The Erie Canal opened in 1825, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Hudson River. When the plan for the Canal was presented, skeptics never thought it would materialize. They jokingly referred to it as “Clinton’s Big Ditch” after the New York State governor who championed the project. But when it was filled with water, the Big Ditch changed Buffalo forever and marked the beginning of more than 100 years of prosperity for the City of Buffalo.

The Big Ditch remains a part of us today. We still embody the spirit of the men that built the Canal with their bare hands. As with the prosperity that followed the completion of the Canal, Buffalo today is a city reborn. And those who are shaping the next 100 years of prosperity are the ones we brew Big Ditch beer for – a beer that celebrates our roots and serves as a reminder that the Buffalo of the future is being built with the same strength, pride and ambition that created the Erie Canal nearly two centuries ago.

Made from the best ingredients available, and crafted with just the right balance of art and science, Big Ditch beers are innovative, flavorful and drinkable…glass after glass.
The founders of CBW all have roots in Buffalo and we want our brewery to be an integral part of our city and the neighborhood our brewery is located in. We are donating our spent grain to T Meadow Farms, disposing of it in an ecologically friendly, mutually beneficial manner.

Our goal is to foster a sense of community and place, enriching our hometown through the production of damn good beer.


Amorici Farm Winery, practices sustainable farming in Southern Washington County. Amorici produces handcrafted, naturally processed New York State wine. Amorici grows cold, hearty grapes—Aromella, Kay Gray, Fontenac, and Marquette—others are sourced from the Finger Lakes and Long Island.
Amorici welcomes visitors to its farm winery in Valley Falls, New York for tastings and tours.
Look for the wine-tour map, sponsored by Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail. Amorici will be profiled. Amorici is also a member of the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail.


Yankee Distillers in Clifton Park, a new establishment featuring whiskey made on the premises, got off to an auspicious beginning with a well-attended ribbon-cutting in late July.

The three owners--Matthew Jager, Walter Kleemeier, and Scott Luning--got their start at an Albany distillery and, in fact, "we brought a whole lot of whiskey with us" and will serve that while their first Clifton Park product ages.

Licensed as a New York state farm distillery, Yankee Distillers, at 5 Fairchild Square, across from the Schmaltz Brewery, will get most of its raw materials from New York state farms, the owners said. Phoenix whiskey and absinthe that you drink (or are considering purchasing) is made by a girl. And an old one at that. I only make this point because there are many people out there promoting a certain style or view that men are the only distillers out there and the more facial hair they have the better they are at (or could be) distilling. So enough with the stereotypes.

I do the mashing, set the fermenters, run off the low wines, distill the whiskey, haul it to the barrels, fill 'em, and decide then they're ready. Then I bottle them, and am the one who delivers the product to the store.

I hope you enjoy the spirits I make. And thanks for your continued support.