Blue Monk seeks national craft-beer prestige
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • August 23, 2013 @ 10:20am
With a locally unparalleled craft-beer list, private beer tastings, keg-tapping gatherings and the popular Blue Collar Funk Nights on Mondays, Blue Monk has become a lynchpin for craft-beer connoisseurs throughout Western New York as well as a serious tourist destination.
While owner Mike Shatzel keeps diners intrigued with exceptional duck frites, creative aioli and a Belgian food menu, the gastropub’s major draw is its selection of craft beers—32 on tap and more than 75 bottles.
Blue Monk is no stranger to national recognition, as RateBeer.com ranked the establishment as the seventh-best beer restaurant in the United States, while BeerAdvocate’s review system rates Blue Monk as “world-class” with a 99 out of a possible 100 points.
Still, Blue Monk has its sights set even higher, however, as CraftBeer.com and the not-for-profit Brewers Association runs their second annual search for the Great American Beer Bar, and the Elmwood gastropub has already advanced into the top 10 in the Northeast Region.
You can vote once, and the poll closes at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 30. Help out here.
The top three beer bars from each of the five regions will be honored, while the three bars that receive the most votes overall earn the highest recognition. Last year’s top three were Mekong Restaurant from Richmond, Va.; Hopcat from Grand Rapids, Mich.; and the Thirsty Monk from Asheville, N.C., respectively.
The Ruck from Troy, N.Y., was the beer bar closest to Buffalo to place in the Northeast Region in 2012, although Shatzel noted that Blue Monk wasn’t in the running last year.
For what it’s worth, the word “monk” appeared in two of the 15 winners, so that should be a notable omen. Good luck to Blue Monk in its quest for national craft-beer supremacy.
(Header photo courtesy of Chuck Alaimo from Blue Monk’s first anniversary party in 2011. Others courtesy of Blue Monk’s Facebook page).