Resurgence Brewing Company Buffalo NY

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By in Uncategorized Comments Off on How long does beer last? Fresh is best!

How long does beer last? Fresh is best!

Nothing lasts forever, not even your favorite beer. Over time, beer will oxidize, giving it a papery or flattened-out flavor. The hop profile will mellow out, turning IPAs malty or caramel-flavored and higher-alcohol beers can take on a sherry-like taste. Beer does not “spoil,” or become unsafe to drink, just less pleasant. How long your beloved brews will remain drinkable depends on many factors, most notably the conditions under which that beer is stored, the style and whether they’re canned or bottled.

Light and oxygen are the enemies of beer, but how it’s stored will affect the quality as well. If your beer has gone from the brewery, to a hot truck, to a cold storage facility, to the floor of your local grocery store, it can lose flavor more quickly. Dramatic temperature changes can cause the character of your beer to change, so watch how you’re storing it at home, too. As a general rule, beer keeps longest when kept at a constant, cool temperature. Most styles stay well at about 38-42 degrees, the ideal drinking temperature in general. The bottom line? Fresh is best!

When it comes to storing beer, keep it in the dark. Cans are not susceptible to light like bottles, and dark glass bottles are best for keeping beer fresh, but all light will cause beer to “skunk” eventually, so if it’s not in the fridge, at least keep your beer safe from direct sunlight. Beer can skunk in as little as five minutes, so be careful where you keep it, especially if it’s in lighter-colored bottles.

Some styles are more volatile than others, too. Hops degrade over time, so the hoppier the beer, the less ageable it is. If you’re picking up an IPA, for example, drink it ASAP to get the best hop quality and highest flavor integrity. If you’ve got a stout or a porter, on the other hand, go ahead and sit on it. Maltier beers can wait for longer, although the caramel and butterscotch flavors may intensify, over time. The higher the alcohol content, the longer the beer is likely to remain drinkable. Barleywine, porters and stouts and German bocks tend to keep their profiles longer, some for years after their bottling date. Not to mention, many beers are barrel-aged, meaning they rest in that vessel for some time before being bottled or sold. These beers are brewed specifically to age and mature gradually, so the flavor will change as time goes on, but (hopefully) in a palate-pleasing way. The same goes for bottle-conditioned beers. Some have live yeast added to the bottle before it’s capped off, and some collectors have reported success storing these beers for five years or more.

Here at Resurgence, we’re big fans of freshness. While beer can keep for up to a month or more in cans and bottles, we recommend you drink yours as soon as possible to ensure the best taste.

By in Uncategorized Comments Off on Our pumpkin ale is “scary good” Here’s why.

Our pumpkin ale is “scary good” Here’s why.

For the first time, pumpkin ale was named a category of its own at the Great American Beer Festival last year, sparking debate about the validity of the style. Is it just catering to the growing trend of pumpkin-spiced everything or is it a legitimate category of its own? Do pumpkin beers anger consumers because they’re often released in August, the same way Christmas decorations before Halloween incense shoppers? Is it because many producers use canned, frozen or no real pumpkin at all?

Despite the dissenters, pumpkin ale saw a surge in popularity last year, outselling even the popular India Pale Ale during last year’s season, according to the Brewers Association. In his “Next Round,” column, USA TODAY’s Mike Snider noted that pumpkin beer helped sales rise to $14.3 billion on the year, up 20 percent from $11.9 billion. So why the haters?

Craftbeer.com blogger Julia Herz put it best: “No one objects to department stores putting out bathing suits in February, long before you’ll be heading to the beach. Everyone loves the taste of grandma’s famous pumpkin pie recipe—and heaven help you if you object to her making it with the same canned ingredients she’s been using since before you were born, kiddo. But for some reason, people think objections like these are legitimate when it comes to pumpkin beer.”

