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5 Popular Distilleries in Downtown Buffalo

City Guide, Cocktails, Drink, Food & Drink, Food & Drink Guides, Spirits

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Written by Syrie Roman

Published on March 1, 2022
Photo courtesy of Hartman’s Distilling Co.

Buffalo: Come for the History, Stay for the Booze

Until recently, there hadn’t been any local distilleries here in Buffalo since 1919. Lucky for us, over the past few years the city has seen an exponential growth in the distilling industry. Distilleries are producing everything from vodka, gin, and whiskey, to brandy, liqueurs, and other spin-off spirits, causing no shortage of Buffalo distilled booze for almost every palate.
Some of the most notable players in the industry are located within Buffalo’s city limits. Every one of the locations featured in this guide offers tastings, retail, and most even offer distillery tours.

The spirits produced by these distilleries have not only made an impact locally but have received national accolades and coveted awards. Tommyrotter’s small batch vodka was awarded a silver medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and its American Gin was rated 93 points in The Tasting panel Magazine, and Lockhouse won 4 medals in the 2017 American Craft Spirits Association Awards in Nashville, the only national competition judged by industry peers. They took home silver medals with their Fine Gin and Ibisco Bitter, and bronze medals with their Barrel Aged Gin and Revolution Coffee Liqueur. Nbd. Anyway, here’s your guide to popular distilleries downtown:

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Photo courtesy of Buffalo Distilling Co.

1. Buffalo Distilling Co.

860 Seneca St Buffalo / More Info

Buffalo Distilling Co. is housed in the former Duchmann & Sons Carriage Mfg building, which is a stunning reminder of Buffalo’s notable industrial past. Coincidentally this location is merely a mile away from its 1883 original location on William and Pratt Streets. Since opening the doors in the trendy Larkin District in 2017, Buffalo Distilliing has continued to offer tastings, merchandise in its retail space, along with distillery tours, and private events.

Photo courtesy of Tommyrotter Distillery

2. Tommyrotter Distillery

500 Seneca St Buffalo / More Info

The Tommyrotter’s Club was a band of rebellious craftsmen and artisans in the early 29th century who sought adventure, mischief, and inspiration in nature. These same qualities are at the heart of the spirits distilled at Tommyrotter. Since opening its doors in 2015 they have been meticulously crafting small batch Gin and Vodka. Their mezzanine tasting and retail space is the perfect vantage point to take a peak of their impressive bottling operation. They are located in the F.N. Burt Building, a 115-year-old paper box factory in the heart of Buffalo’s historic Hydraulics manufacturing district.

Photo courtesy of Lockhouse Distillery

3. Lockhouse Distillery and Bar

Temporarily Closed

41 Columbia St Buffalo / More Info

Being the first local distillery since prohibition, Lockhouse opened its doors to much anticipation from Buffalonians. It did not disappoint. To this day they continue to innovate and exceed the publics expectations. Their success was such that within a year they outgrew their original location and expanded to its current home at 41 Columbia Street in the Cobblestone District. Their current home allows not only for their distilling operation but also is a nightlife destination with a full bar which frequently features live music and fun events that sets them apart from the rest. Tours of the distillery can be scheduled and space for private events is available.

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Photo courtesy of Hartman’s Distilling Company

4. Hartman’s Distilling Company

55 Chicago St Buffalo / More Info

For co-owner Justin Hartman, “it seemed to him that the better the whiskey or finer the cocktail, the more time people spent together laughing, connecting, and making memories.” With the passion for creating this feeling, Hartman’s Distilling was born. Hartman’s is located in the former E. & B. Holmes Machinery building. Here, you’ll find bourbon, gin, whiskey, and vodka (you have to try the Loganberry vodka) as well as craft cocktails to enjoy. Plus, they offer distillery tours for a closer look at the process.

Lakeward Spirits Tasting Room
Lakeward Spirits Tasting Room & Store / Photo courtesy of Lakeward Spirits

5. Lakeward Spirits

65 Vandalia St Buffalo / More Info

One of the more recent newcomers to the Buffalo spirit game is Lakeward Spirits located in the Old Neighborhood at The Barrel Factory. The spirits here are all made from scratch right at the Old First Ward Barrel Factory. Lakeward mills the local grain and malt themselves, and then mashes, ferments, distills, and bottles. Until recently most North American malting operations were in the Mid-west or Canada. Luckily for Buffalo spirit enthusiasts, Lakeward’s process provides a true taste of WNY grain.

Did one of these places close? Send us a note!

This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated.

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Written by Syrie Roman

Syrie Roman is the owner and lead planner at Social Maven & Petite Soirée. Both companies specialize in creating beautiful and unique events in Buffalo, NY and beyond, with Petite Soirée focusing on events of 50 people or less while Social Maven focuses on larger scale productions. Romans background includes culinary arts, hospitality management, catering, event production, and wedding planning. They have recently opened their design studio & small event space located at 69 Elmwood Avenue.

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