Two Upcoming Craft Beer Fests in Buffalo, NY

When it rains, it pours. Though this is generally spoken in a negative context, it’s been pouring good things lately too. One example is the unbelievable steak I’ve had of winning back the same $2 about a dozen straight times on Win For Life tickets. Another storm seems to be brewing in the sky (PUN INTENDED), and forecasts are calling for an accumulation of two consecutive craft brew festivals in Buffalo during the first couple weeks of February.

Enough of my ridiculous wordiness and struggling for a catchy lead — let me cut to the chase. Clear your calendars, oh beer geeks of Buffalo, because there will be two similarly-named-but-seemingly-unrelated craft beer events in Buffalo on Saturday, February 4th and Friday, February 10th (thankfully, that should give you enough time to recover from the first one before heading to the second).

Buffalo Winter Brewfest – Feb. 4, 2012

Buffalo Winter Brewfest - Feb. 4 2012

On Saturday, February 4th, the 2012 Buffalo Winter Brewfest will be held at the Connecticut St. Armory, in the heart of the West Side. This festival will be divided into two sessions (something that should please the anti-crowd crowd, myself included), with the first running from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and the second from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Hopefully, this will help to avoid long lines and general ridiculousness that we’ve all seen at the Buffalo Brewfest at HSBC the past few years.

Tickets for the Buffalo Winter Brewfest are $35 in advance and can be purchased online, or at all Buffalo-area Wegmans stores. The ticket price jumps to $45 the day of the event, so you’ll probably want to get yours now if you plan on going.

There will be live music (apparently there’s some-level of a Mardi Gras theme) and food (but not free food). Cheap hotel rooms are available through the Fest’s website, for those who feel like gettin’ really sloppy. Designated Driver tickets are available for $10 and include “FREE SODA & WATER” according to the website (I don’t see how $10 is free, but it’s nice that they’re trying to keep the icy streets of Buffalo safe from drunkards). Your best bet might be immediately hopping into one of the cabs that will allegedly be waiting out front at the end of the event, so as not to get robbed at gunpoint while drunkenly moseying to your car.

A list of participating breweries is not yet available for the fast-approaching Buffalo Winter Brewfest, but the website indicates that the 50 craft beers that will be available for sampling will be posted on 1/30/2012.

A portion of the proceeds for the Buffalo Winter Brewfest will benefit Messinger Woods.

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Buffalo Winter Bash – Feb. 10, 2012

In conjunction with the annual Powder Keg Festival (or Buffalo Winterfest), the Buffalo Winter Bash will be held at Statler City on Friday, February 10, 2012. The event, which runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., will be held in the newly-renovated Downtown Buffalo landmark’s Grand Ballroom and Terrace Room.

Buffalo Winter Bash - Upcoming Buffalo Beer Festival

This event differs from the Buffalo Winter Brewfest in that it is both a beer festival and a wine festival. I was pretty excited about that until I realized you have to buy separate tickets for each. Beer tickets and wine tickets cost $30 (each ticket) and can be purchased online or at Consumer’s Beverages. Tickets will be $35 at the door. It would appear that beer tickets include chicken wings and wine tickets include cheese pairings. Both include light snacks.

There will be over 20 craft beers and many wines to sample, food included in the ticket price, live music, and all that jazz. A list of participating breweries wineries can be found here.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Buffalo Police Athletic League.

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So there you have it folks. Two upcoming Buffalo beer fests, two weekends in a row. ┬áBoth held in landmark Buffalo buildings, each benefiting a different cause. One includes food in the price, the other has more beers to sample — There are various pros and cons of each festival, and I’ll leave it up to you to decide which is the best bang for your buck — but wouldn’t it be more fun to just go to both of them?

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