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Buffalo Brewers Festival celebrates all things beer

The Fourth Annual Buffalo Brewers Festival, being held Saturday, will feature more than 40 breweries from across the state and Southern Ontario. One new event will showcase everything you’ve wanted to know about beer.That new event is called Farm to Pint. Dave Johnson, Head Brewer at Rusty Nickel Brewing Company, says the interactive experience will show people the process that goes into making beer from local ingredients

“There will be a tent that focuses on everything else about beer,” Johnson said. "Now that we’ve got the 25 local breweries...we now have the support communities. That’s the malt houses and the hot growers and all of the other amenities that go with making beer”

Another event is Meet the Brewers, sponsored by Premier Gourmet and Chef Krista van Wagner. The event is being held in two sessions. The first session is from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the second session is from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

During the festival, Flying Bison Brewing Company will release its latest beer, Low Gear. The founder of Flying Bison, Tim Herzog, described the beer as a summer session ale with the hot flavor of an India Pale Ale.

Two local businesses, Reverie Creamery, a new artisan cheese company in Cattaraugus County, and Thinking Elvish Fantasy Chocolates products are being showcased to show how well each company’s product goes together with certain beers.

“We’ll sit back and listen to the pairings and the flavor profiles that the brew masters are pairing with these cheeses and chocolates,” said Krista van Wagner. “It’s educational and very informative but most certainly it’s an opportunity to get to meet people who are passionate about what they do.”

Though the festival has become a big hit, the beer industry didn’t always have a presence in Western New York. Neal Cavanaugh of Consumers Beverages says in 2000 there were no breweries in Western New York. Then came Tim Herzog and the creation of Flying Bison Brewing Company. Now, 17 years later, there are more than 25 breweries in Western New York.

“The Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association Brewers Festival celebrates the entrepreneurship and development that continues to grow in Buffalo. It’s great to see the Buffalo community come out to support and celebrate the success of local businesses,” said Mayor Byron Brown, this week.

The festival is being held Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Wilkeson Pointe on Buffalo's Outer Harbor.