It’s officially fall in Western New York — the air is crisp, the leaves have changed and football season is in full swing.
That means it’s also fall beer season — something craft beer enthusiasts look forward to all year.
Luckily, Buffalo has many breweries that offer their own versions of craft brews in various fall flavors, from pumpkin and apple to maple, cinnamon and caramel.
Many of these breweries have been established just over the past few years, and their taprooms are spacious and modern, in contrast to the typical crowded, dark bar scene. Whether you’re a beer expert or newer to craft beer, you’ll have a great time visiting these local spots.
But hurry — many fall beers are only available seasonally, so take a tour around the city and be sure to try all of the fall flavors before it’s too late!
Local Fall Beers At WNY Breweries
Resurgence Brewing Company – Resurgence’s airy Niagara St. taproom is open Tuesday-Sunday and features ample seating and games to keep you occupied while enjoying their award-winning craft beers. Nothing says autumn like their Imperial Vanilla Cappuccino Pumpkin Ale — it offers hints of vanilla, fresh roasted coffee, pumpkin bread and cherry, perfect for enjoying on a cool fall night. Their Oktoberfest brew is another classic, a malt with biscuit, caramel, and toffee notes that was ranked #1 by The Buffalo News’s #1 for local Oktoberfest beers. Enjoy a beer and one of their delicious small plates on the brewery’s large patio, which has several fire pits to keep you warm on cool fall nights.
Big Ditch Brewing Company – Located downtown on E. Huron St., Big Ditch is one of Buffalo’s most popular breweries. Their open, two-story brewpub is a great place to bring a group for a meal and sample some of their delicious beers. Don’t miss out on their Cinnamon Apple Amber Ale–it’s all of the best parts of fall in a beer. Made with local apple cider, cinnamon, allspice, and local malts, it’s a spicy brew that features a delicious aroma, a rich malty base and a tangy apple finish. Their Autumn IPA is another must-try, a bitter, hoppy beer with a strong malt base and grapefruit flavor. For those who prefer a darker beer, Big Ditch’s Make Me Wanna Stout was made for fall football Sundays and is brewed with local Public Espresso coffee beans. Finally, their Märzen Oktoberfest beer is a German-style malty lager featuring flavors of toasted bread, fig, and honey. And don’t forget to try some of their food — we recommend the breuben, a reuben sandwich made with corned beef brined in their Excavator Rye Brown Ale.
Community Beer Works – Winner of Buffalo’s Best Brewery for the past several years, Community Beer Works was the city’s first nanobrewery, and they continue to offer some of the best beer in town. They just opened their new brewpub at 520 7th St. on the West Side, and it’s a must-visit. Featuring garage-style doors, the 2,400 sq. foot taproom offers plenty of open space to hang out, and an enclosed patio space features a fire pit to keep the fall chill away. The pub also offers an expanding menu of small bites and sandwiches. Be sure to try their Leztoberfest, an Oktoberfest-style Märzen with a rich, toasty malt base. Let’s Go Pils is their version of a crisp, clear lager with aromas of melon and grape, perfect for cheering on the Bills (or drowning your sorrows). For those who like something sweeter, they also offer Leonard Oakes Steampunk Hard Cider on tap.
Pearl Street Grill & Brewery – This popular downtown pub is also Buffalo’s oldest brewery. With a full menu and a variety of local and non-local beers on tap, Pearl Street is always a great choice for watching a game or grabbing a bite before an event. Every fall, the brewery hosts a special event where visitors can drink their Pumpkin Spice Ale directly out of a pumpkin that they fill with the brew. Pearl Street will be releasing their Pumpkin Spice Ale for the special occasion. The amber ale is brewed with real pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices and vanilla beans. Other fall beers include their Lord Stanley Scotch Ale, a dark beer that pairs well with Thanksgiving dinner, and their Oktoberfest beer, a bitter draft with hints of caramel.
Thin Man Brewery – This popular Elmwood Ave. hotspot is also one of the city’s best breweries and the only one operating in the Elmwood Village. The gastropub features three floors (including the rooftop) and two bars, so you’ll never have to wait long for your next beer. Their smooth Oktoberfest beer has a taste of sweet caramel-drizzled bread, with spicy hops and a grainy malt. Try their Mana Stout, a roasted malt made with toasted coconut and vanilla beans, and Pills Mafia, a German pilsner that’s an ode to football season. Once you’ve worked up an appetite playing pinball, skee ball or air hockey, order from their expansive food menu, featuring high-end pub grub as well as vegetarian options.
42 North Brewing Company – This East Aurora Gem brews some of the most unique, flavorful beer in Western New York. 42 North is located on Pine St. and features a rustic taproom, a seasonal farm-to-table menu, games, and live entertainment. Don’t miss their outstanding Maple Porter this fall — it’s aged in bourbon barrels for 6 months to pull out the soft maple candy and bourbon flavors, and nothing will warm you up better on a cold WNY night. Their Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale is another fall favorite, made with toasted oats and features notes of chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla. And definitely try their Masterson’s English Honey Braggot, a brown ale made from local raw honey from Masterson’s Garden Center in East Aurora. It’s definitely worth the drive, so take a scenic fall trip out to East Aurora and check out some of their amazing flavors before they’re gone.
12 Gates Brewing Company – Located on Earhart Drive in Williamsville, 12 Gates Brewing Company brews delicious beer and has a lively taproom featuring live music and tasty food in an industrial setting. Try their Festbier, an Oktoberfest brew that’s a crisp, malty light beer. And their Coffee Porter is a great choice for caffeine addicts, made with locally roasted coffee. Head out to the suburbs, take a tour and grab a growler. But be warned–the brewery can be hard to find because it’s located behind storage garages in an industrial park, giving it the feeling of a speakeasy just for people in the know.