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Toast of the summer: Thin Man's beer festival

Buffalo is in the midst of a craft brewing and distilling renaissance. The city is flush with new establishments looking to help residents celebrate the return of good weather with their favorite beers and spirits — and one of the first opportunities to celebrate this summer is Thin Man Brewery’s Second Anniversary Summer Solstice Street Festival, taking over the Elmwood Village on Saturday, June 16.

It’s a beautiful day to be outside, drinking a beer on Elmwood Avenue,” Thin Man General Manager Josh Mullin said. “You just can’t beat that.”

The 21-plus festival, which drew over 2,000 people in its inaugural year, will close down Elmwood Avenue from Hodge Street north to the entrance to the Gallagher Parking Ramp, halfway to West Utica Street — an even larger stretch of the street than 2017.

“We were turning people away last year, so we know this year will be even bigger and better,” Mullin said.

The party, which runs noon to 10 p.m., features 10 of Buffalo’s best known rock bands, including The Soft Love and The CPX. It also highlights beer, of course. Thin Man pours 17 of its own varieties for nearly even kind of beer drinker — but especially IPA aficionados — and another seven craft beers from around the country.

The IPAs stretch all the way from Other Truths DDH Sour IPA — which drinks like a glass of grapefruit juice — to Allmarillo, an imperial double IPA, a very hop-forward brew. The beer list is punctuated with a few stouts and saisons to whet anyone’s whistle.

“We focus first and foremost on brewing the best beer we can possibly make,” Mullin said. “And from there we add in the best guest taps we can find to fill in the blanks.”

To balance out the brews, an Allen Burger Venture truck will be on site dishing up burgers and fries along with fare from the brewery’s full kitchen.

There are three levels of tickets available. General Admission, which runs $15 dollars per person and includes admission, a Thin Man pint glass and the first beer for free, and two VIP levels that include free food and beer, T-shirts, table service and other amenities that take this summer party to the next level.

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