Flying Bison Brewing Co.’s search for a new Buffalo site has taken the specialty brewer, potentially, to the city’s Larkinville District.
While Flying Bison founder and general manager Tim Herzog declined to identify the building he is targeting, several real estate sources have said it is a vacant, 12,500-square-foot Seneca Street building, just east of the LCo Building and Larkinville’s hub.
Herzog, when contacted, would not comment on the exact location until a series of real estate measures were completed.
“If everything comes back okay, we will be moving on a very fast track,” he said.
Flying Bison plans on moving by March 2014 from its original home on Ontario Street to the new site. Since its 2000 inception, Flying Bison has leased its Ontario Street site and the building’s owner, DiVal Safety Equipment now needs the building for its own expansion needs.
Herzog said Flying Bison had pinpointed a pair of Michigan Avenue buildings, but those deals could not be completed.
The new building will allow Flying Bison to increase its output and also develop an indoor beer garden/tasting room as part of the tours that regularly take place at the brewery.
Between its Buffalo operation and another plant in Utica, Flying Bison produces about 6,000 barrels annually of its various beers. Production is split on a 50/50 basis between the two locations but virtually all of Flying Bison’s beer is sold in Western New York.
“Virtually, every drop we make is sold here,” Herzog said.
Herzog said the new site will allow the company to increase production to at least 10,000 barrels annually and expand its outreach beyond Western New York’s eight counties. It may also allow the brewer to add more beers to its portfolio.
Flying Bison has 10 employees but with the expansion, Herzog hopes to add another six full- and part-time workers.
A final price tag on the move and expansion is still being tabulated, Herzog said. Depending on the price tag, Flying Bison may consider seeking abatement packages from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency and Empire State Development Co.