May 11, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Mario Batali, Thurman Thomas, and New York Craft Beer Experts to Judge Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Mario Batali, Thurman...

Nearly 40,000 Votes Cast in Competition So Far

Vote for Your Favorite Brewery Here 

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Chef Mario Batali and Thurman Thomas, NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer, will serve as judges in the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge on May 17 in New York City.  Governor Cuomo, Batali, and Thomas will be joined as judges by New York craft beer experts 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, will deliver remarks at the event.

"The incredibly high level of participation in the Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge demonstrates the passion New Yorkers hold for their local beer and the major economic impact of craft breweries in every corner of this state," Governor Cuomo said. "By reducing regulation and removing unnecessary barriers to growth, New York’s craft beverage industry is thriving, and the Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge will showcase the best of the best and help connect our world-class products to new markets.  I look forward to joining these expert judges in tasting beers from the challenge's top five breweries."

The Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge was launched on May 2nd and invites 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. Since the May 2nd launch, more than 170 breweries have signed up to participate.  You can view the full list of participating breweries and vote for your favorite here.  Voting closes on May 12 at 5:00 p.m.

Thurman Thomas said, "I am thrilled to judge the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge with Governor Cuomo.  The craft beer industry is a key part of the New York economy all across the state, and we have some of the finest brews in the nation.  I'm looking forward to tasting some of the best, and encourage people to keep voting for their favorite up until the deadline!"

Garrett Oliver said, "New York State was once a world leader in brewing, and we are now arriving back at our former brewing greatness. The borough of Brooklyn alone once brewed almost 20% of the beer in the whole country! I've been brewing professionally in New York for 28 years, and we have never had more support from the governor's office. With Governor Cuomo's help, Brooklyn Brewery brings great New York beer to America and 30 other countries."

The Governor will host a final tasting event for the five New York breweries with the most online votes on May 17 in New York City, coinciding with American Craft Beer Week, which runs from May 15-21 and celebrates craft beer across the country.

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. 

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