May 17, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces that Brewery Ommegang and Roscoe NY Beer Co Win the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge

Governor Cuomo Announces that Brewery Ommegang and Roscoe NY Beer Co Win the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge

Final Five Breweries Participated in Blind Tasting at Pier A in New York City; Results in Tie between Cooperstown and Roscoe Breweries

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the conclusion of the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge. Brewery Ommegang from Cooperstown and Roscoe NY Beer Co. from Roscoe were declared the winners in a tie following a blind taste test featuring the five breweries that received the most online votes in the challenge: Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, Genesee Brewing Company in Rochester, Prison City Pub and Brewery in Auburn, The Roscoe NY Beer Co. in Roscoe, and Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood.

"I am honored to declare both Brewery Ommegang and The Roscoe NY Beer Co. as the winners of the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge, and I thank all five finalists for participating in this event," said Governor Cuomo. "New York's craft breweries are not only a source of local pride, but they create jobs and drive tourism in every corner of the state. No state has done more to assist and promote craft manufacturing than New York, because we know that when our businesses succeeds, all of New York succeeds."

Phil Leinhart, Brewmaster of Brewery Ommegang, said, "We’re honored to have received so many votes from fans across the state and are proud to represent the Village of Cooperstown in the inaugural Taste NY Craft Beer Competition. This is an exciting time to be part of the craft beer industry in the state of New York and we enjoy being a member of the friendly, collaborative brewing community that’s growing in the Empire State."

Phil Vallone, Donna Vallone, and Linda DeSabato, owners of the Roscoe NY Beer Co. said, "The Roscoe Beer Company is proud to represent the small town of Roscoe NY here at the finals of the Inaugural NY Craft Beer Challenge. We are truly honored by the support that our fans and community have shown us by carrying us to the final tasting challenge. As a New York Farm Brewer we are proud to be a part of the ever growing craft industry that not only provides quality craft beer but strengthens the New York economy."

The five finalists were judged by an expert panel, including Chef Mario Batali; Thurman Thomas, NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer; Anne Becerra, Certified Cicerone, Writer, and Beer Director for Treadwell Park; Mary Izett, Co-host of Fuhmentaboudit! on Heritage Radio Network; Noah Kaufman, Senior Digital Editor for Food and Wine Magazine; and Brad Leone, Test Kitchen Manager for Bon Appetit. Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery and Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer, served as the event’s emcee.

The Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge was launched on May 2nd and invited New Yorkers to vote for their favorite New York craft brewery in celebration of the diversity, range, and quality of New York’s craft beer industry. More than 170 breweries signed up to participate, and more than 42,000 votes were cast online.

Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York is now home to 321 microbreweries, farm breweries, and restaurant breweries, up from only 50 total breweries in 2011 and representing a 542 percent growth in the industry. This growth was achieved through a series of legislation and economic incentives, including the creation of the Farm Brewery License in 2012, providing tax credits for brewers, modernizing the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, and providing promotional funding. No state has done more to assist and promote craft manufacturing than New York.

Chef Mario Batali said, "I was honored to serve as a judge in the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge with Governor Cuomo. I got to enjoy some delicious local beers and highlight the craft beverage industry, which is so important to my work in the restaurant and food industry. This challenge really shows how craft beer in New York is a force to be reckoned with—so congratulations to all the finalists and the participants!"

Dean Jones, the Brewmaster of Genesee Brewing Company, said, "Being involved in the Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge is incredibly exciting for Genesee Brewing Company. As New York State’s oldest brewery, we’ve seen – and been a part of – the New York craft beer industry’s evolution into an innovative, statewide brewing community that’s truly thriving. The support that Governor Cuomo has provided to the craft beer industry has been fantastic, and events like this are great for every brewery in New York State, including Genesee. We’re honored to have gotten the chance to compete with so many fantastic brewers. Today isn’t just a great day for Genesee – it’s a great day for every brewery that’s been a part of this competition."

Dawn Schulz, Co-Founder of Prison City Brewing, said, "We at Prison City Pub & Brewing are honored to be part of the Taste New York Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge and drink a beer with Governor Cuomo. The Governor, along with the New York State Brewer's Association, has done so much for the continued growth of the craft beer scene in New York, and we are thankful for their support."

About the Winners

Brewery Ommegang

Brewery Ommegang opened in 1997 to brew imaginative craft beers across a variety of styles, with particular emphasis and respect for Belgian brewing traditions. Ommegang is located on a 136-acre farmstead in Cooperstown, New York and offers free daily tours and inexpensive tastings as well as a 75-seat café, a well-stocked brewery store, and an annual calendar of public events including a summer concert series and a legendary beer festival, Belgium Comes to Cooperstown. Ommegang brews eleven ales year-round, as well as an extensive and innovative range of seasonal and specialty ales. The beers have won a national following by connoisseurs of fine beer and are distributed in 46 states and internationally. In May 2016, Brewery Ommegang and Brewmaster Phil Leinhart were named the Champion Brewery and Brewmaster for Mid-size Brewing Companies at the 2016 World Beer Cup.

The Roscoe NY Beer Co.

The People that make up the Roscoe Beer Company are folks that enjoy the great outdoors, embrace their community and value all the great things our great country has to offer. We are business owners, mothers, fathers, fishermen, hunters, bikers, horsemen, educators and hikers. We work hard, play hard and absolutely enjoy a great beer when the time is right! We all have very strong ties to Roscoe and believe that a town, as all American as ours, deserves a beer of its very own!

Contact the Governor’s Press Office


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Contact the Governor's Press Office

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Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
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