By Terry Duffy
In the mood for some fantastic suds sampling, tasty eats, music and socializing, and don't want to travel all the way down to Buffalo to enjoy?
How about a craft beer extravaganza in the Falls?
The 11th annual Art of Beer is almost here. A can't-miss happening of the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, Art of Beer 2017 takes place from 6-9 p.m., Friday, March 3, in the hallways and galleries of the venerable NACC, 1201 Pine Ave., in the Cataract City.
Evoking its theme of "Good Deed, Good Beer, Good Food, Good Music, Good Art = Great Night," the 2017 edition will again feature the popular offerings of Buffalo-Niagara's finest suds, coupled with a variety of tasty food pairings and eats, musical performances on two stages, vintage brew-making memorabilia and visual art galore spread out over the NACC's hallways and floors.
"Every year the community comes together to support the arts and to celebrate the amazing legacy of beer culture in WNY. This year, the Art of Beer features your favorite craft brews, delicious food carefully prepared by the best local chefs, and some of the best local music you can find!" said Kelly Lang Buckley, NACC director of development.
With sponsorship by local suds distributors Niagara Tradition Home Brew, Try-It Distributing, Consumer's Beverages Inc. and Certo Brothers Distributing Company, craft beer aficionados will certainly have much to sample and enjoy.
Just take a look at what's on tap!
The 2017 list promises the best in crafts from area brewers, including: Barker Brewing, Big Ditch, CB Craft Brews, Chateau Buffalo, Community Beer Works, Ellicottville, Flying Bison, Four Mile Brewery, Hamburg, Hazlitt's Cider Tree, McKenzie's Cider, Mr. Good Bar, Muskoka, NY Beer Project, Old First Ward, Otter Creek, Pan Am, Pearl Street, Resurgence Brewery, Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Southern Tier, Upstate Brewing Co. and Woodcock Brothers, plus home brewing demonstrations by Niagara Traditions Home Brew.
Makes you thirsty just reading it.
That's not all here.
Art of Beer 2017 will also serve up what the NACC bills as "Food, Glorious Food" ... "Taste and Delight." Attendees will be able to partake in the such goodies as: farm to table eats, including burgers, brats and ribs from Dispenza's Meat Market; twisted mac and cheese from Hard Rock Cafe; sausage and kraut, plus pasta marinara from the NACC Artisan Café; beef on weck and wings from Legends Bar & Grille; pulled pork sliders and fresh coleslaw from the Red Coach Inn; Shepherd's pie - lamb or beef from the Niagara Falls Conference Center; boneless wings and stuffed mushrooms from Buffalo Wild Wings; plus dessert offerings such as gourmet cupcakes from Babycakes Cupcake Dinner; gourmet chocolate from Niagara's Honeymoon Sweets and coffee and doughnuts from Niagara Falls Tim Hortons locations.
Complementing the Art of Beer experience will be what else? Art.
Art as in stage performances by Billy Draws Two; Bobby Skrzypek and The Pedestrians; 2015 Hard Rock Café Rising Star winner Fonia Corrine and Turning Virtue on two stages.
And art as in the visual displays and works of NACC artisans, plus historical exhibits featuring the Simon Pure Collection and Jonathan Rogers Fine Art.
Nothing like an Art of Beer complete with good eats and culture. "Worth a toast," said Buckley.
She adds this year's event will again feature a special offering of nearby hotel accommodations for those out-of-town visitors and local attendees wishing to make a night of it in the Falls.
The Red Coach Inn has what it calls "a complete package," including AOB tickets, accommodations, a VIP welcome, taxi service plus a gourmet breakfast the following morning. And the historic Giacomo Hotel is availing a standard king deluxe offering at a discounted rate for Art of Beer guests. "The NACC has partnered with local historic boutique hotels to provide you with everything you need for a perfect night," Buckley said.
She added the above hotel rates are being offered to Art of Beer patrons as a special thank you for their support of NACC's unique programming in Western New York.
"We know you will enjoy the 2017 Art of Beer, and we hope you will visit the NACC galleries and events throughout the year so you can see what your support has helped achieve," said Buckley.
"Looking forward to seeing you here at the NACC!"
For more information on the NACC's 11th annual Art of Beer, including tickets and hotel offerings, visit the NACC website at www.thenacc.org or call 716-282-7530.