Carrying on the Erie Canal’s Legacy

Big Ditch has established themselves as a major player in Buffalo’s continually growing and expanding Brewing community, successfully cultivating their own “beer canal” enticing folks downtown along their malt stream, as if they were coming to Buffalo down the Erie Canal.

The Erie Canal serves as an allegory to Big Ditch Brewing. Mockingly, many people referred to the Erie Canal before its completion as “Clinton’s Big Ditch”, with many doubting his vision and the possibility of its completion. Clinton ultimately had the last laugh. Once the Canal was completed and filled with water, it transformed the Buffalo, Great Lakes and New York for over 100 years ushering in a new era of prosperity for our city.

The energy of the Big Ditch flows through our city Buffalo, a city reborn from the spirit of the workers who crafted the Canal with their bare hands, continues to shape its future with strength and ambition. Today, Big Ditch celebrates those roots with Big Ditch beer, an ode to the prosperity that followed the completion of the Erie Canal nearly two centuries ago. As we all build the Buffalo of the future, they make sure to honor our past and embrace a new chapter of growth and pride.

All of Big Ditch’s brews are produced on site. Big Ditch Brewing Company currently makes its beer in two different facilities. Our Production Brewery at 101 Oak Street makes beer using a 40-barrel (1,240 gallon) brewhouse. The Oak Street Brewery primarily makes beers that are packaged in 12 oz cans for distribution. Our Innovation Brewery at 55 East Huron Street, which was our original brewery, makes beer using a 20-barrel (620 gallon) brewhouse. The Huron Street Brewery primarily makes limited release, specialty, and experimental beers, which are often served only at our tap room. (Big Ditch: About Us)

Big Ditch has an extremely humble beginning. The story starts with two ambitious scientists, friends and beer enthusiasts, Matt Kahn and Corey Catalano. Eager to embark on a new business venture, they began crafting unique brews in a humble garage, using a discarded food-grade bucket as their first fermenter. As they honed their skills over two years, they connected with Wes Froebel, an experienced former co-owner of other breweries, who shared their passion for creating something exceptional. Their aspiration to find a suitable space for their brewery coincided with Iskalo Development Corp.’s renovation of a former Verizon facility in downtown Buffalo. Collaborating tirelessly for over a year, the trio, together with Paul Iskalo as their principal investor, meticulously planned the brewery and tap room.

In October 2014, Big Ditch Brewing Company officially opened its doors, initially distributing kegs of their flavorful brews throughout Western New York. The following summer, their Tap Room on E Huron was unveiled, offering a delightful combination of Big Ditch beers and delectable cuisine in a vibrant downtown atmosphere. With their brand gaining popularity, Big Ditch extended their reach by introducing canned beers in 2016 and expanding their distribution across New York State. Today, Big Ditch stands proudly as Buffalo’s largest brewery and ranks among the top 10 independently owned breweries in the state.

Location: 55 E Huron St., Buffalo, NY 14203