By Terry Duffy
Into a fun evening of select craft brews, good grub, music and art?
Then the 10th annual Art of Beer is something you should check out.
Taking place from 6-9 p.m. Friday, March 4, at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave., this fundraiser benefits the NACC's many program offerings. It is a celebration of Western New York region's rich legacy in beers.
Paired with some delicious food offerings prepared by the area's finest chefs, plus entertainment and visual arts, it's an evening not to pass up, says the NACC's Kelly Lang-Buckley.
"Every year, the community comes together to support the arts and celebrate," she says.
For connoisseurs of the suds, this is a paradise. Crafters from throughout the resurging Buffalo-Niagara area brewers market will be part of this experience. Among them is Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, who has been a staple at this event since its beginning.
And on tap: Some of the best crafts beers to partake in and enjoy by area breweries. The list includes: Baker Brewing, Big Ditch, CB Craft Brews, Chateau Buffalo, Community Beer Works, Ellicottville, Flying Bison, Founding Fathers, Four Mile Brewery, Hamburg, Hazlitt's Cider Tree, McKenzie's Cider, Mr. Good Bar, Muskoka, the NY Beer Project, Old First Ward, Otter Creek, Pan Am, Pearl Street, Resurgence, Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Southern Tier, Upstate Brewing Co. and Woodcock Brothers.
Like some good eats to go along with your brews? This event will have that and then some.
Buckley reports the "Food, Glorious Food" list this year will include the following preparations by Niagara Falls establishments:
•A Lebanese sampler prepared by The 755 Restaurant & Lounge;
•Gourmet cupcakes by Babycakes Cupcake Diner;
•Boneless wings and stuffed mushrooms by Buffalo Wild Wings;
•Farm to table burgers, brats and ribs by Dispenza's Meat Market;
•"Twisted" mac & cheese by Hard Rock Cafe;
•Sausage and sauerkraut, Asian meatballs and pasta marinara by the NACC Artisan Café;
•Shepherd's pie, lamb and beer by the Niagara Falls Conference Center;
•Pulled pork sliders by the Red Coach Inn; and
•Coffee and doughnuts by Niagara Falls Tim Hortons locations.
That's not all. Along with beer and finger foods, this event will again feature art, art and more art. (Remember, this is the NACC we're talking about.)
Live art will come in the forms of dancers and fashion models strolling the halls of the NAAC; "Beer Art and Vintage Brewmania" displays featuring the Simon Pure Collection and Jonathan Rogers Fine Art; and numerous NACC gallery exhibits and artists collections.
Entertainment art will feature musical performances on two stages. "Worth a Toast" offerings that evening include Billy Draws Two, Bobby Skrzypek and The Pedestrians, 2015 Hard Rock Rising Star winner Fiona Corinne and Turning Virtue.
Why not make a night of it this year? The NAAC is making it easy for patrons to experience the Art of Beer and enjoy the evening without worry, Buckley says. It is partnering with two Falls boutique hotels to provide visitors "everything you need for a perfect night."
The Red Coach Inn is offering a package of Art of Beer tickets, hotel accommodations, a VIP welcome, taxi service and a gourmet breakfast prepared by the Red Coach Inn executive chef. The Giacomo Hotel, meanwhile, is offering a special room discount rate for Art of Beer guests.
Tickets to the Art of Beer are priced at $30 presale and $35 the day of the event. Admission includes food and beer samples, a souvenir logo tasting glass, live music and free parking.
For more information, visit www.theNACC.org or call 716-282-7530.