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Neighbors helping neighbors: WNY Breweries pitch in to help one of their own

Posted at 5:11 PM, Jun 19, 2020

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — For the staff at Brickyard Brewing Company, the last three weeks have been a struggle.

"We have our procedure and routine," John Meteer, director of brewing operations said. "Not being able to do that is terrible."

A fire in late May severely damaged the Lewiston restaurant and brewery, leaving the brewers with no place to work.

"I mean it'd be like living at home and not having access to your family," Meteer said.

But it didn't take long for help to roll in, showing just how tight knit the Western New York brewing community really is.

"If something devastating were to happen to us, we'd hope for the same camaraderie," Big Ditch co-founder Corey Catalano said.

"We share ideas, we share stories, we commiserate, we collaborate," Big Ditch co-founder Matt Kahn added. "I think it's unlike the beer community you'd find in the rest of the country actually."

"Up in Lewiston, we kind of feel like we're out on our own on an island," Meteer added. "When everybody reached out, it was just awesome."

For the last few weeks, Brickyard has been using the equipment at Pressure Drop Brewing in Buffalo. They've also spent time with Big Ditch, collaborating on a special beer.

"We both have mutual respect for each others beers," Kahn said. "So it didn't take long to get on the same page of how we wanted the beer to turn out."

"It's fun, exciting, and something nice we can do together," Catalano added.

It's called "Brick by Brick" and it's on tap at Big Ditch starting Friday until supplies last. The folks at Brickyard came for the release and they say it was pretty special.

"When I walked in today and we saw the crowlers on the bar and they were filling them and there was a couple here waiting at the door for it, I actually had butterflies in my stomach," said Meteer.

Because 100% of the proceeds are going back to Brickyard showing the true meaning of neighbors helping neighbors.

"It's amazing how much of a community this really is," Meteer said. "The local craft beer community really is just unbelievable."