by Amy Brooks, BDC Editor
MyCity Brew asked, and Buffalonians answered. After one year, three rounds of voting and over 10,000 ballots, the Byson Brown Dunkel has been chosen as Buffalo’s Beer. It’s premiering on tap at 12 Gates Brewing Company on Monday, April 9, but once this pilot batch is gone, you’ll have to wait for the full-scale release to get your hands on a pint.
It was local beer-lover and entrepreneur Jonah Epstein who came up with the idea of brewing a beer for Buffalo by Buffalonians. Two years ago, Epstein launched a Kickstarter fundraiser to make this idea a reality. When the campaign concluded, he had reached his goal of $10,000 and got to work putting ballot boxes throughout the city and suburbs.
The voting started out broad. Locals chose between lagers, hop-forward ales, malt-forward ales, porters and stouts, sours, and Belgian and German ales. Buffalonians choose lagers, and this didn’t surprise Epstein at all.
“We’re in Labatt Blue country out here, so people want something that they could have two or three of and still be able to drive home at the end of the night,” he explained, “It made sense that Buffalo wanted something that was a little bit more drinkable and more sessionable.”
For anyone not familiar with the Munich style Dunkel, it’s a dark brown beer - not quite as dark as a stout. The flavor has a sweetness from the malt used in the brewing process and some dunkels have hints of chocolate, caramel, nut or toffee flavor.The second round narrowed the “lager” category down further. Voting from a ballot that included both pale lagers and pilsners, Buffalonians chose dunkels.
“I think it’s a great choice for buffalo on the whole,” Epstein said, “It gives the real craft beer drinkers what they want, but also gives the average beer drinker in Buffalo drinkability as well.”
Working with 12 Gates, four test batches were produced, each slightly different versions of the same style of beer. On January 23, MyCity Brew held a final selection event where Kickstarter contributors and beer-loving locals were invited to sample each of the four beers and choose a winner.
Keeping in mind the variety of people in Buffalo, voters decided on the second lightest option. This beer is easily palletable and sessionable while still having the flavor that craft beer lovers look for in their next pint.
To try the Byson Brown Dunkel for yourself, make sure to head over to 12 Gates on Monday. For more on the story of Epstein’s journey with MyCity Brew check out the article on CraftBeer.com.