It’s not everyday that a local craft brewery gets an opportunity to collaborate on a beer with a brewery of the magnitude and caliber of New Belgium Brewing. But that’s exactly what’s happening with Buffalo’s Big Ditch Brewing Company. The two have come together to brew a beer called Folly, an IPA that was crafted by three female brewers, Kim Reynolds (Big Ditch), Kelly McKnight (New Belgium), and Devin Carman (assistant brewer – Big Ditch).
The name of the beer is a nod to the perceived “foolishness” of many visionaries, that ultimately led to great ideas. The name is in reference to the brazen New Belgium co-founders Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch who built the brewery – now the fourth largest brewer of craft beer in the US. At the time, doing something of this nature was probably considered a bit daft. Of course there is also a local hook – the Big Ditch name, which is in reference to the Erie Canal (once called “Clinton’s folly” and “Clinton’s ditch”). People thought that Governor DeWitt Clinton was crazy when he came up with the notion of the canal. Obviously, he proved people wrong, and Buffalo capitalized on the burgeoning trade route.
In order to get Folly to market in time for Memorial Day weekend brewer Kelly McKnight traveled from Fort Collins, Colorado to Buffalo on Thursday, May 2 to collaborate on the project.
“Buffalo today is a city reborn, in the same way it was after the opening of the Erie Canal, a project that was deemed a foolish endeavor and one that would never materialize,” said Matt Kahn, president of Big Ditch Brewing Company. “We brew our beer to celebrate the strength, pride and ambition it takes to execute great vision, and are thrilled to collaborate with New Belgium, pioneers in our industry who looked folly in the face when starting their business.”
“Building a business is always risky and some would even see call it a crazy or foolish idea,” said New Belgium Brewing’s Upstate New York Sales Manager, Ryan Kurtz. “But well before New Belgium began selling our wonderful beer in all 50 states, what was once seen as folly was realized to be an awesome vision. The Erie Canal was an impossible project and one that required a lot of risk, and that resonates with us. We join Big Ditch in their call to ‘Celebrate Beer,’ and now add a second rallying cry: ‘Follow your Folly!’”
Of course, there’s a lot going on over at Big Ditch, including the craft brewery’s four-year anniversary, which is being celebrated today (Thursday, May 9) from 5pm to 8pm. A birthday party at the brewery will feature beer popsicles, new beers, raffles and giveaways, and live music by Buffalo band GRAVY.
- Berry Vision popsicles with fresh berries
- Hayburner popsicles with fruit juice
- Make Me Wanna Stout popsicles with sweet cream
- Coconut Lime w/ Cashmere and Motueka dry hopped hard seltzer
- Strawberry Mint w/ Mosaic and Belma dry hopped hard seltzer
- Sweet Cherry Berry Vision – 2x the fruit as regular Berry Vision, our fruited sour
- Make Me Wanna Scream! – Make Me Wanna Stout with chipotle, cayenne, vanilla and nutmeg
- Elderberry Sour Lemonade Shandies – soured wheat beer with elderberry and blended with housemade lemonade
- Sweeter Dreams – Sweet Dreams wheat ale with honey (chamomile, and lemon zest)
- All Citra DDH Pale Ale
- FC Session IPA conditioned on cedar
This will be a great time to celebrate alongside the brewers, sample some stellar beers, and enjoy one of the best brewing assets that downtown Buffalo has to offer.
Big Ditch Brewing Company | 55 East Huron Street | See Facebook event for details
Lead image (L-R/Bottom-Top): Kim Reynolds, Brewer (Big Ditch), Kelly McKnight, Brewer (New Belgium), and Devin Carman, Assistant Brewer (Big Ditch)