BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Lafayette Brewing Company, located in the historic Hotel at the Lafayette , captures the feel of the early 1900s- when the hotel was built.
“The theme of the restaurant is definitely trying to be true to its roots, of the history of this building,” Chris Herr, head brewer for the Pearl Street Properties said.
Lafayette Brewing Company was the second brewery Pearl Street Brewery to open in the Queen City (River Works is also part of the Pearl Street Brewery family).
They partnered with developer Rocco Termini for a $52 million renovation project of the hotel which was completed in 2012.
“There’s a lot of classic woodwork, we spent a lot of time and effort restoring the original fixtures and artwork,” Herr said.
Some of the woodwork and light fixtures in the taproom are original to the building.
A cozy fireplace and sitting area contribute to the turn-of-the-century feel, but the brewery also features a game arcade and a popcorn machine.
“I would say the theme is classic, but we definitely have that vibe of a modern brewpub,” Herr added.
One thing you won’t see in the brew pub is the brewing operation. Lafayette Brewing Company brews all of its own beer, but the 15-barrel brewing system is located downstairs.
“The brewing operation is directly below your feet as you’re sitting at the bar,” Herr said.
The brewery will soon expand into distilling operations. LBC acquired the former Black Squirrel Distillery and will begin distilling spirits at the front of the restaurant.
“We’re still figuring out what those products will be,” Herr said. “It’s something new for us that we’ve never done as a company.”
Having the distilling operation will allow the brewery to create unique products, like a whisky made with their own beer.
Lafayette Brewing Company has six house draft beers that are brewed year-round and three to five seasonals which are rotated out throughout the year.
The flagship beers are Lackawanna Lager, brewed with locally-sourced malt, High Iron Ale, a Belgian wit brewed with orange zest and ginger root, Terminiator Pale Ale (named after Rocco Termini), Roosevelt Red and Rough Rider porter, and Trainwreck Amber Ale (“it’s our bestselling beer and the only beer we sell at all three properties,” Herr said.)
What’s the one beer a newcomer to Lafayette Brewing Company has to try?
“I would say our Lackawanna Lager,” Herr said. “It’s such an approachable beer made with local ingredients.”
Lafayette Brewing Company beers are exclusively sold in-house. The brewery offers growlers and can fill kegs on special order.
The brewpub serves beer directly from the bright tanks in the brewing area downstairs, Herr explained.
“Because of how we serve, we don’t distribute to bars or anything,” he added.
Lafayette Brewing Company offers a full menu in the bar area and the dining room next door.
“The food menu we offer here is designed to be comfort food, American-style pub food that complements our beer list,” Herr said.
Lafayette Brewing Company is located at 391 Washington St.
It opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Sunday.
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