BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Big Ditch Brewing Company is gearing up to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its downtown taproom in May.
The brewery has been making and distributing beer in Buffalo since Oct. 2014, before the taproom opened, president and co-founder Matt Kahn said.
“Back then, we opened in distribution only, just selling our beer in draft around Buffalo,” Kahn said. “We opened our taproom in May 2015.”
Big Ditch Brewing Company, 55 E. Huron St., is located in the heart of downtown Buffalo. The taproom features two stories, an event space, an upstairs lounge area, and a retail area for Big Ditch-branded merchandise.
The brewery’s proximity to sporting events, shows, and other events happening downtown keeps guests flowing in.
“We connect really well with other things that are happening in downtown Buffalo, which is great,” Kahn added.
All of Big Ditch’s brewing operations are housed in the downtown building. For a brewery that produces about 15,000 barrels a year, that requires a three-shift operation.
“We’re pretty much at full capacity, so we’re constantly making, packing, and shipping beer out of this brewery,” Kahn said.
Big Ditch beer is distributed mostly in the Buffalo area, reaching out to Rochester and the counties in between.
The majority of the brewery’s production is devoted to one beer- Big Ditch’s signature American IPA, Hayburner.
Big Ditch co-founder and head brewery Corey Catalano said that Hayburner is about 85 percent of what’s made in the brewery.
“It was a huge success, and kind of took me by surprise when we launched it,” Catalano said.
Hayburner clocks in at 7.2 percent ABV and features notes of orange, melon and grapefruit.
“I think we found the sweet spot with our IPA,” Catalano said. “It’s very approachable, people-pleasing as some of my friends call it- but really just nice, juicy, lots of flavor without being very bitter, which is usually the off-putting part of West Coast IPAs.
Big Ditch also has other signature beers, including Low Bridge golden ale and Excavator brown rye.
The brewery also features a rotating cast of seasonal brews and limited releases.
They just launched their newest seasonal, a fruited sour called “Berry Vision”, which has been in the works for a couple of years, Catalano said.
Kahn describes Berry vision as a “very heavily fruited sour ale with blueberry and raspberry”.
“It’s not all that tart- it’s pretty balanced,” he said. “It’s very refreshing and should be good going into the spring.”
The downtown taproom features eight to 12 Big Ditch beers on tap at any given time. It’s open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
The menu consists of “high quality pub food”, Kahn said, with offerings like chicken wings, soft pretzels, and a Reuben made with corned beef brined in Big Ditch’s Excavator brown ale, dubbed the “Brueben”.
The taproom is filled with nods to Big Ditch’s namesake, the Erie Canal. Flights are called “Flight of Five”, a reference to Lockport’s famous “flight of five” locks.
Big Ditch Brewing Company’s hours are as follows:
Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.