsch 716 (5.1% ABV)
Whether on draft or in a can, the venerable Seneca Street brewer’s German-style brew is balanced and smooth for backyard barbeques or friendly rounds at the concerts of Canalside or Larkin Square.
Find it at: Flying Bison Brewing Co. (840 Seneca St, Buffalo; Flyingbisonbrewing.com)
3 Citrus Peel Out (8.5% ABV)
Accented with Mosaic hops and more than four pounds of tangerine and grapefruit peels, this wheat ale provides a juicy taste of summer — without sacrificing any desired potency.
Find it at: Southern Tier Brewing Co. (2072 Stoneman Cir., Lakewood; Stbcbeer.com)
Burning Money IPA (6.6% ABV)
Bold, bombastic and bred from the juice of three fruits, the Elmwood brewery’s creation will please both hopheads and those looking for a more palatable finish on their summertime IPA pints.
Find it at: Thin Man Brewery (492 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; Thinmanbrewery.com)