Sterling Engine Company / Resurgence Brewing Company
1250 Niagara St.
, Buffalo, NY

Resurgence Brewing Company - Official Website

Built 1907

The Sterling Engine Company
42 Breckenridge Street & 1246–1270 Niagara Street

The Sterling Engine Company was a dominant presence on Niagara Street, between Breckenridge and Auburn Avenue for much of the 20th century. The company, which manufactured gas engines, constructed a factory building at 1252-1278 Niagara Street in 1907 (currently 1270 Niagara Street).

The three story, brick masonry second factory building constructed between Mason Street and the Belt Line occupies the entire block between Breckenridge Street and Auburn Avenue. The building retains a high level of integrity with the original steel industrial windows remaining extant on all elevations. At some locations on the first floor the windows have been infilled.
- Upper Black Rock Historic Preservation District. Reprinted on Meet the Upper Black Rock Historic Preservation District  by Buffalo Rising May 26, 2015 (online June 2017)

I\n 1907 the Sterling Engine Company (1246-1260 Niagara St), constructed a factory building on the west side of Niagara Street between Breckenridge Street to the south and Auburn Avenue to the north. Neighboring properties on the block between Breckenridge Street and Auburn Avenue, and along Mason Street were residential. By 1925, Sterling Engine’s address had expanded to south to include 1246 Niagara Street. More significantly, by ca.1925 Sterling Engine had usurped the entire residential area on Mason Street and had constructed a second factory building at 42 Breckenridge Street, which ran the entire length of Mason Street adjacent to the rail way lines. As early as 1908, Sterling Engine was utilizing interchangeable parts in its marine engine construction. At that time, Sterling Engine’s “only goal” was marine construction, but by 1946, the company was producing engines for ships, airplanes, cars, and trains. Sterling Engine produced engines that powered ships, such as the 83 Footer and landing craft in World War II. In the late 1950s Sterling Engine was purchased by Phillips Petroleum Company of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and the production facility moved to Paola, Kansas.

Resurgence Brewing Company
By Queenseyes
Pub. on Buffalo Rising, September 10, 2013,

Beer is back in Buffalo. It appears that around every corner there is a groundswell of brewers contributing to the wave of microbrews that are jostling for position to launch through the starting gates. Then there are others that are already off to a great start. The newest brewery to hit the ground running is Resurgence Brewing Company (RBC), located at 1250 Niagara Street (near Rich Products) in a building that looks like it was built for just such a purpose.

RBC President/owner Jeff Ware recently moved back to Buffalo from NYC where he and his wife were both in the brewing industry – Jeff at Boston Beer Company and his wife at Sam Adams. A home brewer himself, Jeff told me that kept a low profile in Buffalo until he came across the prefect fit – a building location that would serve his concept justice.

When he came across Bill Breeser’s sprawling day-lit warehouse (also home to Riverkeeper), he immediately knew that he had found the future site for his brew house – tanks, production area, and indoor/outdoor beer garden. “It was the natural light that spoke to me,” Jeff said. “It’s the perfect spot for brewing high quality beer, and inviting beer-lovers inside to enjoy the seasonal varieties. Here we will be able to make it, tap it and taste it within minutes of completing the brewing process. We’ll also be able to alter the batches depending on the feedback from the educated consumer. Then we’ll take the best brews and produce them for distribution… the plan is to be brewing 5000 barrels in two to three years, with most of that being distributed to the bar and restaurant industry.”

The beer garden that Jeff is planning is unlike anything that Buffalo has seen to date. As luck would have it, there is a decent-sized lawn that is adjacent to the building that will be perfect for setting up German-style picnic bench arrangements. That same traditional beer garden look and feel will be featured inside the warehouse too, with tap systems being situated directly next to the cold-room, looking over the green space.

Clear garage doors will open in order to create a flow between the indoor and the outdoor seating areas. There will be a small shared food plate concept added to the mix so that visitors will be able to sample beers that are paired with different tastings.

To add to the experience, Jeff is planning on adding a set of bocce ball courts for the customers. During the winter, the building will be heated by tubular gas fired radiant heat, along with heat output generated by the brewing process, that will be an open viewing field for all to see. Jeff also expressed that the pure size of the building and the surrounding grounds (including parking for up to 100 cars) will allow for expansion as he sees fit. Possible additions to the business model might include distilling whiskey and/or rum down the road.

“I want Resurgence to be the catalyst for the next big idea,” Jeff told me. “We are so excited to be back in Buffalo, and we want people to visit Resurgence and be inspired to move forward with their own ideas. We came up with the name for the brewery as a dedication to the turnaround that Buffalo is experiencing… there is a resurgence going on here and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

2016-17 Photos

Looking south on Niagara Street   ...   1250 Niagara at far right   ...   Far left: 1226 Niagara St.   ...   Middle, gray:  1200 Niagara St, Rich Products

2016 photo

2016 photo

2016 photo

Photos and their arrangement  2017 Chuck LaChiusa
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