The rush of Main Street traffic falls away and I catch an earful of steadily flowing water as a friend holds the door open for me to enter Britesmith Brewing. With its home in a restored blacksmith shop dating from the 1800’s, Britesmith is a unique gem in the Buffalo suburbs.
Located off the main strip in Williamsville overlooking the steady rush of Ellicott Creek, the quaint brewery and restaurant embraces the history of its home with a display of blacksmith tools and horseshoes behind the bar, complementing the upscale rustic feel of the space. Imagine the removal of modern aesthetics—the air ducts and suspended lighting, the wood fired pizza stove, the tables and chairs—and you can almost hear echoes of a blacksmith carefully forming horseshoes atop the anvil.
Britesmith is every bit inviting, and it is evident that no expense was spared incorporating Ellicott Creek into the dining experience with a wall of windows allowing a view from every interior vantage point. We sat in a raised section of seating at the back of the restaurant and enjoyed a view as we caught up after months of not seeing each other.
The brewery in an infusion of the past in an environment of modern comforts. If the blacksmith tools aren’t the first thing you notice upon entry, the four towering stainless-steel beer brites glistening behind the bar sure are. Venture to the back of the restaurant, and the custom wood fired pizza oven demands your attention, along with the pizzas coming out and going into it and the stacks of seasoned firewood waiting to cook your artisan meal.
The food offering is focused primarily on wood fired Neapolitan style pizza, but the chicken sandwiches, double smash burger, lobster roll, Korean cheesesteak, and falafel pocket are all presented on the menu with a unique twist. My experience tells me there’s no wrong order. We indulged first in the pretzel bites and Elote dip, made of fire roasted corn, chili, queso fresco, crema, cilantro, and pickled red onion. At the very mention of Elote the waiter confessed, “…it’s the best appetizer on the menu.” And I believe him—it was bursting with flavor.
I feel like the wood fired pizza Gods have been following me around lately, and I willingly gave in. Of the eleven offerings, the Autunno pizza (i.e. Fall in Italian) was the winner for us. The flavors of the squash, caramelized onion, tart cherries, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and chili honey was a combination of sweet and savory I will not soon forget. And I’ve got my eye on either the Maine lobster or wild mushroom and truffle oil pizza for my next visit.
As a brewery first and foremost, Britesmith has certainly put significant effort into building a quality food menu. It was no surprise to discover that the beer follows suit, and it’s the first listing you’ll find on the menu. The Brown Squirrel Brown Ale—which hit the tap the day of my visit—was so tasty that I stuck with it for a second helping, an unusual decision for me but one well worth it. And though I didn’t indulge, the cocktails looked nothing short of divine.
Rumor has it that the Britesmith outdoor beer garden is a great spot to enjoy, even in the cold. I’ll have to get back to you on that. Until then, many return trips lie ahead to enjoy everything Britesmith has to offer…indoors for the time being.
Britesmith Brewing: https://britesmithbrewing.com/