It’s 2017 and there are a lot of places to buy craft beer in Buffalo. Every grocery store and gas station at this point carries some type of craft beer and most them even have one or two local beers mixed into their selection. This list isn’t showing EVERY place that sells craft beer in Buffalo, this is a list of the BEST places to find craft beer. Where can you find the latest limited releases? Who will have the latest Grimm Ales, Singlecut, Maine Beer Company or Jack’s Abby release?
The following are the best places to buy beer in WNY, in our opinion.
Last Updated: 10/31/17
Aurora Brew Works
191 Main St, East Aurora, NY 14052
Part craft beer store, part craft beer bar. When ABW opened their doors in 2012, no one else was doing the hybrid craft beer hangout. Over the years they’ve become our go to store for finding the rarest limited releases on their shelves (until they sell out). Their selection is impressive, they have a large selection of North American breweries, local bottles/cans, cider, European breweries and you can buy all of them as four/six packs or as individual cans. They have a small bar inside the shop with limited indoor seating however when the weather is warm there is a significant amount of outdoor seating on their patio. There’s a small selection of snacks to eat while you’re there but we recommend ordering wings to go from the nearby Bar Bill Takeout window. They’ve also got a sharp new lounge in the basement that is available for private parties and when not booked, open to the public. (All pictures from Aurora Brew Works)
402 Center St, Lewiston, NY
If you live in Niagara County, this is THE place to buy your craft beer. Brewed and Bottle calls themselves a “beer cafe” and for good reason, they offer a large retail selection but they also allow customers to consume their beer purchases on site. Like other shops, any 4 pack or 6 pack that you see on shelves can be bought as a single bottle/can. You can only enjoy that beer on site for a small $2 corking fee and by using their bottle chillers that will rapidly cool any beer on their shelves. They have ten taps that are changing on a regular basis, featuring national and local beers on draft for on site pints or growler fills to go. They are literally the closest bar to ArtPark, so they are the best spot for a pre concert beverage. They also encourage customers to order from nearby restaurants for takeout or delivery (Spicy Pickle and Sgt Peppers are within walking distance). (Below photos are from Brewed and Bottled social media)
17 Locations across WNY (14 with growlers)
We can’t talk about craft beer stores and not mention Consumer’s Beverages. With 17 locations across Western New York, they are the largest source of craft beer in the area. Since 1948, they’ve been supplying locals with their favorite beers. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, they started carrying larger selections of international and craft brews. In the mid 2000’s they introduced the area to ‘growlers’ without having to go to a brewery. There is no doubt they are the biggest craft beer supplier in the area and for most people, you can find what you are looking for. They’ve been outdone by the smaller local beer stores when it comes to finding super limited/rare releases but they still are a convenient resource for beer lovers. Plus you can return cans without those dumb machines and honestly, that’s worth a trip in itself.
284 Buffalo St, Hamburg, NY, 14075
One of the newest craft beer stores, Hamm and Fattey’s is the latest addition to Hamburg’s impressive food/drink scene. The beer shop is just getting started but they already have pulled in some great rare cans and bottles for their customers. They offer several beers on draft, available for growler fills or enjoying right there in the store. They have a nice non-chilled selection of bottles and cans and like other stores, can be ordered as a 4/6 pack or individually. Some lucky members belong to their mug club, but you’ll have to wait for Spring 2018 for the next enrollment to see if you can become a member. There is food available on site (and some wine for people who don’t enjoy beer) but they often have food trucks parked nearby.
3904 Maple Rd, Amherst, NY 14226
Premier Gourmet was my first craft beer store love. I had spent my early craft beer years buying six packs at Consumers in the early 2000’s but when I discovered Premier Gourmet’s original location on Delaware Ave, I was floored. Over 15 years later, they are still impressing me with their gigantic beer selection (especially with International beers) and their offering of every bottle/can as a single. They have kept up with all of the new craft breweries who are doing the most exciting stuff, but their selection of ciders and international beers is second to none. Also available are 20 craft beers on tap for growler fills using their state of the art Pegas CrafTap system. Their new location on Maple Road is connected to a large Premier Liquor store and offers way more then just beer. While the beer selection takes up a lot of space in the rear corner of the store, the rest of Premier Gourmet is filled with high end kitchen gear, whole coffee beans, a large deli counter and bakery.
Village Beer Merchant
547 Elmwood Ave and 1535 Hertel Ave, Buffalo, NY
Both Village Beer Merchant locations are primarily craft beer stores that specialize craft beer that isn’t easily found in WNY. Both locations offer a wide range of 4/6 packs and large bottles, both chilled and stored at room temp on shelves AND both locations offer growler fills. Additionally, you can find a selection of single bottles at both stores if you are in the mood to try some things. The main difference between locations is that their Hertel Ave store offers some minimal seating on site and allows customers to enjoy beer at the store. We recommend following VBM on Instagram as they regularly update what they’ve just received in the stores. (Below photos from Village Beer Merchant’s social media accounts)