The bottom line is, everyone has their favorites and people who like to complain will always find a target. Some look forward to pumpkin spice lattes hitting the market, while others roll their eyes at pumpkin-flavored everything when the calendar turns past August. Around the RBC taproom, we think it’s important to keep an open mind when it comes to trying new flavors and styles. Our sense of adventure leads to discovering new combinations, many of which quickly become some of our favorites. If you like them, great. If not, we’ve got at least 11 others for you. Or, in the great words of Taylor Swift, “haters gonna hate.”

Love it or hate it, pumpkin ale season is upon us and RBC will release our Vanilla Cappuccino Pumpkin Ale this week, right in stride with the leaves changing. While it does boast that pumpkin profile that gets people so worked up, our take on the pumpkin flavor is not to overpower the beer’s inherent malt profile, but add just a hint of the squash that gives it a subtle seasonal sense, not a perfume-overload kick in the teeth. In addition to a pumpkin puree, we use a blend of fall spices, vanilla and locally sourced coffee beans to create our signature flavor.

Our pumpkin ale features big biscuit notes as well as a caramel malty sweetness that stands out from the pumpkin ale crowd. And this year, we’re selling it not only in our taproom by the pint, but in 22-ounce bottles at local retailers. Look for the pumpkin-head mad scientist on the label. As our brewer Dave Collins put it, we think our newest addition to the family is “scary good.” Stop in and try it for yourself. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised.

By in Uncategorized Comments Off on A conversation with Marc Duquette, RBC’s mural artist

A conversation with Marc Duquette, RBC’s mural artist

If you’ve been to our taproom, you’ve seen the amazing work of Marc Duquette on our menu wall. Marc is a local artist who trained both locally and with the renowned Academy of Realist Art in Toronto. We chatted with Marc to learn a little more about him and the chalk art he does for the brewery.

RBC: How did you get started doing murals for RBC?
MD: Jeff is good friends with my brother-in-law. I met him when he moved back to the area, and we hit it off. I helped Jeff with a few things around the brewery before it was up and running, and he mentioned doing a mural wall, so I offered up my services. He saw my work and that was the start.

How do you get the idea for each mural?
The first few were brainstorms of Jeff, [Brewer] Dave [Collins] and myself. We had specific things that we all wanted to incorporate in to the “introduction” of RBC. The last couple have been my ideas from different influences. I come up with a general idea of what I want to do, then I’ll do some research on reference images. From there, I do a few rough sketches to figure out a composition and which parts work well. I love the advertising and marketing images of the 40’s and 50’s, so the current mural is a nod to that era. I try to incorporate the “Resurgence” of Buffalo and RBC or beer in general in each mural.

About how long does each mural take?
I usually spend 5-6 hours doing prep work, sometimes more, sometimes less. Organizing ideas, trying different combinations, drawing and drawing more. Then there’s the mural production itself. I’ve gotten more efficient, but it still takes me the better part of 5 days for each one. The first day-plus is usually just laying out the images and making sure everything fits correctly. I’m taking an image that’s the size of half a sheet of printer paper, and blowing it up to fit on a wall, so that’s kinda hard sometimes.

Is chalk a difficult medium for you?
Chalk is fun for me to work with. I’d never done it before I started doing this gig. I’m a painter, but working with manipulating color is pretty much the same idea, regardless of the medium. I find the chalk has a different set of challenges than paint, but it’s a nice change of pace.

How often is the mural changed?
I try to change the image seasonally, or at least add some kind of seasonal or holiday touch to it. Last winter, I kept the same main image for 5 months, but changed different pieces in it for different holidays. The average is 4 months for each image.

Do you ever get feedback on the mural from visitors to the taproom?
I get some nice comments when I’m working on the wall during taproom hours. I try to get as much done when there aren’t any customers. I got a lot of good feedback from the Rich’s 70th anniversary mural by their employees and others who don’t work for them. A lot of people liked the Bills touch I put in the current one.

