WNY Beer Trail supports Autism Awareness

Local News

Western New York (WIVB) — The WNY Beer Trail is giving back throughout the month of April.  A portion of every pass sold will go toward supporting Autism Awareness.

The trail features 38 breweries across the area.

“I had wished something would happen in Buffalo along the lines of the Finger Lakes Wine Trail and I said something like a Buffalo beer,” said creator Thomas Whitmarsh. “That was the ‘aha’ moment.”

Whitmarsh says it’s become a partnership of sorts.  “Our main goal is to support the breweries and have more people discover what is happening in our craft beer scene in Buffalo,” he said.   “It rivals any other big city beer scenes out there.”

The 2021 pass costs $25.00 and offers incentives to visit each brewery. “It gives you two, half-price beers at all 38 locations across WNY,” said Whitmarsh.

Buffalo Brew Pub, on Main Street in Williamsville is one of them.  Owners say it’s the longest standing brewery in Western New York. 

But for Whitmarsh,  it’s about more than just great beer.  He also believes in giving back.  During the pandemic, he donated $7.16 from every pass to WNY Hospitality Relief.

Now through the month of April, he’s donating a portion of ALL sales to the Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park.  His son Michael, is on the Autism spectrum.

“He loves sports, crazy about hockey, baseball, numbers and stats but he struggles on the other end,” he said.  “For him and others that contend with the sensory needs, spaces like the ANT are going to be very important.”

So he’s using his platform to raise funds and awareness.

“It’s giving us the chance to do something bigger and better and we’re looking forward to a great month,” said Whitmarsh.

For more information or to get a pass yourself, head here.

Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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