Buffalo Brewing Co. operates a five-barrel brewery in Buffalo’s Larkinville District, with a tasting room, beer garden, and some wholesale distribution. Its primary focus is on old world brewing techniques, such as lagers, pilsners, porters, and ales, although it also produces some more modern products such as NEIPAs and Fruited Sours.
John Domres, the owner of Buffalo Brewing, needed funding to establish a canning line as part of a shift from offering only draft beer to selling packaged beer. Domres had determined that operating his own canning line would be far more cost-effective than using a mobile canning service for a brewery his size. He had about two-thirds of what he needed to purchase and install the necessary equipment but was about $10,000 short.
Buffalo Brewing applied for a 2018 FuzeHub Innovation Incentive Prize Program grant and received $10,000. It used the money to support the purchase and installation of a canning line.
The project was completed in the summer of 2019. This meant that by the time the pandemic hit, Buffalo Brewing Co. was well-positioned to shift from serving draft beers inhouse to selling canned products to go. Domres said the canning line FuzeHub supported may well have saved his company from going bankrupt due to COVID restrictions. It has also saved Buffalo Brewing Co. thousands of dollars over using a mobile service. The company since has received over $550,000 in grants from Empire State Development, which it plans to put toward a $7 million relocation and expansion in a historic brewery in the city.