Alli and I are on record as being lovers of East Aurora, so it should be no surprise that I fell in love all over again when we visited Aurora Brew Works last weekend. We stopped in East Aurora for a lunch at Elm Street Bakery (one of our favorites) and happened to drive by ABW and Alli noticed their sign outside. I assumed the building was a standard craft beer retail store but was very pleasantly surprised when I walked in and saw a couple tables and taps.
Aurora Brew Works is part beer store and part bar, you will find a large selection of craft beers that are available for purchase as 6 packs and single bottles. For just an extra $1 you can pay a corking fee and enjoy the beer right there at the store. Their selection was pretty great for a small store, including all of the favorites: Southern Tier, Dogfish Head, Founders and more. Besides some PBR, I didn’t notice any macro brews present. Their selection doesn’t end with bottles, they also have 6 taps at their bar and a few tables to sit at and enjoy. When we visited they weren’t selling growlers but after a nice chat with one of the owners, we learned they were just days away from setting that up (so it may be available now). At the bar you can either order a 5 or 12 ounce draft beer and they also offer a variety flight of 4 beers for only $8.
I ordered a 12 oz Delerium Tremens ($8, gallery) while Alli ordered their Shoals Shandy ($4, above), made up of half house-made lemonade and half Shoals Pale Ale. Their prices were right on with local beer bars and offering a 5 ounce tasting is a great deal if you want to try out a couple different things. We took a seat at one of their tables and snacked on some pretzels and discussed how cool the place was. You have a few different seating options including the tables, a couch, a couple of leather chairs and about 6 seats at the bar. If you’re hungry you can buy a Ham or Turkey sandwich for $5, pick from a variety of sugary snacks or you can just enjoy some free pretzels.
If Alli and I were in the southtowns more often, I would gladly stop by this store on a weekly basis. They might not have as huge of a selection as a Consumers or Premier Gourmet, but the location is much cooler and the ability to grab a beer or two and drink it on the spot is really awesome. Offering varieties like the Shandy, a Samurai Sunrise (Sapporo topped with Lemon and Ginger infused foam) and dry hoping beers on IPA day are nice touches that will separate this store from others in the area. I hope something like this makes its way down to the city of Buffalo but until then we’ll be making a couple extra trips to East Aurora. Like them on facebook or follow them on twitter to keep up to date on what their offering on draft or any new beers that are arriving to the store.