By Joshua Maloni
After the year Chris Budde had, he could use a beer.
Fortunately, he won't have to look very hard to find said beverage.
Budde and his wife, Jessica, will open Brewed and Bottled Craft Beer Shop Friday in the Grandpaws plaza on the corner of Center and North Fourth streets in Lewiston.
"It's extremely hard," Budde said of starting a new business. "A lot of nights I didn't sleep. A lot of days that we had ideas that we thought we wanted to do were totally scrapped. The concept changed over and over again."
Overall, the process was "very daunting," Budde said. However, "If I could do it again, I would absolutely do it again. I've learned tons of stuff along the way."
"It's just following my dream," Budde said.
Brewed and Bottled is a "bottle shop," and "The concept of a bottle shop is to buy retail to go," Budde said. "We also have six taps around the corner. So, (it's) more of like a beer café."
Some of Brewed and Bottled's inventory comes from apples, which is fitting, as the idea for the store began in the Big Apple.
"We grew up in the area, and we ended up moving out to New York City," Budde explained. "In New York City, I really got into craft beer. They had awesome bottle shops. Awesome bars. Really cool breweries. And it was kind of a dream of mine. I said, 'You know, some day I just want to do this.' "
When Chris and Jessica moved back, he took a job at the popular BlackBird Cider Works in Wilson.
"I managed the retail aspects. I did the tasting room. I did sales. Production. Packaging. I was even driving a flatbed truck," Budde said. "I really got totally into every aspect of being part of a craft beverage company. I started meeting all of the brewers in the areas and the owners, and I just saw how excited they were and into their craft.
"From the day we moved back, we could see these breweries popping up all over. People are so excited. They're really, really into creating. And one day I said, 'You know, I love my job. I love being here at BlackBird. I love everything I do. But, if we do this, and I follow my dream, I can speak for all of these brands.' So, instead of selling and standing behind one, I can do 120, 200, 400 - you name it. Whatever I sell that is exciting, and just can put my name on it."
Budde said, "Part of it, for us, was, obviously, moving back and wanting to be here, and following a dream to be part of the community. We don't have a bottle shop like this here, and I thought it would fit well in a small community. We're primarily a walking community with a lot of people who know each other. Friends.
"Beer is social, and we thought it would fit great here."
Brewed and Bottled will start with 140 different beers, with about 25 percent from New York (excluding the draft lines, 22-ounce bottles and larger-format bottles).
"Our goal is to even double this, eventually," Budde said. "Start out now a little smaller for freshness. Things like IPA have a very fine shelf life. And we'll go from there."
Just a few of the unique beer brands customers will find include:
•Galaxy Andromeda IPA (Binghamton). "They don't have a very wide distribution, and that's something that I haven't seen much of in Western New York," Budde said.
•Bear Republic (New York). "This is fresh back into New York state," Budde said. "It was here for a while. Kind of disappeared due to production and distribution. So, I think people are going to be really excited to try more of their brands."
•Lord Hobo Brewing Company (Massachusetts). "We're getting some really interesting beers in from Massachusetts," Budde said. "We've got three of their IPAs here. Phenomenal beers."
Additionally, "We've got a large cider selection here, and all of these are New York state," Budde said. "It's all New York state apples. All New York state grown."
While beer is on tap at Brewed and Bottle, Budde said, "We're not opening a bar. We're calling it a 'beer café.' So, we're hoping people come in, they see something, they taste it, they sit down for a little while, and they just enjoy it. Enjoy the patio. Talk to each other. Meet friends. And, again, share."
The store will offer limited food, as "We also really want to support the plaza," Budde said. "The beer end is my forte. Not necessarily the food. So, go over to Scott's Bistro and grab a sandwich. Grab some soup and hang out. You can bring it back to the patio, if you want to. Bring it in here. Go over and see (Budde's father-in-law) Neil (Garfinkel) at Sgt. Pepper's and grab some cheese, and we'll set you up with plates and everything you need to cut it. We hope to work especially with Neil to do a cheese and beer pairing."
Though Brewed and Bottled has yet to open, people have already taken notice of the Buddes' work ethic.
Michael Broderick of Orange Cat Coffee Co. said, "Chris and Jessica are two of the most enthusiastic new business owners that I can ever remember meeting. They have a passion for craft beer and their industry as a whole, as well as a passion for Lewiston, and all the other small businesses working hard around WNY.
"I've witnessed their desire to surround themselves with, and support their fellow small business owners first hand. They reached out to me several months ago with excitement over the addition of a Dogfish Randall infuser with the interest of using Orange Cat's coffee beans to test and create different coffee-infused beverages.
"Chris has a detail-oriented and perfectionist attitude that will go a long way in the success of their new business."
Brian Krespan of Beer God Blog said, "I review beer in my spare time, and I am very excited to have a locally owned beer shop in Lewiston. I live just up the hill in the Town of Niagara and look forward to having another reason to drive into Lewiston to check out his stock of beer.
"Chris has been working diligently to create this store, having dreamed about it for quite some time. One of the things he was trying to recreate was the 'NYC feel' that he got from the local bars and beer stores in NYC where he lived for a few years.
"I've been given numerous tours along the way and I'm happy to say that Chris' dream has come true. His store ... really has a small-town-meets-NYC vibe to it. It fits right in with the other amazing, locally owned independent stores in Lewiston."
Weston Wright said, "My wife and I moved to Lewiston three years ago and met the two of them at the Lewiston Pub. Chris' enthusiasm for the craft beer industry was evident immediately. Chris has a drive to not only provide exceptional service, but to also educate the consumer on new and historic styles of beer. I've not met anyone more knowledgeable and dedicated about this industry, nor have I met someone so passionate about serving the local community.
"As a home brewer, I'm thrilled to be able to have a local shop for me to find inspiration and to converse with others in the community."
Kristin Gregory said, "I worked with Chris Budde at BlackBird Cider Works. Throughout the time we worked together, Chris' passion for craft and local was very apparent. He can talk beer with anyone, regardless of their style preference. Chris has become my personal beer locator. Any time you're looking for something specific, he can tell you exactly who carries it locally.
"Chris also has the ability to know and understand other people's palette preference, making him able to always make the perfect recommendation of new craft beers. This is so helpful, especially when beer options have become so overwhelming. Lewiston is so fortunate to have the addition of Brewed and Bottled!"
The Buddes will celebrate the opening of Brewed and Bottled Friday with a special in-store event featuring Woodcock Brothers Brewery.
"We're going to have the release of their canned beer called XPA 7.0," Budde said. "Hops change every time. It's very limited. And the brewery is going to be here. ... We're going to have cans for on-premise and to go. And I believe only seven or nine other stores spread from all the way here to East Aurora are getting that beer to sell."
Brewed and Bottled will open at noon, while the XPA will roll out at 5 p.m.
The store's regular hours will be from noon until 8 or 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
What's more, "We're going to be open on Monday evenings through the 'Blue Monday' concerts," Budde said. "I think it's a great chance for people to sit on the patio here and enjoy the music across the street."
Brewed and Bottled Craft Beer Shop is located at 402 Center St. Find it online at: