CBW Words With Friends Invitational

So it begins!


This Monday, the largest ever gathering of the CBW family convened at Santasiero’s. Five owners, three wives, four sons and one daughter managed to take up the entire back room, and we supped on spaghetti, eggplant parmesan, pasta fagioli and other Italian delights.

It looks so... empty.

To what purpose? Monday, September 19, 2011 the construction on our brewery started.

It doesn’t look much different yet. CBW’s resident architect, Greg, made sure we realized that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Seriously, he used that phrase. But the process has started. Soon it will be in full swing, and the empty space guarded by a motion activated frog that I’ve known for the past year will become nigh-unrecognizable.

While we’re looking to the future, it’s also time to wrap up a loose thread from the past. CBW’s Words With Friends Invitational is finally done! Congratulations to Josh (JoshTheBrute) for unseating the then-undefeated Elizabeth (econley) and becoming the champion! (for reference, pronounce that “champ-een”).

(direct link)

It started January 13. Yeah, so eight months is a bit long. But it was fun, right? I hope so. If we do this again — more on that in a minute — it will be faster, I assure you. Although, to be fair, this was not some high octane sporting event: it was online Scrabble. I don’t think it necessarily needed to be thrilling. But that’s just me: participants, what did you think? Did you enjoy yourself?

More importantly, would you be interested in doing it again?

Words With Friends is now available on iOS and Android, which it wasn’t when we started. Were we to do another WWF tournament, the too-cool-for-Apple crowd could participate as well. On the other hand, we’ve done one of those already. There’s also that I’ve been sick of “n With Friends” recently. That’s also true.

Of course, I’d prefer we play iOS Carcassonne or (dare I dream) Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer. Those are both pricey and iOS only, however. Maybe Disc Drivin’? Tournament participants Alex and Eric have had games of that going with me for a while now, and it’s fun and free. Still iOS only, but, y’know… Just buy an iPhone /troll

No matter what, if we do this again — and that is contingent mostly on you all saying you’re interested, right now — there will be time limits on games. Nothing strict; I mean, this is for fun after all. But I promise to do a better job of keeping it moving.

Next week: more excitement!

A sudden flurry of activity


I had planned a different post for today. One that was our collective take on a bit of brewing news. And then, as I sat down to write it, I realized that there’s just too much exciting stuff to talk about. I’ll try to do the first “CBW Roundtable” tomorrow — three posts in one week? I know. Madness.

The most exciting news for us is that our building permit is in and prominently displayed on the front of our building. What does this mean, exactly? It means that we can do the construction necessary to turn our building into a brewery. Well, not us specifically. The construction starts in a little over a week, so we’re damn excited about it.

Now then, as you might imagine, that sort of thing requires money. I did allude to it a few weeks ago, but we’re in the process of submitting a Kickstarter proposal. If you’re not familiar with the site I’d urge you to look into it. It’s very cool, and is the sort of place where one can help fund a card game about the 1860 US presidential election. I can’t spend any more money on games, I really can’t, but you can play as Stephen A Douglas and that is amazing. Er, but I digress.

It will still be a bit until we’ll be ready to go with that, because we’re finding out what sorts of rewards are against their policy. Specifically, the ones we want to give out. I’m not saying this to complain, because it makes sense: instead, as we tend to do, I’m passing on what we’ve learned. You can’t give away discounts on merchandise or beer, for those looking to do this in the future.

What if you want to give us money now? Well, okay, send us an email. But more specifically, we’ve got a posting on th’ ol’ Craigslists, for a very nice desk in our future production area that we just don’t need. We hope you’ll take it off our hands for us.

In other progress-related news, eagle eyed visitors will notice that yet another step has been filled in on our progress thermometer at the top of our site (obligatory link to the source code of said thermometer). Our state liquor authority license is in, and we hope that gets processed as our buildout is completed. Even eagler eyed visitors might notice that I’ve swapped the second and third final stages. This is because we’ve learned that we can’t get our final SLA approval until we get our Certificate of Occupancy, which is contingent on having a completed building, meaning that we have to finish our buildout first. It’s not a big deal, and hopefully the two will be finished off in rapid succession. I’m a stickler for process, though, so I thought I would update the order.

One final note: the CBW Words With Friends Invitational is almost at a close. It’s been quite a long time, we know, but hopefully some of you are at least mildly interested in the outcome. Josh (JoshTheBrute) was knocked into the loser’s bracket in the quarterfinals by Elizabeth (econley) (my wife). He fought his way back up the ladder and is now in the finals against… Elizabeth. The drama never ends! Well, there looks to be a clear winner in the match already, but I only know that because I live with one of the participants and so I won’t give away the ending. Keep in mind that I’ve promised to buy the winner a beer, though it might take a bit before logistics make that feasible. I hope everyone involved had a good time. I don’t suppose anyone would be interested in a tournament of iOS Carcassonne or Ascension, would they?

In the throes of Buffalo Beer Week


How’s Buffalo Beer Week been treating you?

