GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — Just in time for the Buffalo Bills home opener, a new lager honoring the late Pancho Billa will be unveiled tonight.
“Viva Los Bills,” is a phrase that Bills fans will forever associate with the late Ezra Castro, known to many as Pancho Billa.
After losing his battle to cancer in 2019, his girlfriend Veronica , their children and the Bills Mafia have found new ways to honor him, each season. “I am beyond thankful for keeping Ezra’s spirit alive , for Ezra’s legacy, his wish,” said girlfriend, Veronica Borjon.
Most recently, restaurant Taquito Lindo and 12 Gates Brewing teamed up to create Pancho’s Legacy Lager. “It’s a crisp, clean, refreshing beer, it’s not going to be a heavy beer like an IPA,” said Kevin Lalock of 12 gates Brewing Company. “It’s just a nice Bills afternoon beer.”
In remembrance, each May 14th, the day Pancho passed, both companies will donate 5.14% of the lager’s proceeds to charity.
“As a Bills fan he is the face of fandom, but to his family he was the face of two beautiful kids and his girlfriend Ronnie, so we wanted to pay homage to that,” said Andy Mackmin of Taquito Lindo.
Pancho’s Legacy Lager will launches at Taquito Lindo on Grand Island Blvd, at 4 p.m.
26 shirts will also be there, with a pop up and unveiling a new commemorative shirt. “I’d like to think that 5, 15, 20 years from now, everybody will always remember Pancho Billa,” said 26 Shirts and Bills Mafia founder, Del Reid. “I’ll always do my part to make sure that he’s honored and that his family remains a part of Bills fandom for years to come.”
And keeping with tradition, Veronica and the kids will be at the home opener, Sunday. “I made a promise to Ezra that I will continue to take our kids and we will be there this weekend,” said Borjon.
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.