On a cold snowy early evening, I ventured to my home town of Niagara Falls to meet up with Hops Ryno for a few craft beers at The Griffon Pub. I was also excited to meet up with Dave, a friend of mine that has been slinging beers to me for many years at The Griffon Pub and elsewhere. Although I have been to The Griffon Pub a few times in the past, I had not been there for many months and I was looking forward to catching up with some friends and check out some good beers.
Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the weather forecast, because the roads were becoming increasingly dangerous. I was driving a vehicle that is decidedly bad in snowy conditions, but I was on a mission. Although the heavy wet snow was falling at a steady clip on this Thursday night, the parking lot at The Griffon Pub was near packed; a sign that not even bad weather can keep people away from good beer. Here is a picture taken from outside The Griffon Pub.
After taking this picture, I brushed the snow off of my phone, quickly scurried inside, and headed to the bar. The ambiance of The Griffon Pub was wonderful. One of my first orders of business when I walk into a bar is to look around at the patrons. If I notice that the patrons are not having a good time, that provides an indication that something is amiss. As I made my way through the dinner crowd, seated in groups of two and four to a table, I noticed that everyone was smiling. The cozy and warm atmosphere at The Griffon Pub provided a pleasantly-stark contrast to bitter cold outside. Hops Ryno had anchored a spot at the bar. After some seat-jostling, we settled in for our evening soiree with craft beer. The following beer menu was accurate and up-to-date.
What impressed me most about the offerings at The Griffon Pub was that there really was a beer for everyone. The The Griffon Pub had session beers mixed with heavy hitters and rare selections that spanned the entire spectrum of beer styles and tastes. Their diverse beer menu ranged from Pilsners to sours, IPAs to Lagers. Also, you can choose what volume you would like: a 6 ounce flight, 12 ounce, 16 ounce, or 22 ounce glass. And pouring this vast array of beer at The Griffon Pub was the very excited bartender, Scott!
My initial thought upon perusing the plethora of beers was “Where should I begin?”. I immediately noticed a couple of the “heavy hitters” that I wanted to save for the end of the session, and I started my night with a couple of the lighter, less hoppy beers. I began my night with a North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner, and a Resignation Brewery KCCO Gold Lager Pilsner. I thought both of these beers were delicious and very drinkable, and I was off to a great start! Except for the occasional glance to the window, I had all but forgotten about the snow outside.
After the Pilsner’s, I tried a couple of the IPAs: Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA was an awesome beer, and the Longtrail Limbo IPA was great too.
Then it was time for the “heavy hitters” I had been saving. The first one I was eager to try was the Thornbridge Halcyon American IPA from England. I could tell right from the first sniff that this beer was going to be spectacular. In fact, this beer turned out being my favorite beer of the night at The Griffon Pub. Halcyon was a very drinkable, well-balanced IPA with a crisp finish. Here is a picture of Dave serving up my Thornbridge Halcyon.
My last beer for the evening was the Allagash Interlude, an outstanding farmhouse/saison from Maine, brewed with both a farmhouse yeast and a Brett yeast. This beer was delightful and complex, and I was glad I saved this beer for last because with the sour Brett flavors I may have had trouble going back to taste the other beers. The Griffon Pub also had quite a robust selection of stouts, including the world-famous Founder’s Breakfast Stout and local offering Flying Bison Brindle Porter.
I had a wonderful experience at The Griffon Pub. The bartenders and patrons at The Griffon Pub were not phased by the weather, rendering the ambiance as delightful as the beers. At one point a photographer from The Buffalo News took some pictures. She commented that with the weather being so poor she was pleasantly surprised so many people were at The Griffon Pub. After my beer adventures at The Griffon Pub, I was not surprised at all that so many people decided to brave the elements for a pint. I did. And I would do it again. Maybe I’ll pay closer attention to the weather next time.
The Griffon Pub
2470 Military Road
Niagara Falls, NY 14304