Twenty years ago a then young "Beer Messiah", Bill Metzger, met Matt Conron during Matt's stint as head brewer of Breckenridge Brewing in downtown Buffalo. Their paths would part over the next several years, but as fate would have it, Matt found himself home brewing in Bill's Old First Ward building before too long.
Bill and Matt decided to purchase Gene McCarthy's, with the intent of establishing a brewery in the Old First Ward. Like all good Irish pubs, St. Patrick's Day (and March in general) is the busiest time of year. After their first successful March, in 2012, the two beer lovers took the meager proceeds and purchased a brewing system from a brewpub called The Three Needs, out of Burlington, Vermont. The system sat in storage in Ballston Spa, New York, for over a year, until they could amass the funds to start construction on a brewery (the next March, of course!). Brewery construction started in May of 2013, and Matt's beer flowed from the taps by January of 2014, less than two years from the date they purchased the bar.
Much of what OFW Brewing does has evolved over time. The opening boasted three beers: Against the Grain (hefeweizen); This is Not A Pale Ale (pale ale); and H.O. Oats (oatmeal stout). Matt now manages the brewery and Bryan Kirchmyer handles all the brewing. Bryan has brewed over 40 different beers and manage four to six strains of yeast. OFW prides itself on brewing this wide range of beers, using traditional methods and improving on tried and true ones. For example, OFW lagers are just that: fermented at 50-55° Fahrenheit for two to three weeks, then conditioned for 6-12 weeks. OFW Hopster and This is Not A Pale Ale have several separate hop additions and take up to four weeks to make. The wheat beers, Against the Grain and Heisenberg, are kegged and served in traditional German glassware, making a trip to Gene McCarthy’s reminiscent of a trip to Bavaria (except for the oompah music).
OFW is constantly looking to improve what they do in both product and process.
This means improving upon the beers offered as regulars, as well as trying out new styles and flavors.
We hope you enjoy our craft, and will help us drink it!
OLD FIRST WARD BREWING COMPANY