BUFFALO, N.Y. — Its historic edifice towers among the growing numbers of old industrial buildings being re-purposed into a neighborhood called Larkinville.
The massive building at the corner of Hamburg and Swan Streets was built in 1910 as the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company warehouse, but most would recognize the company name better as A & P. From 1915 through 1975. A&P was the largest grocery store chain in the United States
Partner and co-owner Matthew Myers says they had considered other locations for their Belt Line Brewery and Kitchen, but when this opportunity arose, it was perfect. "The developer was turning it into 150 lofts upstairs and they needed an anchor tenant. We're super excited to be right here, on the Belt Line Railroad in Larkinville and be part of this community."
The Belt Line Railroad is where the brewery pulled its name. The Belt Line, which is still visible behind the brewery, was both a freight and commuter rail line that did a 15-mile circle around Buffalo. It served Buffalo's growing neighborhoods and industrial districts. It still operates as a freight line today, as well as the brewery's namesake, which has images of the days gone by adorning the walls.
But while history plays a big role in the motif, Belt Line prides itself in keeping up with today's craft beer scene. "I like good, crushable, palatable beers" says Brew master Erik Greiner, who started brewing beer across the border, at Niagara College in Canada. After graduating, Greiner worked at Resurgence brewery and ultimately brought his style and craft here to Belt Line. "I think we are happy over here to be a small piece to a large puzzle."
The owners are also huge proponents of locally sourced products. The beef they used comes from a farm in Sherman New York and they even use locally produced honey for their Honey Kolsch beer. Just another sample of what's on tap during Buffalo Beer Week.