WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) – The name “Rusty Nickel” is a nod to Buffalo and Western New York, with a positive spin on the area’s location in the so-called “Rust Belt”.
“Being in the Rust Belt has so many negative connotations, and we really wanted to bring in a positive spin,” Rusty Nickel Brewing Co. president and co-owner Jason Havens said.
The name also nods to Buffalo’s nickname “Nickel City”.
“According to engineering allegories, nickel doesn’t rust,” Havens added. “We felt this was the perfect opportunity to showcase that even though we’re coined as the Rust Belt, you can’t tarnish us.”
The brewery, located at 4350 Seneca St. behind Ebenezer Ale House in West Seneca, opened in 2015.
Co-owner and brewmaster David Johnson had been home-brewing for about 25 years when they opened.
“We both had a real passion for beer and we both had a real similar taste in beer,” Johnson said. “We wanted to bring that to people.”
Johnson says that the brewery specializes in full-bodied, flavorful beers- like the Chai Tea milk stout, “Chocolate Milk Money” (a chocolate shake milk stout) and Buehl Block Brown Ale, named for the brewery’s new taproom in the historic Buehl Block in downtown Buffalo.
Lighter beers include “Horns Up” Belgian single, which was made in celebration of the Buffalo Bulls, “What’s He Got” New England IPA, and “Not Yo’ Grandpa’s” cream ale.
If you’re a newcomer to Rusty Nickel, you’ll probably be pointed to the cream ale to start.
“It’s what we call our “training wheels” beer,” Johnson said. ‘It’s kind of an intro to craft beer- it’s a lighter beer, nice and flavorful, and crisp.”
The brewery just opened a second location in downtown Buffalo, at 36 Broadway in the historic Buehl Building.
They were able to open the taproom location under the same license due to their NYS Farm Brewery license. State law allows NYS Farm Breweries to open up to five “satellite” locations under the same license, as long as a certain percentage of the beers’ ingredients are sourced locally.
“We try to source a lot of local product in the beer- local pumpkins, blueberries, malt, grain, hops,” Rusty Nickel head brewer and co-owner David Johnson said. “We have a bunch of farmers in the area who grow our product.”
The new taproom location also has a full food menu, with items ranging from burgers and salads to Buffalo-style mac and cheese.
Both locations offer patio seating- the West Seneca location has a back patio that can seat up to 150, and hosts live music during warmer weather.
Rusty Nickel currently doesn’t do much distribution to restaurants or bars in the WNY area- so your best bet to get your hands on one of their brews is to stop in to either the West Seneca or downtown locations.
That may change in the future as the brewery operations in West Seneca expand, Johnson said.
“We’ve got new fermenters and new brewing equipment that can produce quite a lot of beer,” Johnson said. ‘We’ll be able to put up quite a bit more beer very shortly.”
Rusty Nickel Brewing Company in West Seneca’s hours are as follows:
Monday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tuesday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Wednesday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday 2 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Rusty Nickel @ 36 Broadway’s hours for December 2019 are as follows:
Monday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuesday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday: 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.