Okay I admit I may be a little late to the party. Micro-brewed beer has been around for a while but lately it seems to have under gone a popularity explosion! Now it's like ordering a bottle of wine. Beer connoisseurs are popping up everywhere!

When I see corner gas stations selling fresh beer on tap that you can fill up your " growler" with you know it's caught on. By the way, for those who don't know, a growler holds about six glasses of draft beer, and you take it home to enjoy. You can fill it up with a wide variety of craft brewed beer. Most beverage marts have 12 to 16 kinds at any given time.

These craft brewed beers come from all over the country. But many are local beers. Here are some I recommend. Hey somebody's got to try them! It might as well be me!

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    Flying Bison Brewing Company

    This local brewery over on Ontario Street has blossomed with a nice line of craft brewed beer.

    My favorite is "Rusty Chain". It's an American amber red ale with a nice smoothness to it. For a while it was hard to find and would sell out as soon as your local tavern got it in. But the supply is better now!

    Blizzard Bock: A seasonal dark beer also from Flying Bison. How can you go wrong with a name like Blizzard Bock!

    [More info on Flying Bison Brewing Company]

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    Pearl Street Brewery

    Seems like everyone has been to Pearl Street. They feature a wide variety of microbrews.

    I must be attracted to the names. I've tried the Lake Effect Pale Ale and found it to be a very nice pale ale. But there are plenty more to try! Pearl Street Brewery is located at 76 Pearl Street in Buffalo, NY.

    [More info on Pearl Street Brewery]

    Photo by Len Schrantz
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    Buffalo Brew Pub

    The Buffalo Brew Pub is located on Main Street in Williamsville. I first stopped there years ago for lunch and had a chance to sample the Buffalo Lager which went very well with a burger. My wife enjoyed the Nickel City Dark.

    [More info on Buffalo Brew Pub]

    Buffalo Brew Pub
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    Ellicottville Brewery

    With beers like Toasted Lager, Nut Brown, and Oktoberfest Lager you're sure to find a flavor that you'll love. The Ellicottville Brewery boasts one of the largest selections around with 7 regular beers, 6 seasonal beers, and 16 limited and small release beers. Ellicottville Brewery has locations in Ellicottville and Fredonia, NY.

    [More on Ellicottville Brewery]

    Ellicotville Brewery
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    Becker Brewing Company

    Becker Farms is well known for its grape vineyards and wines, but did you know they are also becoming well known for their microbrews? Becker Brewing Company focuses their attention on four regular beers (Local Lager, Pony Pale Ale, Rooster Red, and Art's Amber). They also brew seasonal beers like Pumpkin Ale, Blueberry Wheat, Gasport Porter, and Irish Stout.

    The brewery is open daily from noon to 6pm and Saturday 11am to 6pm.

    [More on Becker Brewing Company]