Did you enjoy this meal? You could have!

Hopefully you’ve found time to go to at least one of the multiple events being held daily. Either way, the week is still truckin’ ever onward: it doesn’t end until this Sunday, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy great beer. Forget the link to the calendar? We’ve got you covered.

One of the first events was Craft Beer Talk broadcasting live from Pizza Plant. If you’d like to hear the gang talk about Buffalo Beer Week and drink some double IPAs, well, you should certainly take a listen.

Excuse the relatively short update this week, but, well, Buffalo Beer Week! You shouldn’t be reading this; you should be at Allen St Hardware or Cole’s. There was one final thing, but, well, it’s bad news. You see, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve been eliminated from the CBW Words With Friends tournament. By none other than the scoundrel Eric (Erockthered)! He’s off to face Josh (Joshthebrute) in the quarterfinals. I had a good run, and I hope that if and when we do this again everyone will participate again. Here’s a direct link to the bracket below.

We will, we will, get a TTB license


That doesn’t fit the rhythm, I know. And yet I can’t bring myself to care. I was going to talk primarily about how next week is Buffalo Beer Week — and it is, and I will, in a little bit — but then Dave dropped a bomb on us.

You see, while not official, today we received word that our application with the TTB for our federal Brewer’s Notice will be approved.


There’s still one or two technicalities, but once we take care of them, it’s ours. All ours. This is huge. It’s reason for celebration, and tonight I rooted through my cellar for a suitable barleywine. I’m drinking Brooklyn’s 09 Monster, and if you have something tasty tonight I’d appreciate it if you raised it to us.

And then we can do it again once we actually get approval! We win twice. It’s great.

But now Buffalo Beer Week. That is also great, and it starts this Sunday! Eight days of awesome beer events in and around the city of Buffalo. You should check out the official calendar and get your dance card filled up, because it’s going to be a doozy.

Did I make a Ned Ryerson joke last week? I feel like I did. He deserves it.

Anyway, if you’re looking for just one or two events to go to, might we suggest the ones we have our hands on? There’s nothing CBW branded this year: we can’t make beer yet! Ethan created the pairings for the Shango beer dinner on Wednesday the 22. He’s also suggested the pairings for Allen St Hardware’s weeklong beer special menu. If you’d like to get a head start on the festivities, Cole’s will be releasing Ithaca’s HopStash IPA on Sunday the 19th. Rudy said Ithaca IPAs “make [him] weak in the knees,” so there’s that.

The point is that you should be going out and exploring all the beery things Buffalo has to offer! It’s a jam packed week, and will be embeered out the wazoo. Which, despite what Chrome says, totally is a word.

Now then, a bit more on last week’s BarCamp Buffalo talk. If you’d like to see the video that the folks at UNY Startups were nice enough to take of me talking (quickly but, thankfully for my grandmother and 7th grade English teacher, with decent enunciation), you should head to their Youtube channel.

And, finally, the CBW Words With Friends tournament is still progressing! In a very close match, I managed to beat HogtownHarry by a mere five points. That means it’s me (Sigafoos) vs Eric (erockthered), while Josh (JoshTheBrute) waits patiently in the wings. Below, you’ll find the bracket (and here’s a clickable link).

Words With Friends and links with friends


Hey again! Didn’t we just do this? It turns out there was just too much news for one week.

Firstly: our store now has the new shirt design in stock. It’s the same setup as last time: if you live in or around Buffalo, we can find a way to get a shirt to you. Otherwise, an extra $5 will get it shipped promptly to your door.

As a joke, while writing last night’s post, I sent an email to the rest of CBW with the subject “next shirt design?” It was decided that I had to share it with the world. So, thusly:

I makes teh drawrings

Now then, time for a bit of a link dump! I admit that they’re all about us, though, sorry.

Last week, Julia Burke of the New York Cork Report stopped by to talk to Ethan and Rudy. Her article, “Upcoming Buffalo Nanobrewery Will Take ‘Local’ to the Next Level” is now online for your reading pleasure. Thanks, Julia! We look forward to seeing you again.

The fine folks at KegWorks read the article, said, “Hey! We talked about this nano thing a while ago!” and then wrote another article: “Another Look at Nanobreweries – Taking ‘Local’ to the Next Level.”

Then, finally, after the Blue Monk intrepid local blogger Aaron Chapnick wrote about our event as well as an earlier event Flying Bison put on in conjunction with the UB Graduate Student Association. Now, I’m just saying, I have a graduate degree from UB, and they didn’t have Flying Bison events when I went there. Also, stairs in Baldy went uphill both ways. Regardless, give “Local is always better” a read.

(direct link)

Yes, the CBW Words With Friends tournament is still going. It’s slowed down considerably, but there’s only one game older than a week going on right now. Android folks: is the WWF app still kicking for your OS? Ethan can no longer find it, which means I’m going to win our game by default.

So, there you have it: all the news that’s fit to blog. And that’s the way it is. Good day and may the good beer be yours.