So I was able to do something very exciting this week and even better, here I am blogging about it! So as I said before Flying Bison is one of my favorite Buffalo breweries, which made it even more awesome when I received a tour of the brewery from Colin one of the brewers. Way back when I was a child, my brother played hockey with Colin. Who knew connections from that far back would benefit me today. Colin who is also Tim’s, the owner, son gave me a quick run through of the brewery and was able to answer some questions for me. Unfortunately, time was slightly limited due to the important work Colin was doing. I wouldn’t want to pull him from his important job of brewing delicious beer for too long, please keep the beer flowing!!!
So on with the tour!
Just being able to go into their production area when first meeting Colin was amazing, I was able to enjoy their beer before, but now I was able to witness where it is made! So awesome!!! Currently, Flying Bison flows at about 5,000 barrels, but I was told an effort is being made to ramp up productivity to 10,000 barrels, which in my opinion would be great!! More delicious beer to drink!! Along with looking at increasing the size, Colin also hinted at the idea of using the pilot batch more frequently, hoping to possibly do it once a month in the near future! To me this might be the best piece of information I received, I love pilot batches because it always something new and a little experimental. Not that they are looking to change from their traditional brewing values, but maybe throw a wrench or two in the gears and see what is produced!
So once Colin was done showing me around the facility, providing me with some of the ideas they have for the future, I asked a few questions. The two most important being, what kind of values does Flying Bison hold in their brewing process and how does Flying Bison rank in age according to the other breweries in Buffalo?
So question one, value in their brewing practice? Colin stated that Flying Bison has always had a traditional eye for brewing. Which, if you are some what knowledgeable in beer, you’d be witness to that in the beers they’ve produced. Four ingredients are used to make the beer, water, yeast, malt, and hops those are what you will typically find in Flying Bison beer. There are some breweries out there that will challenge that idea and create their own concoctions, but at Flying Bison tradition is their North Star. In my eyes that is great, a lot can be done with malt, yeast, and hops without throwing foreign substances in.
Question two, Flying Bison history. So currently Flying Bison is the oldest brewery and distributor in Buffalo since its opening in 2000. There have been other breweries that have tried to settle in before them in the 1990’s but none have come to fruition. One worth mentioning though if the Buffalo Brewpub open since 1986, the only difference is they don’t distribute. Though things have changed with Community Beer Works opening in 2012, since then breweries have found themselves successful in the Buffalo area. Colin thinks this is due to people have a desire for another product made in their own city rather than looking states away. Go the guy next door, not next state. But I guess you could say Flying Bison has been the one holding strong and paving the way for others.
Being opened for 17 years, it seems that Flying Bison is holding true to their original mission of traditional brewing. Though Colin did admit they may have changed course slightly with the Bisonberry Kolsch with adding fruit to the ingredients, though this was done more so upon request from customers. Good for Flying Bison to support those who support them.
Altogether such as an amazing brewery with such amazing heritage and vision. When it comes to deciding upon a brewery to go to, Flying Bison is always on the list of choices! Love it there!!
Common beers to be found brewed by Flying Bison, 716 IPA, Rusty Chain, Buffalo Kolsch, Aviator Red, Low Gear Session, Larkin Lager, Bisonfest, and Blizzard Bock. Some other ones I’ve taken a liking to MacBison Scotch Ale(check out my brewview), Herc C-130 Barleywine Style Ale, and Blackbird Stout. But do yourself a favor, don’t take my word for it, stop on by yourself and grab a pint. The staff is always such a delight to chat with and when I’ve been there they have always answered my beer questions!!!
Keep Rocking it Flying Bison!!