New York is the third largest producer of beer in the country and that means for every can or bottle that is made and distributed from one of our local breweries, our communities see those dollars and cents go right back in elsewhere.
The modest life of a brewer in Western New York isn't too different from hops and yeast masters in any other brewhouse.
"My day starts sometimes before the sun comes up the most days," said Ellicottville Brewing Company lead brewer Steven Boucher. "On the average day our brew house versus 60 barrels of beer which is roughly 1,800 gallons."
For Boucher, it's just a tall order in this rural setting with a handful of dedicated staff.
"Today we are brewing The Herd, which is a crushable lager, [that will be] out during Bills season," he said, pouring out hops and other ingredients to be carefully measured as they start their journey to eventually be beer.
And with a farm brewing license they put New Yorkers to work as much as possible. Part of building out this relatively new facility in Little Valley was a stipulation that a percentage of staff be local.
"It's really nice to see kind of how our company helps boost the economy of Cattaraugus County and Ellicottville specifically and how we work with a lot of the other businesses in the area," said Boucher. "Really try to make this area thrive."
It's something he sees in other small breweries throughout New York state.
"They are definitely kind of trying to reinvigorate the local labor force," he said.
Brewing is only half the battle. There is the impact to the community. In Ellicottville it can be seen how different taxes are paid and how revenues directly impact the look and feel of a picturesque Main Street.
"Money that we bring in, the tourism that we bring in, really just kind of helps keep this place the way it is," said Boucher.
But it's back to where it all started, because as automated as Boucher’s system is, it still needs a watchful eye and quality control to make sure they keep brewing up success.
"It's nice to see that those breweries kind of take care of the people around them, take care of their communities, and kind of help the local communities thrive local agriculture thrive," he said.
Ellicottville Brewing Company is currently brewing The Herd Crushable Lager for Buffalo Bills fans across the state, but also working on different Fan Zones. Depending on where you pick this IPA up, can art themes range from the Bills to Syracuse University and more with the proceeds going right back to helping New York communities.