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2 new breweries opening soon in thriving WNY brewing scene

Brazen Brewing and Steel Leaf Brewing will be the latest editions to a thriving beer and spirits culture in Western New York.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Western New York brewery scene is thriving, and it's adding new breweries in the coming days and weeks.

Brazen Brewing, located at 5895 Genesee St. in Lancaster, closed on the property it will call home in March of 2020, as the COVID pandemic was starting to shut everything down. 

"We struggled with, is this the right move?" Drew Schaub from Brazen Brewing said. "The return to the taprooms really kind of helped bolster our feelings of this is the right move."

Schaub, like many Western New York brewers, got his start with homebrewing. Four years ago he started envisioning the soon-to-be-open brewery. 

Even with more than 30 breweries in the Western New York area.

"We really see a need here," Schaub said. "There are more breweries per capita in Rochester than there are brought in Buffalo, so we really think there's, there's more growth opportunity here."

Brazen plans to have 20 different beers on tap, bringing in kombucha and seltzers from other brewers, but all the beer will be their own. 

"The New England craze has really taken hold here," Schaub said. "You got to have other beers though, you got to have lagers, pilsners, I do a nice Kolsch."

Schaub says Brazen Brewery plans to open in the early summer. 

Over at the Eastern Hills Mall, there is life in the old Dave and Busters location. 

"So there's a lot of development going on in this area right now," Chelsea Morton from Steel Leaf Brewing said. "With the mall itself, the other end of the mall, a lot of up and coming new things we're excited to be a part of that."

Morton says the thing that will make Steel Leaf Brewing stand out is its location and experimental craft beers.

"We're going to have our tropical Pale Ale and we're also going to have a honey blonde ale." Morton said. "We also do a Mango Lime sour, Strawberry Shortcake beer."

Steel Leaf Brewing is opening on April 29.