Buffalo Review

Post details, reviews and recaps of interesting beer events in Ontario and elsewhere here.

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Josh Oakes
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Postby Josh Oakes » Sun Sep 02, 2001 11:30 pm

Ok, my thoughts on the festival down Buffalo way - I liked it. It's a local festival, so the focus was on upstate New York stuff, which is fine for me. The fest was low-key and geared more towards the serious drinker than the frat crowd. The stadium setting was kind of cool, especially the well-manicured lawn. The sun came out and all was good. My role was to taste a few beers, and be the official Bar Towel hanger-on.

As I had expected, Great Lakes stole the show with Dortmunder Gold, Eliot Ness and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. They also brought an 8-year-old barley wine which went over well amongst the aficionados. Their beers should show up in Buffalo in six-packs in the next few months or so.

Others I liked were Ithaca Pale Ale, Pizza Plant Inferno Pod Ale, Rogue Buckwheat and Corsendonk Agnus. There were a couple of unbalanced clunkers, too, but I won't mention any names here.

But it's a good fest. I'll leave the real report writing to the professionals, but I just wanted to leave my impressions.

Thanks out to Lyle, too, for adding a couple of great nightcaps at the end of it all. That North Coast was one I'd been seeking forward to, but was not sure I'd ever see.
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Postby Lyle » Mon Sep 03, 2001 11:59 am

Hey bartowel crew - thanks for coming on Saturday!

One thing I forgot to mention - Unfortunately Dogfish Head had to pull out last minute because of a medical emergency.

The only other "no shows" were Sacket's Harbor (some sort of problem at the brewery) and St. Andre's (we have no idea why they didn't show up).

Hope everyone had a good time!
Lyle Ostrow
Premier Gourmet
3465 Delaware Avenue
Kenmore, NY 14217
tel:(716) 877-3574
email: premierbeer@adelphia.net
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Jon Walker
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Postby Jon Walker » Tue Sep 04, 2001 1:02 pm

There was one other notible absence Lyle, not of a brewery but of a beer. Great Lakes Brewing didn't bring their Burning River Pale Ale despite it being listed in the guide.

Regardless I had a wonderful, if too brief, time at the fest. I thought it was very well organized, the weather cooperated and there was a good, managable turn-out (lines for samples were short).

For me, hophead that I am, the standouts were Middle Ages Impaled Ale, Victory Hop Devil and Ellicott Pale Ale. Surprisingly Three Floyd's Alpha King was my only dissappointment on the day. While loaded with intense hops up front it had no malt balance in the finish whatsoever. Gotta have them both to make me happy and certainly both the Impaled and Hopdevil seemed to strike a lovely balance.

I stopped by Premier Gourmet for my first time before hitting the border Saturday evening. Wow! I stocked up on lots of great beers, many I've never heard of before let alone tried. Wonderful selection Lyle and the envy of everyone up here in T.O. who wishes it were closer!

Fantastic way to end up a five day trip through Upstate New York with my girlfriend (who was my designated driver thank God!). Next year, as Cass suggested, I'll stay over so I too can cap the night off with a visit to Pearl Street.

Jon Walker

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Postby A » Tue Sep 04, 2001 1:29 pm

I have the backwards opinion - I thought the 3Floyds Alpha King was excellent (and takes the prize for most hop aroma), while the Middle Ages IPA was just too hoppy, very unbalanced. In fact, both beers were unbalanced but the Alpha King suited my tastes more.

We both agree the HopDevil is excellent, which is why I purchased 12 to bring home and a Growler at the Pizza Plant to drink that evening :smile:

Standout beer for me had to be the Great Lakes Barleywine, it was just excellent. Having been aged for 8 years any hint of the alcohol had mellowed. It was very similar to the McAuslan Vintage Ale, but superior due to the aging. I hope the McAuslan holds up as well 8 years from now...

I also quite enjoyed the Ellicotville beers (especially the Pale dispensed from the roving Keggy guy), and the Anchor Old Foghorn on tap. Very few disappointments, and great weather made the weekend a winner.

Great fest again, Lyle!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: A on 2001-09-04 14:30 ]</font>
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Postby esprit » Tue Sep 04, 2001 6:27 pm

For those of you who were so impressed with HopDevil, I don't want to raise your hopes but we have samples on the way as the LCBO has agreed to give them consideration for their Pale Ale/Bitters promo next year which it appears may now be themed as a "Glory of Hops" release. We're certainly enthused and we just hope that the LCBO tasting panel is as impressed as you guys were.

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Postby Cass » Tue Sep 04, 2001 6:53 pm

I had a great time at the fest this year. The ballpark was great, the beers were excellent and the atmosphere was just what a good beer festival should have. It is a fest where both the brewers and the festival goers have a good time. Lyle - thanks for all your work organizing the festival - it was a wonderful time had by all.

I'll be posting a recap of the BrewFest soon.

Peter - great news about submitting Victory to the LCBO. They will be fools if they are not impressed by the HopDevil. Luckily I picked up a case of various Victory at Premier last weekend to tide me over, for now.
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Postby Manul » Wed Sep 05, 2001 6:46 am

Looks like quite a few of our fellow torontonian beer drinkers made a stop at Premier Gourmet, since when I got there, Saturday at about 7PM, many of the labels were missing from the shelves. Fortunately, with a selection this large there was still plenty to choose from. Good job Lyle.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Manul on 2001-09-05 07:46 ]</font>

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