I. Hops ride alone
Last August we released a limited amount of “Wet Frank”. It was Frank, but the centennial hops we used to dry hop it were actually “wet”: that is, fresh off the bine from McCollum Orchards in Lockport. (Yes, it is bine and not vine and don’t say beer doesn’t teach you things)
Well, Wet Frank is back! A bit. We got a small amount of hops in from McCollum, enough to make a single cask. It’s being delivered to Mister Goodbar tomorrow: as always, we can’t say when they’ll tap it, but they’ll have it on hand and maybe if you bug Bobby enough he’ll put it on. Maybe encouraging people to annoy our accounts isn’t the greatest idea. Tell Bobby Big Ditch told you to bug him.
We’ll be doing a full batch of Wet Frank sometime soon: no specific timeframe on it, but some was ready sooner than the rest and since the point of a wet hopped beer is its freshness we figured have at it!
(Didn’t we serve Wet Frank at last year’s McCollum hop picking party? Yes we did, and more on that later but I decided to do a dumb structural reference in this post so it’s out of order.)
IIa. Funeral for a son
Death is the natural conclusion to life. It happens to everything, sooner or later, and we can be sad or we can celebrate life. I watched Charlotte’s Web with my son last night and damn if I didn’t have a tear in my eye as that egg sac burst (spoilers, maybe?). All good things come to an end.
By September 24 no reasonable person will say it’s summer. It will be fall, and the time for Belgian pale ales with wheat will have passed. Yes, friends, we are nearing the end of the lifespan for Rutherford B. Haze.
We’re sending dear Rutherford off in style, doing it up right. We’re going to hold a wake in his memory, and it’s going to be September 24th, starting at 7 pm, at Sterling Place.
We’ll have the very last kegs of Rutherford B. Haze on hand, as well as a few of our other selections. Will there be a special, for-now-secret beer as well? Of course.
So come, share your memories of Rutherford. There may be speeches. I’m trying to get a bagpiper to play Amazing Grace; we’ll see how that goes.
IIb. Unrest in the House of McCollum
It’s getting to be that time again. The hops are becoming ripe, ready for the picking. Bree and Rich Woodbridge could pick them themselves, of course. That would take a lot of time, but more importantly it would be no fun for everyone else.
You have heard me tell this story many times, before you sleep
This time listen carefully
And I will tell you once again,
and this time understand that what I’m telling you
every single word is true.
You need to know
You do need to know: it may sound mundane, it may sound like menial labor, but picking hops is fun. It’s a relaxing, enjoyable day with great people and if you don’t come then it’s your loss. Hops come down, hops get picked, bushels get taken away. Simple. Satisfying.
It’s Saturday, September 7 from 1-5 on their farm in Lockport. Be there or, yes, be square.
III. The wing of one
A little over a week away: Mister Goodbar’s latest Wing Fest! It’s pretty simple: wings + CBW beer + you. Sunday, September 1, starting at 2. What else do you need?
Wing Fest, people.
Time to break the fourth wall as I admit I can’t squish and prod this title into something relevant. “I’m ready, and I’m willing, and I’m prepared to pour growlers” maybe? Bah.
Anyway, now it’s time to talk about the brewery-only beers we have. There’s still a small amount of Dark Maas left: it’s De Maas with a goatee, either from an alternate dimension or the result of a lab experiment gone terribly wrong. Take your pick. While De Maas is a Belgian style amber ale, Dark Maas is closer to a brown. It will be gone as quickly as it arrived, so if you’d like a growler fill you should hurry in tonight.
Then of course there’s the previous Jam, the confusingly named W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. What you hop is what you get, Rudy reminds us, in our Belgian IPA brewed for Belgium Comes to Cooperstown. Couldn’t make it to Ommegang? Made it, but were left unsated? We’ve got your back.
V. The Tasting (Keg or Machine)
You have to get on this one quickly.
Today! Starting at 5! We’ll be pouring at KegWorks’ spiffy new retail location on Military Road. Get some equipment for your home bar, some pint glasses, some bitters… just go check it out. It’s a nice place. There will be beer.
VI. The Sons of Fate
Ia! Ia! Buffalo Beer Week fhtagn!
September 20-28. Mark your calendars, ladies and gentlemen, because this one’s going to be great.
There are plenty of events. Some of them don’t even involve us, though it seems to me like that would automatically disqualify you from having a good time.
In addition to our wake for Rutherford we’re going to have a few events and special beers. Not as many one offs as last year: we’re using far more of our capacity, meaning we simply don’t have the space to tinker as much. It’s one of those “good problem to have” things, where it’s nice but still a problem. We have our best men on the problem, I assure you.
That doesn’t mean we’ve been caught flat footed. Oh, far from it. For one: they’re getting the band back together. Rudy, Beer Week’s Willard Brooks, Pearl Street and Big Ditch will once again be dropping a hot collabo on ya, following last year’s Lord Lupulin IPA.
(Is “hot collabo” something people say non-ironically? I, uh, meant it ironically if not.)
Don’t forget about the two festivals bookending Beer Week. First there’s the Ballpark Brew Bash Saturday 9/21, and then the Beer Geeks Festival on Saturday 9/28 at Artisan Kitchens and Baths.
In the BPBB’s VIP room, and pouring for all at the Beer Geeks Festival, we answer the question:
What does the B. in Rutherford B. Haze stand for?
Eat your heart out, Moffat.
The answer: it stands for Brettanomyces. Two kegs of Rutherford Brett Haze are being made. Make sure you get some.
Epilogue: Due Vendetta
We had about two years to jabber on about how we wanted more breweries in Buffalo before we were in a position to have to back it up. Big Ditch is coming; Hamburg even more quickly; Rusty Nickel just propped their coin on the machine; the list grows longer nearly by the day. I’ve even heard whispers of an old ranid friend poking about.
We’re not all talk. We take this whole embeer thing seriously, or at any rate as seriously as one can when using a silly word you made up. More breweries are not competition for us. Hell, if anything they’re more people to collaborate with come Buffalo Beer Week.
Now it’s New Buffalo‘s turn. They’ve been in planning about as long as us, actually, but then Bill Campbell had to do minor stuff like “be deployed in Afghanistan”. They’re progressing nicely now, and even have a Kickstarter project. We love beer, and we love Kickstarter (though I’m doing well in my recovery from Kickstarter Addiction), so this is right up our alley.
It’s an exciting time to be a beer lover in Buffalo.
(Post-epilogue: I used the track structure from the self titled debut album by The Protomen for this post. I tend to forget, sometimes, how absolutely fantastic it is. 37 minutes of distorted dystopian rock set in the Mega Man universe [without being “video game music”]. You owe it to yourselves to hear it. It is so, so good.)