Big Ditch Brewing Co., winner of the 2016 “Best Craft Brewery in New York State” at the TAP New York Festival in Hudson Valley, is one of those classic fast-growing craft beer success stories and will be debuting a new facility along with its first canned beers this month.
“Our brewery was operating at full capacity and barely keeping up with demand, which is a nice problem to have,” said Matt Kahn, president of Big Ditch Brewing Co. “We’re humbled by the success of the brewery thus far and pleased that we were able to undertake this expansion to meet the growing demand for our craft beer.”
Big Ditch Brewing began producing craft beer out of its Huron Street facility in October 2014 and opened its taproom in May 2015. Recent expansion has increased the brewing capacity threefold to 15,000 barrels per year and enabled Big Ditch to add a canning line and expand the availability of its most popular beers. The expansion was aided by a loan from the Buffalo and Erie County Regional Development Corporation.
Big Ditch Brewing’s Hayburner American IPA, Low Bridge Golden Ale and Excavator Rye Brown Ale are the beers that will now be available in 12-ounce cans sold in regional supermarkets, retail outlets, convenient stores, bars and restaurants.
In addition to the expansion of Big Ditch’s production facility, the space in the kitchen serving the highly successful Taproom and the beer hall were both underwent expansions as well. The beer hall now offers a dedicated service bar and restrooms.
“It has not quite been two years since Big Ditch brewed its first batch at the Huron Street facility,” said Corey Catalano, vice president and head brewer. “We opened with one brewer and now have eight brewers and 80 full time and part time employees overall brewing craft beer 24 hours a day and five days a week. It has been remarkable!”
“The emerging vitality of the Electric District neighborhood in downtown Buffalo continues to surprise me,” commented Paul Iskalo, co-founder of Big Ditch Brewing and president and CEO of Iskalo Development Corp. “We have been an active real estate investor in this neighborhood since 2004 and are pleased to be a part of its renaissance.”
To celebrate the launch, both the Electric Tower and the rooftop sign at Big Ditch Brewing will be illuminated in the signature colors of each of the three beers being released on both Wednesday 9/28 and Thursday 9/29: orange (Hayburner), blue (Low Bridge) and maroon (Excavator).
The brewery name pays homage to the Erie Canal, which was nicknamed “Big Ditch” during its early construction. The Erie Canal started as an idea, but ultimately served as the catalyst for the City of Buffalo’s rapid growth into one of the largest cities in North America by the early 1900s. The founders of Big Ditch hope that the return of brewing to the City of Buffalo will similarly contribute to the region’s continued revival as well as its proud brewing tradition. Big Ditch Brewing’s craft beers are currently distributed on draft by Try-It Distributing in Erie and Niagara counties and Sanzo Distributing in Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming and Cattaraugus Counties. For more on Big Ditch, watch this cool video: