June 19, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Professionally Judged Craft Beer Industry Competition at the New York State Fair

Governor Cuomo Announces Professionally Judged Craft Beer Industry Competition at the New York State Fair

New State Fair Competition Will Find the Best Beers in 20 Categories Best-In-Show to Win Inaugural Governor's Excelsior Cup

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Great New York State Fair will host a professionally judged beer competition to further promote New York's growing craft beverage industry. The New York State Craft Beer Competition will award medals to the best beers in 20 categories, and the highest scoring beer in all categories will be awarded the Governor's Excelsior Cup. Sponsored by the New York State Brewers Association, top professional and amateur judges from around the state will sample submitted beers in an official, private judging session on July 29, 2017.

"After cutting red tape and removing barriers to growth, New York's craft beverage industry is thriving in every corner of this state," Governor Cuomo said. "Building on the success of the Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge, this competition taps professionally trained judges, opens the playing field to New York brewers, and will further promote the world class beverages made right here in the Empire State."

The New York State Craft Beer Competition is open to any craft brewer located in New York State. As many as three gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in each of the 20 categories, which include major styles of beer, such as IPAs and Lagers, as well as niche or emerging styles, such as sour beers or fruit and spice beers. Brewers may enter more than one variety of beer and each entry is $45. A complete list of rules, categories and entry instructions can be found at www.nyscraftbeer.com.

The Governor's Excelsior Cup winner and other awardees will be displayed in the Horticulture Building at the Fair, which runs August 23 to September 4, 2017. In addition, the Fair offers all brewers the opportunity to have their beers sampled at a sampling booth near the displayed awards and brewers may host one of the Fair’s daily Taste NY Wine and Beer Seminars. The seminars occur three times every day and allow beverage industry owners and experts the opportunity to provide product samples and educate the public about their beverages.

The competition follows and complements the successful Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge, in which a public vote via social media determined five finalists and a panel of expert and celebrity judges chose the winner. The New York State Craft Beer Competition will be judged professionally by judges with training or certification in the manner of major wine, beer and spirits competitions.

Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, the state continues to drive the craft beverage industry forward. By passing major pieces of legislation, launching aggressive promotional campaigns, and implementing considerable regulatory reforms, this sector of the economy has become a major driver of job creation and economic development in communities throughout the state. Today, there are more than 340 microbreweries, farm, and restaurant breweries across New York – representing a nearly 600 percent growth in the industry.

New York State Brewers Association Executive Director Paul Leone said, "The New York State Brewers Association is extremely proud to be working with Taste NY and The Great New York State Fair on this official craft beer competition. Governor Cuomo's efforts to support the growing craft beer industry through favorable legislation has given a platform for the over 340 breweries to compete in 20 categories to win either gold, silver or bronze medals for the best New York State beer in each category, with the overall Best of Show winning the Governor's Excelsior Cup. The best part is, the public will have an opportunity to try many of the winning beers at this year's State Fair."

Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, "The Fair has increased its promotion of New York's great beverages every year under Governor Cuomo's leadership. The state's fair is the right place for the state’s official competition and the Brewers Association is the perfect partner -- they’ve been instrumental in aiding the growth of the industry. I am excited for this competition and am looking forward to tasting some of these great beers."

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "New York's craft beverage producers are among the best in the business, and thanks to Governor Cuomo's support, the industry continues to thrive. We are excited to put the excellence of our brewers on display at the Fair this year and showcase the top producers of their craft."

New York State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, "By working hand-in-hand with the industry, Governor Cuomo has modernized the laws and streamlined regulations leading to a revival of craft beer manufacturing in New York. With every corner of our state now home to a craft brewery, the New York State Craft Beer Competition will showcase both our state’s world class brewers and the enormous impact they’re contributing to New York's economy."

The Great New York State Fair operates competitions in nearly 70 categories, most of them promoting aspects of New York State agriculture. Competitions include various culinary events, horse and livestock competitions, crop and flower events, dairy products, Christmas trees and amateur wine. There are also competitions in fine arts areas such as painting and drawing, photography, sculpture, and poetry. Events for young people include a talent competition and youth agricultural and 4-H events. State Fair competitions are open to any New Yorker. Details can be found on the Competitions page of the Fair's website.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 23 to September 4, 2017. The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "FIND YOUR GREAT," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair at Flickr.com/photos/nysfair. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at [email protected].


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