How long have you been an artist?
I’ve been drawing and painting seriously for the past 15 years. As child, I drew everywhere and on everything. My brother’s work as an illustrator inspired me to go back to university for drawing and painting. After graduating from SUNY Buffalo State College, I attended a few workshops and continued to study on my own. I read, drew, and painted as much as I could for the next several years. I was introduced to the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto, and fell in love with it. I travel several times a month from Buffalo to Toronto to be involved with this great program. I have been doing this for the last 5 years, and plan to continue for a few more. I’ve recently opened a teaching/working studio in North Buffalo, called The Drawing Room.

What’s your favorite RBC beer?
That’s hard. I’ve really liked some of the one-offs. The Resurgence IPA is very very good. I’d have to say my overall favorite is this year’s Autumn Saison. I love saisons, and this has a little spice and malt to it, and my second favorite kind of beer is a hearty winter or old ale.

For more information about Marc or to enroll in a class at The Drawing Room, visit his website at MarcADuquette.com, Tumblr at marcduquette.tumblr.com, or call him at 400-3099.

By in Uncategorized Comments Off on Meet the Don: The man behind the beer

Meet the Don: The man behind the beer

Resurgence is proud to introduce The Don. The man, the myth, and now, the beer. Don Ware has become a fixture at Resurgence Brewing Company, once described by a customer as “the older bleach-blonde guy with a mullet.” Don does not, for the record, have a mullet, usually wearing his long, white-blonde hair pulled back in a neat ponytail. Like the beer that now bears his name, he is blonde, strong and sometimes, just a little bit spicy.

Don was not aware Resurgence was brewing a beer to bear his name, but he has been nicknamed “The Don” for awhile now, and said he and the staff had joked about naming something after him for some time. And after his namesake was tapped this week, he said he’s satisfied in the beer that will become his legacy.

“The Don” is a creamy, medium-bodied Belgian Blonde Ale that clocks in at 9.1 percent ABV. It starts out with a light honey and malt sweetness on the nose, which is mirrored by the taste. That’s followed by a slight alcohol heat and hints of citrus and spice. It finished medium dry.

“I’m not as sweet as ‘The Don,’” the bartender said, with his signature grin. Don is an imperial fan himself, calling the Imperial Red IPA his favorite beer Resurgence has brewed, to date. He jokes that his beer is “double the strength” of the El Jefe Hefeweissen, named for his son and owner Jeff Ware. That one, listed right below The Don on the tap board, is 4.5 percent ABV, and significantly lighter in both body and taste. “It’s only right,” he chuckled. “I am his father.”

So far, Don’s friends have gotten a good laugh out of his namesake, and Don has encouraged them to come in and try it out. And as always, he’s enjoying hustling around the bar and serving the goblet that bears his name.

“This is the best job I ever had,” he said, of tending the rail at Resurgence. “You talk to so many great people, hear some fantastic stories.” He recalled one customer who, after drinking The Don all evening, leaned over the bar to give him a big bear hug before she left. “You get some pretty good stories of your own, too.”

Stop in and try The Don for yourself. If you’re lucky, you may even get served by the inspiration for the brew.

By in Uncategorized Comments Off on Celebrate Oktoberfest in the grand traditional style

Celebrate Oktoberfest in the grand traditional style

You may know it as a style of beer that appears on the shelves as early as late August. You may have attended parties where steins are hoisted and “prosts” abound. Here at Resurgence, we celebrate both those things with our annual Oktoberfest party, which celebrates the release of our autumn beers and the arrival of the autumn season. Those beers include our Autumn Saison and Oktoberfest, which are already on tap, and our WNY Hoptoberfest and WNY Oktoberfest, which will be released at that event this Saturday, Sept. 19.

