Beer reviews, beer places, beer science.

Beer Place: Rusty Nickel Brewing Company

On May 21st, 2015, I was privileged to be a part of the backer party for Rusty Nickel Brewing Company in West Seneca, NY.  The party was in recognition of donors who supported Rusty Nickel Brewing Company in raising 250% of their Crowdbrewed fundraising goal.  Backers were invited to come to the brewery to celebrate this kickstart success with beers and appetizers.  Jason, Dave, and Scott left their supporters feeling appreciated, inspired, and honored to be a part of their new endeavor.


Rusty Nickel Brewing Company is located just behind Ebenezer Ale House, one of my favorite places to grab a pint.  For my previous review of Ebenezer Ale House, please click here.  Upon visiting Ebenezer Ale House over the past few months, I would take a peek back to Rusty Nickel Brewing Company to check construction progress of the new brewing facility.  I watched the transformation of a “building behind a restaurant” into a brewery and tap room with rustic appeal and charm.  Rusty Nickel Brewing Company has evolved into a dignified and impressive drinking space, and stands together yet separate from it’s neighboring ale house.


Rusty Nickel Brewing Company was packed right from the beginning of the event, and the ambiance was mirthful and celebratory.  I made my way over to a corner of the bar closest to the draft selection board.  I struck up conversation with some other friendly craft beer enthusiasts as I honed in on my first selection.  The “brewtenders” were courteous and knowledgeable about all of the beers on tap.


The first beer I sampled was the W.N.Y. Belgian Pale Ale (aka the Palletizer), made with all local ingredients.  From the Rusty Nickel Brewing Company description:

This is a light Belgian style Pale Ale (BPA) made with malt from Niagara Malt with bittering and flavoring hops from them (liberty and Newport) as well.  Dry hopping was done with Nugget hops from East Prairie Hops.

Here is a picture of my W.N.Y. Belgian Pale Ale (5.2%):


W.N.Y. Belgian Pale Ale, the “Palletizer” (5.2%)

Next up to try was On the Border Amber Porter, so called because this beer straddled the line between and amber and a porter (and also in reference to Buffalo’s international boundary proximity).


On The Border – Amber Porter (5.2%)

Next up was the popular Fuzzy Navel Wheat, brewed with white peaches and navel oranges, and served with an orange slice garnish.  Fuzzy Navel Wheat tasted refreshing and fruity, and will be a great pint on a hot summer night on their outdoor patio area.


Fuzzy Navel Wheat (5.1%)

Next up Jason Havens gained the attention of the crowd to thank the backers and recognize people who made significant contributions to the brewery.  Listening to the Jason speak of the numerous people that aided in various aspects of building construction filled the crowd with a sense of respect, community, and togetherness.  Funders were rewarded with handmade gifts, growlers, pallet wood signs, and growler carriers.  Scott Fiege took pictures throughout the night and head brewer Dave Johnson educated the crowd on the various draft beer offerings.


Jason Havens speaks to friends, family, and backers.


Scott Fiege takes pictures of the festive event.


Head brewer Dave Johnson describes his beers to the crowd.

For a finale, I ordered a Dubbel Polar Vortex Belgian, made with imported Costa Rican coconut sugar.  At 9.0%, I had been saving this beer for last.  This beer was very smooth for 9.0% and the coconut sugar helped lend a tropical creaminess to the beer profile.


Dubbel Polar Vortex Belgian (9.0%)

The brewing capacity of Rusty Nickel Brewing Company is appropriate and unpresuming.  Brewing vessels are located just on the other side of the tap room.  Rusty Nickel Brewing Company does not seek to overwhelm visitors, but instead bring together neighbors.  The log cabin, camping feel and mason jar lighting bestow a sense of warmth and friendliness to patrons.  Jason, Dave, and Scott want you to feel welcome at Rusty Nickel Brewing Company and have a memorable experience.



Outside of the tap room is a patio that supplies significant additional seating.  From inside the tap room, the smell of a recently started bonfire added to the charm of the brewery.  Various games were placed outside for people to play as they sipped a glass of cool comfort.  If there were tents staked out back, people would have undoubtedly camped overnight and roasted marshmallows.


Rusty Nickel Brewing Company has carved out a niche of wood and beer.  A variety of original and clever craft beers round off a list of qualifications that make Rusty Nickel Brewing Company a must-visit brewery destination.  Rusty Nickel Brewing Company and brewer Dave Johnson provide an ever-changing list of craft selections, including Chai Tea Milk Stout, Not Yo’ Grandpa’s Cream Ale, and Slice O’Havens Double Creamsickle Cream Ale.  I look forward to trying Honey-Nut Beer-e-o’s and other innovative creations during my next visit.


About Buffalo Beer Biochemist

Born and raised in Western New York. Ph.D. in Biochemistry. Professor of Microbiology and Chemistry. And lover of beer.

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