From breweries in quaint villages to industrial-chic urban locales, a great selection of breweries and distilleries awaits you in Buffalo Niagara. Adding to the overall renaissance and bootstrapping spirit, many of Buffalo’s craft producers are full of Buffalo pride (“Buffalove,” as we like to call it), and name their brands to reflect what makes Buffalo so special to them.
Set your sights on the hip live/work/play Larkinville area, where the city gathers for festive outdoor concerts and events, food-truck roundups, and pickleball. At Hydraulic Hearth (named for the area’s industrial heyday), spend time in the beer garden, which features open-air booths, live music, and the coolest shuffleboard court. Hydraulic Hearth’s embedded microbrewery is run by local grassroots beermaker Community Beer Works.
If you’re traveling by bicycle, roll up next to Flying Bison Brewing Company, just down the street from Hydraulic. Enjoy a tour and a flight, including the company’s popular Rusty Chain, a Vienna-style amber. Stick around for a few hours to enjoy live music, local art, and community events.
Or, gather your herd and get spirited at Buffalo Distilling Company. It’s located in a renovated c. 1800s building, where the friendly bartenders and intimate space might inspire you to grab a tambourine and play along with the band. Nearby, Tommyrotter Distillery crafts award-winning, small batch spirits in a historic former factory, which at one time was the world’s largest manufacturer of paper boxes.
A few miles northwest of Larkinville sits Elmwood Village, whose historic, tree-lined residential streets and density of restaurants and shops make it a beloved neighborhood. To keep the beer theme going, join the lively scene at Thin Man Brewery, where tasty food and a huge slate of entertainingly named brews are on tap, including rotating selections of seasonal collaborations with high-profile breweries like Mikkeller and New Belgium.
Back toward the Central Business District, fall into Big Ditch Brewing Company. While taking a virtual tour of Erie Canal history through a flight of beers (try the Low Bridge, Excavator, and Hayburner), dig into some of the best pub grub around, including the amazing “Breuben” sandwich.
To make the most of a beautiful day or evening, get playful at Community Beer Works’ new brewery and taproom on Buffalo’s lower west side. Savor Buffalo’s glorious spring and summer with front and back outdoor areas featuring a fire pit and corn hole.
Catch a similar vibe and feel the Buffalove at Resurgence Brewing Company on gritty Niagara Street. If it’s a chilly evening, warm your toes at their beer garden fire pit or hang inside at picnic tables. For sustenance, munch on a hot, chewy pretzel or meat and cheese board.
Buffalo’s newest resurging neighborhood is Black Rock, where breweries are just the beginning. After pizza and a pint at the new co-branded Thin Man Brewery and Tappo Pizza on Chandler Street, stroll across the way to BlackBird Cider Works, the Niagara County-based cidery’s first urban location. The area is a quickly developing former industrial area that’s now a multiuse destination for loft living and recreation.
Further south, in the shadow of the downtown arena, lies the tiny, historic Cobblestone District. For a tipple, make your way to Lockhouse Distillery & Bar, which produces award-winning gin, amaro, and liqueurs. The name references another piece of Buffalo history: the Erie Canal.
If the suburbs are more your speed, gaze into the glowing fireplace at Hamburg Brewing Company’s lodge-style taproom during colder months or hang out on the expansive patio in more temperate weather. Have a little more time? Take a drive to Ellicottville, about an hour south of the city. The picturesque town boasts shopping, recreation and, of course, drinks. Try Ellicottville Brewing Company.