From blacksmith to brewery
A stylish new destination on Ellicott Creek
The current Britesmith Brewery was part of Williamsville’s early history.
photos courtesy of Nate Root
A brewery founded in village history has taken shape in the heart of Williamsville’s entertainment district. Britesmith Brewery, at 1509 and 1511 Main Street, is located in structures that were once used for the village blacksmith and, later, a longtime welding operation. The brainchild of David Schutte, who is managing partner and also owns Oliver’s and Creekview restaurants, Britesmith is in an enviable location, with views of Ellicott Creek and Island Park.
The complex consists of two buildings: one is the brewery, and the other is a taproom/dining space, with the two structures linked by a beer garden.
This was once home to L. M. Lorich Welding, which closed its doors in 1978. Louis Lorich originally bought the property around 1916 and ran the village blacksmith shop. With the passing of horse-drawn vehicles, Lorich began doing more welding, and his son Marvin worked at the shop until its closing. The history of the blacksmith on the campus dates back even further; George Blatt also had a blacksmith shop here, but that structure was demolished.
The Lorich family has been involved in the new brewery, which pays homage to their family’s history, with original tools, horseshoes, signs, and photographs on display throughout the taproom. Look for the original beams of the Lorich shop in their newly repurposed state as restaurant tables.
The brewery operation is being overseen by area pros: head brewer Devin Erdmann, formerly of Ellicottville Brewing Company; and director of brewing Clay Keel, formerly of 42 North Brewing Company. In the kitchen and bar, there are other iconic industry mavens. Ross Warhol of Oliver’s is overseeing the culinary operations with a menu that will feature Neapolitan pizzas, shared plates, salads, sandwiches, and creative desserts, while Tim Stevens of Ballyhoo and Lucky Day is consulting on bar offerings and signature cocktails.