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The Beer Keep - Buffalo

    After the Texans were sent home to Houston following the largest franchise win by the Buffalo Bills, and again before the Bills took on the Kansas City Chiefs, I endeavored on walks in the rain with friends to the 1000 block of Elmwood Avenue in Elmwood Village with our sights set on The Beer Keep.

    The Beer Keep opened in mid-September, and with 170+ beverages and 100+ cold canned and bottled beers ready to be enjoyed on-site or purchased to-go, The Beer Keep’s selection is incredibly diverse. Carrying quality beer is a must for any restaurant or watering hole hoping to entice patrons and keep them coming back (especially in Buffalo), and so many establishments do a wonderful job of it up and down Elmwood Avenue and throughout the area.

    But we are talking about beer here, and in my experience the breadth of The Beer Keep’s offering is unrivaled in Buffalo for a sit-down joint. When I stepped through the doors of 1002 Elmwood Ave. for the first time, I found that The Beer Keep holds true to its name with an impressive lineup of craft beers—along with popular local and legacy brands—any beer enthusiast can appreciate. I also found that the interior reflects the vibrancy of the village it calls home, with the fun of its wall colors matching the eclectic labels on display behind the bar (along with the fantastic Star Trek Enterprise shirt one of the bartenders was wearing).

    Whether beer is your lifeblood, or you enjoy a pint every now and again, there is something for you at The Beer Keep. While the IPA list is robust, available brew styles include pilsners, stouts, lagers, sours and fruit beers, hefeweizen, festbier, kellerbier, Belgian-style Tripel, and even a Munich Dunkel, among others.


Wading through the ten-tap list that is always rotating is the easy part. I sampled my way through half after being told I could try as many as I’d like. Navigating the can and bottle list is where the fun of discovery kicked in for me. With the game of matching labels behind the bar to the 100+ names on the beer list being both daunting and fun, the result was well worth the effort. Somewhere among the sea of psychedelic colors, brewery logos, and cartoonish creatures wrapped tightly around aluminum cans, were beverages that elevated conversation among friends at the bar—and that’s really what it’s all about.

    There is a brew worthy of your attention at The Beer Keep, and odds are, there are at least a few you haven’t indulged in, or even heard of before. And let’s not forget the canned selection of beer I like to call essentials, which includes Utica Club. I love seeing Utica Club behind a bar when I go out, and luckily, it’s everywhere in Buffalo. As a transplant from Syracuse, simply knowing the option exists is a comfort. I’m all for feeding the soul with the timeless classic pilsner-lager, which, according to written record, was the first beer sold in the United States once President FDR penned the end to prohibition in 1933. (Keep that one in your trivia pocket. More on that here.)

    But beer isn’t the end of it. The Beer Keep offers plenty of grog: wines, ciders, meads, and even kombucha. I visited for the beer, but The Beer Keep’s food menu offers a solid lineup for a place focused primarily on drinks. Omnivore, carnivore, vegetarian, or vegan, there’s grub from vegetable skewers and charcuterie to vegan dogs, sliders, and chicken sandwiches.

   If looking for suggestions, don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with a bartender—chances are one of them will beat you to it. The staff is plenty nice and willing to share tasting experiences. If you keep an open mind, you may even discover your next beer crush.

    Or you’ll end like me and grab a can to-go. I regret not grabbing more on the way out. Come the weekend, it may be time for another walk—and maybe, just maybe, I’ll see you there.

     Don’t take my word for it. Check out The Beer Keep and plan your visit: