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Local beer gets a big thumbs-up

Buffalo's own Community Beer Works received much-deserved recognition on Friday when RateBeer.com, an influential international beer-review site, named the nanobrewery "Best New Brewery" in New York State. Dubbed "the world's largest beer competition," RateBeer's annual roundup of the greatest brewers and beers in the world tallies votes by the site's reviewers, this year including 180,000 beers from over 13,000 brewers. Community Beer Works, located on Buffalo's West Side, recieved the state's best new brewery vote, while legendary Chautauqua-area brewery Southern Tier received both "top brewer" and "best beer" for its much-lauded Choklat stout.

"I'm still super jazzed and overwhelmed," says Rudy Watkins, brewmaster at Community Beer Works, adding that he's been "giddily jumping around the brewery" since hearing the news. It's hard to overstate this accomplishment for a 1.5-barrel (read: tiny) brewery that won't even celebrate its first birthday until April.

Furthermore, this impressive Western New York showing indicates our region's status as a rising craft beer hotspot; considering the statewide competition, clean-sweeping this authoritative site's New York categories is a remarkable feat for our beer scene. Grab a local pint this week and salute our talented brewers!

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