Oktoberfest is 205 years old this year, after the first “Weisn” as it’s called in Bavaria, was held to celebrate the wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig and his wife, Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The festival was originally a horse race, replaced by beer vendors in 1819. Today, the festival boasts 13 drinking halls serving Oktoberfestbier brewed by six Munich-based breweries. Served in large, 32-ounce steins, the average Oktoberfestbier is 6% ABV and 6.4 million liters were sold at last year’s festival. Now that’s what we call drinking local!

The original festival begins when the mayor cracks open the first barrel, crying “O’ zapft is” or “it’s tapped!” No one is allowed to take a sip until he does. Don’t worry, we won’t make you wait until our owner has his first pint to serve yours. Here at Resurgence, we understand the importance of getting right down to what’s in the stein.

Speaking of which, what’s on tap at our Oktoberfest party? In addition to our regular board offerings, we’ll be serving our Oktoberfest and Autumn Saison, which you can try out at the taproom now or in a number of establishments around town, as well as our WNY Hoptoberfest and WNY Oktoberfest. Late last week, we wet-hopped with chinook hops from High Bines in Sanborn, N.Y. We used grain from New York Craft Malt in Batavia, and other local ingredients to create this all-Western New York Oktoberfest. The WNY Hoptoberfest has been hopped with Centennial and Chinook hops, all from right in our neighborhood. Brewer Dave said you can look forward to tasting citrus, some pine needles, spice and tobacco in our unique new WNY Oktoberfest, and we hope you’ll stop in and see how it compares to the regular Oktoberfest this weekend.

In addition to filling this year’s steins with tasty, adventurous new brews, we’re roasting up a pig that’s been fed on our spent grain, bringing the process truly full-circle. There will also be pierogis from Ru’s Pierogi while supplies last, as well as sides and whatever snacks you feel like ordering from our bar snacks menu. And you’ll want to fuel up, because the stein-hoisting contests (for men and women, because we don’t discriminate around here), are no joke. If you attended last year’s inaguarual Oktoberfest, you know the competition is as stiff as the arms you’ll need to stay in the game. Last year, mother and son combo Mary and Matt Limina won the first contest with 7:20 and 7:08 times, respectively. The second pair were Chris Hagar with 12:27 and Barbara Borzillieri with 11:03. So now you know, Buffalo. These are the ones to beat.

Dancing – of both the traditional and your own freestyle variety – is encouraged to our live music that day, and there will other mirth and merriment as the event goes on. While people lost everything from their wallets, false teeth, passports and dignity at the Munich fest last year, we don’t encourage our customers to lose anything but stomach room, as they fill it with our delicious beer, pierogi, pig and what the heck, more beer.

Only 19 percent of the attendees at Munich’s Oktoberfest are from outside the country and we know why – they’re all at Resurgence! One can dream, right? Do your part to support the local economy and stop down to the closest thing you’ll get to Munich’s famous festival this side of the Rhine, this Saturday from 12-12. Follow our adventures (and add your own!) using the #ReOktfest15 hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We’ll be updating our feeds throughout the day as well, so if you can’t make it from Germany, we understand. As they say in the old country, Prost!

By in News, Uncategorized Comments Off on Nice cans: Why we can our IPA

Nice cans: Why we can our IPA

Years ago, canned beers were considered subpar, the stuff of mass-production and cheap, frat party fare. Those days are over. According to an article by Tom Acitelli in the September 2013 issue of All About Beer, the number of craft breweries canning at least some of their beers has increased at least 28,400 percent in the last decade. Just last month, Resurgence Brewing Company became one of those breweries, releasing our popular Resurgence IPA in cans for the first time. Here are a few reasons why we chose cans over bottles.Oxygen is beer’s enemy No. 1, causing it to spoil more rapidly. There is always some dissolved oxygen in beer that is introduced during packaging, but cans do not let unwanted oxygen into the beer, reducing the risk of oxidation. In bottled beers, liners in the caps can cause oxygen to ingress over time. Some breweries use special cap liners to minimize this effect, but cans eliminate it entirely.

