At one of the most popular intersections in Ellicottville (just north of the village at the Route 219 & 242 junction), you’ll find Steelbound Brewery and Distillery. Steelbound is one of the newest additions to the EVL bar & restaurant scene. I sat down with owner Bill Bursee and marketing director Todd Harmon to find out how their first season went and what we could expect to see this summer.
I met the guys at the bar on a Friday morning. Bill had just arrived after a meeting with Senator Gallivan. He was in a suit and tie and I could tell, that wasn’t his normal get-up. Bill owns a successful construction company and you can tell that’s where his passion lies. Just look around the place. Every time I go there, I see some cool new thing that has been built into the amazing motif.
When I asked the guys how this winter went, they both looked at each other and smiled. “It was what we expected.” Bill said. “We got some things nailed on the first try and other things needed to be improved upon.” One of the things they really wanted in action this winter was their shuttle bus. The plan is to offer free shuttle service to select location in Ellicottville. Rumor has it that they have been working with HoliMont and we may see some designated stops there before the snow flies. All in all, business was good, and more people are figuring out what Steelbound has to offer.
You may hear some rumbling from the parking lot this summer at Steelbound. They teamed up with Gowanda Harley-Davidson and 103.3 The Edge radio to host Bike Night every second Thursday of the month through this summer. The Edge will be doing a live feed broadcast from Ellicottville while bands and bikes create the background buzz. There will be drink and food specials as well as raffles and giveaways.
Bike Night is not where Steelbound’s relationship ends with Gowanda Harley. Just days ago, the distillery released hand labeled bottles of a collaborated moonshine with the popular bike dealer. The label screams Harley and should be a hit with 2-wheeled riders and more.
I drive by Steelbound every day on my way to and from work, and I recently noticed some construction going on outside. Turns out that we can expect a new outdoor patio to open soon. The vision is to build a unique patio atmosphere with fire pits and cozy seating. Bill has more big plans in the works for the Ellicottville location; stay tuned for details.
Speaking of locations, Steelbound will have another place to hang later this summer. Sometime in July or August Steelbound Springville will open. Springville is Bill’s hometown and when he learned of Papa Jakes Bar and Restaurant closing, he saw an opportunity for a second location. Steelbound Springville will feature bourbon barrel aged beers and hard-to-find deep dish Chicago style pizza. Theirs will be called the “Capone.”
On top of everything else the folks at Steelbound have going on, they also managed to bring home a bronze medal for their Better Red light Ale, from the Hunter Mountain Beer Festival in Hunter, NY. Before I left, I got to sample a unique new vodka from the Steelbound Distillery, Hoppy Hour. You guessed it - vodka made from beer. The hoppy IPA finish is refreshing and clean. I see a few “Hoppy Hour” martinis in my near future.
Do yourself a “flavor” and visit Steelbound Ellicottville or Steelbound Springville this summer. Steelbound Brewery & Distillery in Ellicottville is located at 6600 Route 219 North, across from Tim Horton’s. Head to www.SteelboundEVL.com or follow them on Facebook to find out what’s on tap and details on upcoming events.