The gray overcast clouds were the only detriment to the return of a Buffalo staple, Saturday afternoon. More like a returning Jedi rather than a revengeful Sith lord, Flying Bison Brewery celebrated its return to active status with a fundraiser yesterday afternoon to support Green Options Buffalo. With a light breeze and mild temperatures, the back lot of the Riverside brewery was filled with around 300 supporters, thirsty for some of the beer they sorely missed for the last six-plus months, disappearing from local shelves in an ending too similar to Episode V, and a lot of other small businesses in Buffalo.
Supporting the party was a bevy of local musicians, including (and not limited to) The Skiffle Minstrels, DJ Cutler, and The Cellars. There was a food tent too, serving hot dogs, Italian sausage, hamburgers and cheeseburgers (the veggie burgers sold out) for the four-hour event, and Mr. Softee (a classic soft-serve truck, none of those prepackaged on-a-stick vendors) drove up behind the lot and served patrons over the fence. Inside the fence were tables supporting Buffalo Car Share and GO-Buffalo, as well as a number of folks dressed up in a range of Star Wars costumes. The party was (obviously) a Star Wars-themed event, including discounts for wearing a costume, and a Princess Leia look-a-like
contest. The North Ridge, a storied Buffalo Star Wars fan club, made an appearance, with some amazing costumes, and they posed for photos and handed out trading cards.
Of course, the reason that we all packed in yesterday afternoon, was the beer. It was a long wait for a taste of our local brew, but it was worth it–the three brews available were delicious. Aviator Red, Buffalo Lager, and of course, Rusty Chain were being poured non-stop with very little wait for the most part. Even that little bit in line was well worth it to support GO-Buffalo and the return of a dearly missed–and very tasty–local brew.
Unfortunately the brewery itself wasn’t yet open, and neither was the gift shop, so if you weren’t there yesterday, you’ll have to wait another week or so to get your next glass from Flying Bison: the first shipments from Try-It are scheduled to begin shipping on July 6th. If you can’t wait that long, the brewery will be open July 1st, so check the Flying Bison website for hours.