Photographer and part-time nurse Julie Roesser, aka Instagram’s Craft Beer Deer, has a knack for capturing the bustling beer scene in her hometown of Buffalo, New York (one of our 2018 Imbibe 75 Destinations to Watch). “Buffalo’s craft beer scene has really blown up in the last five years,” she says. “It’s so exciting watching it grow.” Here, she shares her perfect day of eating and drinking her way through town.
After hosting numerous pop-ups and operating out of a mobile espresso bar for the past few years, the talented team behind Remedy House opened permanent digs in an eye-catching Victorian house in the historic Five Points neighborhood last fall. With beans sourced from Toronto’s Propeller Coffee, it’s Roesser’s favorite place for a morning pour-over. “It’s like a small, bright triangle of windows. The design and decor are truly amazing,” she says.
Located in the historic Hamburg Grange Building in nearby Hamburg, The Grange Community Kitchen is a popular all-day restaurant, bar and community hub. “Impeccably prepared food coupled with a stunning interior makes it my favorite place to dine, or even just grab a drink or baked good,” says Roesser, who usually makes a point of ordering a lunch beer to accompany one of the wood-fired pizzas or soup and salad combo. “They use local produce and responsibly raised meat, which is something that means a lot to me, and isn’t done enough. Always makes the drive to Hamburg worth it.”
Minimal is the best word to describe Billy Club, one of the city’s best cocktail bars. The charming Allen Street bar is known for its polished but easy-going approach. “The staff are warm and welcoming, which is so important, especially with such a small space,” says Roesser. The whiskey selection impresses and the house Negroni is a standout. “I’m not into cocktails as much as I am beer, so I’m just waiting for someone to open a craft beer bar in Buffalo with a similar vibe.”
To satisfy that beer itch, “Colter Bay (pictured above) is my favorite place to go grab a good beer,” Roesser says. The Allentown bar was recently remodeled with a new gastropub-meets-ski-lodge feel, house cocktails and upscale pub food. It’s a “warm and rustic” place with 44 taps pouring everything from fresh local IPA to Belgium’s best sour ales. “What I love about Colter Bay’s draft list is how well it’s curated. It always has a wide range of styles without skimping on quality.”
To soak up the suds, Roesser typically heads for the open, industrial vibes of Roost on Niagara Street. The “hidden gem,” which anchors the iconic Crescendo building near the Niagara river, is known for its pizzas and wine list. “Several of my favorite meals over the past year have been here,” Roesser says. “You can’t go wrong with anything you order off of their rotating menu.”
When it’s time to wind down, you’ll find Roesser at corner bar, McGarrets” for pints of Two Hearted and darts!” The mix of college students from nearby Buffalo State and longtime locals knows to bring coins for the pool tables and cash for the beer. It’s a true dive-lover’s dive bar.
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