Hops are also sensitive to light, and too much light can cause the isohumulones – the compounds responsible for that sensitivity – to break down, creating a “skunky thiol” which is similar to the compound in a skunk’s glad that gives their spray that signature smell. Skunking can occur when beer is exposed to between 400-500 nanometers of light and ultraviolet light, which has an even shorter wavelength. Brown bottles block out light under 500nm and green under 400nm. Clear glass provides zero protection (ever wonder why Corona tastes better with lime)? Cans, on the other hand, offer 100 percent protection.

While there is some debate over whether cans are more environmentally friendly than bottles, they are certainly more practical for many drinkers. Cans are lighter and easier to carry than bottles, and more practical for picnics, beaches, backyards or anywhere consumers may not want glass around. It’s also better for packing in and out of campsites and hikes: Who wants to pack out six bottles when you could crush six cans in the bottom of a backpack? Cans are also easier to store and stack, take up less space in both breweries and home refrigerators and don’t require openers.

Then there’s the question of taste. While a 141 response-long thread on Beer Advocate’s online forum is still debating the point, many users agree that IPA’s taste better out of a can and many beers’ canned and bottled versions are virtually indistinguishable, allowing for batch variations. You may have heard the myth that beer takes on an aluminum taste from a can. Since all cans are lined to prevent beer from literally eating through the metal, that taste most likely comes from the close association between our sense of smell and taste. When a person’s nose is shoved into a can, some of that metal scent may trick the brain into tasting that way, especially if the beer doesn’t have a strong nose of its own. Simple solution? Grab a glass.

Here at Resurgence Brewing Company, we offer all of our beers in crawlers (think giant cans), growlers and right from the tap, as well as our Resurgence IPA in traditional cans. As time goes on, we hope to can more varieties, allowing you to experience our great beer by the single-serving can, whichever that one may be.

By in News, Uncategorized Comments Off on What makes a good Oktoberfest?

What makes a good Oktoberfest?

Join us to try a pint (or two!) of our Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest just wouldn’t be the same without that amber-colored, malty beer we’ve come to know and love, but what is it that makes an Oktoberfest, well, an Oktoberfest? Technically, an authentic Oktoberfest is brewed only within the city limits of Munich, Germany, where the style began. The beer we know as Oktoberfest today came out of spring brews about half a millennium ago, which were put aside in ice-filled caves for summer consumption. These beers, called March beers or märzen, were strong spring brews that were usually finished off in October, when fresh beers made with the recently harvested grain and hops needed the cask space. Citizens would throw a party to celebrate the harvest season, the making of new beer and associated gifts of prosperity, as an early precursor to the Oktoberfest parties (including ours!) celebrated all over the world today.

Those first Oktoberfest beers were full-bodied and malty, usually amber in color. They came in at about 5-6 percent ABV, and often improved with age as the hops mellowed out. The beer was probably best in the fall, when the people of the Middle Ages had to finish it off to make room for the next season’s batch.

The style that we know as Oktoberfest today underwent several changes through the ages, as brewing and storage techniques advanced. With the advent of scientific brewing methods, including filtration and especially refrigeration, the Bavarians were able to make beers all season long, not just in the spring. Since they no longer had to mass-produce it, they also didn’t have to make it just in March, and they began to be served as more of a special-occasion brew.

In the mid- 1840’s, two brewmasters named Gabriel Sedlmayr and Anton Dreher, of Spaten Brewery and Dreher Brewery, respectively, introduced a lighter-colored grain with the addition of Vienna Malt to the grist. What characterized the style was an emphasis on multiple steps of decoction, cartelized malts and some nutty sweetness, relatively long wort boils and relatively long layering periods, to mellow it all out. Today, Oktoberfest beers that bear the Märzen-Oktoberfest label (or just Oktoberfest) may have been lagered for about 12-16 weeks.

