This week’s speaker was Tim Herzog, founder of the Flying Bison Brewing Company.  Tim grew up and attended schools in Rochester, NY.

He graduated from Buffalo State College and started his career as an Art teacher in the Buffalo School System.

While teaching he took on several jobs working in restaurants and bars.  During that time he took up the hobby of brewing beers at home.

In 2000, he turned his hobby into founding a "full fledged" micro brewery....Flying Bison Brewing Company locating his brewery in the Riverside section of Buffalo.  Having outgrown their existing building, Flying Bison Brewing announced they will be moving into a larger facility in Buffalo's Larkinville community this spring.

Tim has been married for 33 years and has 2 sons.

Highlights of his presentation included:

  • Graduated from Buffalo State with a degree in art education.
  • Started brewing in 1991, at which time there were a total of 49 breweries in the entire US.
  • By contrast, in 2000 there were 50 breweries in NYS alone; 151 by the end of 2013
  • Buffalo Brewing Company opened in 1990
  • Buffalo is the highest per capita consumer of beer in NYS, followed by Albany. Both have large European ancestry bases, especially German and Polish—BIG beer consumers.
  • There are 1700 on-premise licenses in Erie and Niagara counties.
  • Prohibition had major impact on economy—major job losses not only at the breweries and distilleries, but suppliers, restaurant workers, etc.
  • Principal ingredients: malted barley, hops, water, and yeast
  • Only difference between ale and lager are the yeasts, which are active at different ambient temperatures.
  • Both ales and lagers can be produced that are heavy/ light, dark/ light, etc.—it is a matter of how they are brewed.
  • In 1900, the amount of beer produced in Buffalo would have taken six minutes to flow over all the major waterfalls in the US!!
  • A key is cycled through production, into distribution and back in 7 days.