The Story by Owner, Jeff Ware

Resurgence Brewing Company really began in my kitchen. It was there I brewed the first recipes of Sponge Candy Stout, IPA, and Loganberry Wit. They were all brewed on a 5 gallon home brew system, rigged together out of converted Coleman coolers, cooking pots, and a turkey fryer.

However, it was during my time living in New York City that the idea for Resurgence Brewing was born, and the dream of going from home brewer to commercial brewer really came to life. At the time, I was working in sales for a craft brewery, as was my future wife, Erin. In our travels throughout the boroughs of NYC we were exposed to wonderful ethnic bars with huge outdoor picnic areas, known as beer gardens. These family-friendly, relaxed drinking environments quickly became our favorite hangouts.

Coming back home to visit our family in Buffalo, we often wondered why no beer gardens existed in a town with such a beer-drinking backbone. On top of that, there was very little local craft beer available anywhere in the Greater Buffalo area. So the idea was born! Open a craft brewery that features a large indoor-outdoor beer garden where people can relax and “experience great beer” with family and friends. But instead of pouring beer from Europe, like the beer gardens of NYC, I wanted to create fresh beer on site.

I proposed to Erin in Brooklyn and, while celebrating with some well-crafted brews, we packed our bags for Buffalo. We leased a small apartment in Buffalo, January 1st, 2012 and got to work. After 2 years of many long days, and even longer nights, we were finally able to open the doors to a brewery of our own. We posted an announcement on social media that we would be holding a soft opening the next night, June 7th, 2014. We hoped a few people would come. Around 300 people showed up that first night, and we have been growing to meet demand ever since!

The Name

When we were creating the name for the brewery, we wanted something that really spoke to what was happening in Buffalo and the Buffalo beer scene. The city was coming back to life with renovation and new construction. New, creative ideas were being cultivated and cranes were in the sky, for the first time in decades. The beer scene in Buffalo was also coming back to life. At one point, Buffalo was home to over 30 breweries and, at the time we were opening, several other new breweries had opened or were planned to open. Nothing seemed to capture the momentum and energy of what was happening all around us more than RESURGENCE.

The First Building on Niagara Street

Our Niagara Street building was originally the home of Sterling Engine Co. in the early 1900’s. They were world-renowned for their boat engines and produced engines for PT boats during WW1. The company went out of business in the early 1940’s. From there, the building changed hands several times before being purchased by the city of Buffalo. At some point in the 1960’s, the city repurposed the area of the building that we currently lease as the pound. The rough dates on this are 1960 through the mid 1980’s. Since then, the building was mostly used for storage or left vacant. Resurgence Brewing Company leased the building in early 2014 and began the process of retrofitting the space for our current use. We officially opened to the public in June 2014.

The Mission

“Experience Beer.” To be the industry standard of providing high quality, small batch craft beer and spirits in a “City of Neighbors” community gathering environment.

The Vision

To inspire the resurgence and forward thinking of Western New York through focus on creativity, quality, pride, and community.

Resurgence Brewery & Beer Garden will brew high quality craft beer to be enjoyed on premise in our beer garden or at home. It will provide a gathering spot for the community of Buffalo to celebrate, and share local products amongst friends and family.

Short term, the garden will provide locally produced beer along with other locally produced food such as meats, cheeses, pickles, pretzels etc. It will become a place for the Buffalo brewing community to showcase their work, and a place Buffalonians can take pride in. Long term, the garden will be the home of beer and spirits created on site. These products would be featured alongside other local brews and libations to foster an almost nonexistent Buffalo brewing community. This will be a place unlike anything Buffalo has ever seen before!

The brewery will be located in the West Side neighborhood. We will house a 15 BBL brewing system that can produce 3000 barrels a year at full production. We will offer 6 beers on tap at the garden to begin, and grow our line up from there. It will be a unique beer experience for our customers to enjoy small batch beverages, just a short walk or drive from Elmwood.

In the future, we would like to add in-house distilling when NYS allows the production of beer and spirits in one location. At that time, production of both beer and spirits for distribution locally could be achieved if the market demand was present.

Straight from the business plan, still as relevant as ever!
Be the standard!
Don’t be a dick!

Chicago Street Expansion

It became pretty evident about a year after we opened our doors at Niagara Street that we were going to need more space. We had already maxed out beer production and we needed more space for private parties and a kitchen.

Instead of rushing to get something open, we decided to take our time to find the right building, in the right neighborhood, and to build it the right way. Almost 5 years to the day after we opened Niagara Street, our production facility, tap room, and banquet center made its debut in the Old First Ward neighborhood.

We are still getting our feet underneath us, but this facility will allow us to meet market demand for our beer locally along with freeing up capacity at Niagara for us to experiment and get creative. We can offer full dinner service to complement our beer portfolio and host parties of any size. We will strive to exceed expectations in the beer we make, the experience we offer and the service we provide. As we call it, FU Awesome!

We are hoping this facility will be a showcase of Buffalo beer and something Buffalonians can be very proud of!

The Second Building on Chicago Street

Our new tap room is in what was the EB Holmes Machinery Company Pattern Building. Founded in the mid 1800’s, the company is credited with revolutionizing the process of making wooden barrels. At the time, wooden barrels were made by hand and it was very labor intensive. Edward and Britain Holmes (brothers) created a series of machines that made the process much quicker. Their machines won numerous awards and were used by coopers across the world.

The tap room building (Pattern Building) was built around 1910 and would have been used as the workshop, drafting room, and elevator for the entire facility. The production space was housed in a 4 story brick building that stood where the rock climbing gym currently exists. The beer garden is a recreation of the courtyard that existed between the 2 spaces.