It’s true, on Thursday, November 8, 2018, more than thirteen-thousand Sullivan’s will arrive in Buffalo. It could be considered the greatest number Sullivan’s ever to arrive in North America at one time – sort of. The Sullivan’s arriving in Buffalo aren’t people, they are bottles of Sullivan’s world-famous Red and Gold Ale.

The 300 year old brewing company, headquartered in Kilkenny, Ireland, recently began bottling its beer again – the first time in more than 100 years, and once again Sullivan’s selected Buffalo as the first city in North America to receive its product. The brewery, founded in 1702 is introducing their bottled beer at Western New York locations of Wegman’s, Tops and Dash’s markets over the next two months.

“When we launched our Maltings Irish Red Ale in December of 2016, it was a smashing success in Buffalo, as was the launch of our Irish Gold Ale earlier this year.  Now that we have Sullivan’s in bottles, it was only fitting that we bring this to Buffalo first.” commented Sullivan’s vice president, Dan Smithwick.

Smithwick is part of a team from Sullivan’s traveling to Buffalo for the release of Sullivan’s in bottles. “Buffalo holds a special place in Sullivan’s history and is our North American adopted home.  We proudly display the flag of the City of Buffalo in our tap room at the brewery in Kilkenny.” added Smithwick. “We very excited to have Sullivan’s available in stores so people can enjoy Sullivan’s at home.”

Sullivan’s Master Brewer, Ian Hamilton, is also in town meeting with customers and beer lovers. “We brew our Maltings Red and Irish Gold in Kilkenny using locally grown barley and the water in Kilkenny is naturally filtered through the limestone base. These world-class ingredients along with our fermenting process that lasts four times longer than most ales results in the smooth and award-winning taste of Sullivan’s.” commented Hamilton.

Hamilton has been brewing beer for more than 30 years. With Hamilton as Sullivan’s Master Brewer, the brewery’s Maltings Irish Ale was awarded first place for keg ales at the 2017-2018 International Brewing Awards after competing against 1300 beers from more than 50 countries.

Another key member of the Sullivan’s team is Buffalo native Michael Meade.  Meade, a 1987 Canisius High School graduate, has led a push to return brewing to Kilkenny, Ireland, and has been the driving force introducing Sullivan’s to Buffalo and North America.“I’m Buffalo born and bred and committed to contributing to the renaissance of Western New York,” he commented. “I’m also passionate about the Sullivan’s brand and making this a success. By first launching our Maltings Ale, then our Irish Gold and now introducing Sullivan’s in bottles in Buffalo, we’re moving forward on both fronts.”

Sullivan’s is hosting a series of beer tastings over the next week at select area stores including the following:

Thursday, 11/8 5-7pm
Wegman’s @ 601 Amherst St., Buffalo
Dash’s Market @ 8845 Main St., Clarence

Friday, 11/9 5-7pm
Wegman’s @ 3740 McKinley Pkwy, Hamburg
Wegman’s @5275 Sheridan Dr, Buffalo

Saturday, 11/10 11-1pm
Wegman’s @ 370 Orchard Park Rd, West Seneca
Wegman’s @ 651 Dick Rd, Depew
Wegman’s @ 3135 Niagara Falls Blvd, Amherst

Saturday, 11/10 2-4pm
Wegman’s @ 8270 Transit Rd, Clarence
Wegman’s @ 675 Alberta Dr, Amherst

Saturday, 11/10 4-6pm
Wegman’s @ 4960 Transit Rd, Depew

Sunday, 11/11 11-1pm
Wegman’s @ 1577 Military Rd, Niagara Falls

About Sullivan’s Brewing Company

Kilkenny has been known as the cradle of Celtic craft brewing since the 13th century, when Franciscan monks brought beer from Italy to the Emerald Isle at a time when poor water quality gave them good reason to offer an alternative beverage. The Sullivan family started making beers in the southeastern Irish city in 1702.

In 1918, a controlling Sullivan family member wagered-away the family’s brewery on a horse race. Fortunately, a rival brewing family, the Smithwick family, came to the rescue by taking control of the Sullivan’s workforce and rights to the brewing company’s name.

In 1965, the Smithwick family sold its company – including its name and trademark – to Guinness, which kept open the Kilkenny brewery until 2014, when it consolidated its Irish operations to Dublin. The Smithwick family, however, kept control of the Sullivan’s brewery name.