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The Best Places To Drink Beer In Buffalo, According A Craft Beer Expert


iStockphoto/Julie Roesser

Welcome to Beer This City! If you dig Eat This City and Drink This City but have always wanted more beer-ness, then this column is for you. We’re talking to brewers and beer experts to get an in-depth look at the best places to pair amazing beer with exciting food in different cities around the world.

Julie Roesser has built a portfolio around beer. The Buffalo-based photographer has the enviable job of shooting beer for some of the best breweries in the country. Working behind the camera, Roesser developed a keen aesthetic that suits the sudsy world of craft beer and draws you in, while highlighting all the tasty brews the country has to offer.

We’ve been following Roesser’s CraftBeerDeer feed for a while and made sure to include the Instagram handle in our favorite beer influencers roundup. That piece started a great conversation about who gets to champion beer in 2019. To keep the conversation alive, we thought we’d expand on our Beer This City coverage by letting beer experts, writers, Cicerones, photographers, and beer lovers have their say about where they love to down a few pints, grab a slice, and maybe even where to cop a chicken wing or two in their home towns.

We’re kicking things off with Roesser, to find out where she likes to drink and eat in Buffalo, NY. Let’s dive in!

Experimental Brewery/Taproom — THIN MAN BREWERY (Chandler)

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Makin my beer

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Thin Man Brewery always has a diverse selection of craft. They’re always pushing the boundaries of styles, as well as regularly working on collaborations with breweries around the world. I’m always excited to try what new beers they’re making here.

Neighborhood Brewery/Taproom — COMMUNITY BEER WORKS

Community Beer Works just expanded to a second location. They’re brewing award-winning beers, which you can now find in bars and restaurants all over the city. They have a beautiful taproom and back patio with an amazing environment, great food, and great people. As the name implies, they’re constantly working on finding creative ways to better the community.

Bottle/Can Shop — VILLAGE BEER MERCHANT

I have to go with Village Beer Merchant for all of your bottle, can, and growler needs! Helpful and knowledgeable staff, and a fun, diverse selection of beers. Owner, Brian, focuses on freshness, so you won’t be surprised with anything out of date when you get home.

Beer Bar (that’s not a brewery) — MOOR PAT

Moor Pat — which is taproom spelled backward — has the intimate feel of a little pub tucked away somewhere in Belgium. Low ceilings, dim lighting, and a rare and diverse craft selection, as well as a small but delicious food menu.

Dive for Beer — MR. GOODBAR

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Strictly bud time 📸= @shmandeluca

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Mr. Goodbar is arguably one of Buffalo’s best dive bars. They were also one of the first bars in the area to embrace craft beer. There’s always a large selection of drafts available along with great pool, darts, and wings.

Hotel Bar for Beer — LENOX GRILL

Lenox Grill is in the basement of the Lenox Hotel. It’s a straight-up hidden gem. Lenox Grill has one of, if not the largest, craft bottle and can selections in WNY. If you stay here, you can get a six-pack delivered up to your room, which is fun.

(Fancy) Restaurant for Beer — THE BLACK SHEEP RESTAURANT & BAR

The Black Sheep Restaurant & Bar has an awesome eclectic farm-to-table menu and a great draft list. I love the vibe. They also offer something fun called the “happy meal” which is a beer, a shot, and a toy!

Place To Eat Pizza and Drink Beer — HYDRAULIC HEARTH

When I’m in the mood for pizza, I need to make sure I can get a good beer to go with it. Hydraulic Hearth has both! They make delicious gourmet wood-fired pizzas and have eight draft lines. They also have a fun ambiance and a shady beer garden with plenty of games. This is also where Community Beer Works runs its sister brewery.

Brewery/Taproom Run By A Friend — THIN MAN BREWERY (Elmwood)

My favorite brewery and go-to spot is Thin Man Brewery. The spot is run by my friends Mike Shatzel (the driving force behind Shelton Brothers Fest in Buffalo this year!) and head brewer Rudy Watkins. There’s always a great beer scene happening here. They offer up a lot of their own festivals, games, and live music regularly. It’s a blast!

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