At Resurgence Brewing Company, our Oktoberfest is characterized by a perfect balance between malt sweetness and soft bitterness, with an aroma of toast and biscuit that follows through with a caramel, breadcrumb taste. It’s a 5.5 percent ABV, so it falls right in the middle of our beers on tap, in terms of strength. At our Oktoberfest party on Saturday, we will also be tapping the WNY Oktoberfest and WNY Hoptoberfest, made with grain and hops from local purveyors, including New York Craft Malt in Batavia and High Bines in Sanborn. We will be offering those local selections alongside our regular Oktoberfest, so you can taste what a difference local ingredients make.

At Resurgence Brewing Company, we like to experiment with the styles and flavors we can create in our beer, but we also strive to make clean, authentic beers for the style under which they fall. We think our Oktoberfest stands up well to the best on the market and would put it up against those cask-aged Middle Age märzen beers if we had the chance. Stop in and celebrate fall with us at our Oktoberfest party on Saturday, and see what the style is all about, here at your local West Side taproom.

By in News, Uncategorized Comments Off on Welcome to Resurgence, where great beer is an experience

Welcome to Resurgence, where great beer is an experience

At Resurgence Brewing Company, we believe great beer is an experience that brings people together. Our mission is twofold: To bring our Western New York neighbors into our taproom to see what we’re all about and to get our beer into the hands – and homes – of our consumers through our growler, crowler and new can line. Because let’s face it: Enjoying a great beer is about what’s in the glass, as well as who’s on the bar stool or in the lawn chair next to you. We’ve worked hard to create it, and we’d like to tell you a little more of what we’re all about.

Let’s back it up. Several years ago, founder Jeff Ware was living in New York City, where he frequented a number of breweries and beer gardens that spoke to him. These places had picnic tables and plenty of room for both adults and kids to sit back, relax and enjoy each other’s company, little refuges from the city hustle and bustle. Watching families enjoy kids’ birthday parties, complete with cake and balloons, couples relaxing over a board game, beers and a cheese board, and groups of friends gathering to enjoy the summer sunshine Jeff thought, “Man, why doesn’t Buffalo have one of these?”

And with that, the seeds of Resurgence were planted. Buffalo’s West Side turned out to be the perfect place for the brewery, with its grit and steel character, no-nonsense residents and up-and-coming neighborhoods. He looked into the future of Buffalo and realized Niagara Street was the place to be not just today, but 5, 10 years from today. The name played into the spirit: Buffalo is seeing a resurgence not only of its craft beer culture, but its entire identity.

Enter Resurgence Brewing Company. It’s not just another bar with just another patio. We’re a craft brewery that comes up with unique, deliberate beers that don’t taste like anything you’ve had before. We don’t want to be “just another IPA.” We want to be an IPA you’ll remember and order again. We want to challenge your taste buds, tickle your fancy and most of all, inspire you to ask for a refill. Ever tried Loganberry beer? How about sponge candy? We took these favorite flavors and made them into beer because to quote our friends at Ben & Jerry, “If it’s not fun, why do it?” We think they’re tasty, but don’t take our word for it. These two are always on tap, joined by an array of rotating experimental and seasonal brews. We like to play with flavors and blends, and you can find some of those trials under our “Experimentals” category. Sometimes we hit a home run, sometimes it needs some more time on the drawing board.

We welcome outside food in our taproom, although we do serve snacks from some of our local culinary partners. Go ahead and order pizza and wings or bring in a sub tray; whatever increases your enjoyment. You’ll also notice we have giant Jenga, Connect Four, bubble hockey, darts and cornhole to keep the kids and kids at heart busy. We all jump when the Jenga falls; no shame in that!

And just like the original biergartens of Germany and their New York City cohorts, we welcome parties, gatherings and general group merriment. Open bar and private party rates are available, and groups can reserve tables for smaller, more informal events. The bottom line is, we’re here to give you a good time. And beer, of course.

So come on in and check us out, sometime. We’d love to sit down with you over a pint or two, and experience great beer together.