by Jennie Acklin

“Craft beers continue to grow in double digit sales. People are drinking less beer overall, while drinking better beers, which explains the explosion of craft beer breweries,” according to Kevin Hall, retail marketing manager of United Refining Company, who owns the regional Kwik Fill/Red Apple stores.

At the Ellicottville store, you can even mix up 6-packs to satisfy your summer palate.

“Only the Ellicottville and Jamestown Kwik Fill/Red Apple stores will be offering a summer promo in the Beer Cave, called a U-Pick-6,” continued Hall. “Customers will be able to experiment with different craft beer selections, and pick six different selections — customizing their 6-pack, instead of the normal purchase of a 6-pack of all one brand.”

Hall is in charge of selecting all regional craft beers for the stores and customizes each selection for the region.

“With 30 to 40 new craft beer introductions every year, I really have to taste a lot of beer!” laughed Hall. “I do have to be familiar with each region’s breweries, and I make sure that each store offers the top regional selections.”

He starts with popular offerings from local breweries and adds top, national craft beer brands such as Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Blue Moon and Shock Top, just to name a few.

“EBC of Ellicottville, N.Y., and Southern Tier of Lakewood, N.Y., are the most popular of the local craft beers sold in the stores, with over 90 percent of sales attributed to those local brews,” explained Hall, “Stainless Steel, Pale Ale, Blueberry and Mow Master are a few of EBC’s most popular selections with Kwik Fill’s Beer Caves. And Southern Tier’s most popular include Eurotrash Pilz, IPA, 422 and Live.”

Hall may decide to expand the promotion to more of the 110 stores that have a Beer Cave, depending on the popularity of the test markets.

This summer, make sure you sample some different local brews the next time you’re picking up a 6-pack and make it a “build-your-own” 6-pack at the Ellicottville Kwik Fill/Red Apple store, located at the corner of Washington and Mill streets.

Watch for Red Apple’s great special prices and sales each month, too. Coupons and promotions are available online at, as well as in stores.

United Refining Company, the parent company of Kwik Fill/Red Apple and Country Fair brands, proudly supplies 100 percent American-made gasoline from 100 percent American crude oil. Located in northwestern Pennsylvania, United Refining produces petroleum products in a modern refinery, preparing them to become tomorrow’s energy provider. For more company information, visit