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Breweries invited to participate in 8th annual New York State Craft Beer Competition


Wed, Jan 17th 2024 04:40 pm

Largest state-level craft beer competition in U.S. 

The New York State Brewers Association (NYSBA) is now accepting submissions for its eighth annual New York State Craft Beer Competition, presented by Ultimate Brew Service.

Open to all 500-plus licensed breweries in New York, NYSBA is expecting to receive over 1,200 beer submissions, making it the largest state-level craft beer competition in the country.

Demonstrating how New York’s craft beer scene continues to grow and evolve, the 2024 competition will feature two new craft beer categories: cream ale and dark lagers.

"We’ve adjusted several categories to judge the fantastic beers you are brewing in the fairest way possible,” said Hutch Kugeman, NYSBA vice president. “This year, we’ve got a brand-new category for cream ale, a style with deep roots in New York state’s brewing history. The gold medal-winning entry for cream ale will receive entry into the Great American Beer Festival, sponsored by the NYSBA!"

A press release stated, “Cream ales, a proud product of the state, incorporate flaked corn in their brewing process, harnessing the abundance of corn grown in New York. The style emerged in the 1840s, but has gained popularity over recent years with craft breweries putting their own spin on it.”

The cost of entry is $55 for NYSBA members or $75 for non-members. Each NYSBA member receives one free beer entry with their membership, and there is no limit to the number of beers a brewery can submit. Beers must be entered online no later than Feb. 16, and arrive at the warehouse no later than Feb. 23.

“The New York State Craft Brewers Competition is our way of giving all of the 500-plus breweries in our state an opportunity to show off the world-class beer they're brewing these days,” said Paul Leone, executive director, New York State Brewers Association. “Our industry continues to be strong, and we not only want New Yorkers to know about these award-winning beers, but we also want the world to know."

The New York State Craft Beer Competition judging will take place March 2-3 in Rochester.

The competition is produced in partnership with Raise a Glass Foundation, which donates proceeds to charities.

All entries will be blind-judged by a panel based on preestablished criteria and using a custom scoring sheet developed by NYSBA. The top three finishers in each of 31 beer style categories will receive gold, silver and bronze medals. The overall winner will receive the Governor’s Craft Beer Cup as the best beer in New York. There will also be an award for New York State Brewery of the Year, which will be determined by a point system in relation to the number of medals won.

The New York State Craft Beer Competition celebration and awards ceremony will take place as the closing event of the New York State Brewers Conference on Friday, March 22. The industry-member exclusive event is closed to the public, but enthusiasts are invited to tune in to the awards ceremony via the New York State Craft Beer YouTube Channel. Various breweries throughout the state will host watch parties.

Beers may be submitted for the following 31 beer style categories: 

  • Light lagers – traditional 
  • Light lagers – modern and contemporary 
  • Amber lagers 
  • Dark lagers (new) 
  • Wheat beers (American, wit, hefe) 
  • Golden and blonde ales 
  • Cream ales (new) 
  • Amber and red ales 
  • Pale ales 
  • Hazy pale Ales 
  • American IPA 
  • Hazy IPA 
  • Experimental IPA 
  • American DIPA 
  • Hazy DIPA 
  • Barrel aged (sour) 
  • Barrel aged (non-sour) 
  • Belgian farmhouse 
  • Belgian other 
  • Experimental 
  • Fruit and vegetable beers (non-sour) 
  • Fruit and vegetable beers (sour) 
  • Specialty beer: stouts and porters 
  • Specialty beer: light and amber ales, lagers 
  • Brown ales 
  • Porters (non-imperial) 
  • Stouts (non-imperial) 
  • Imperial stouts and porters 
  • Strong ales 
  • Kettle and simple sours 
  • Wild and sour ales

In 2023, the New York State Craft Beer Competition received 1,350 entries – the largest number of entries in the competition’s history – from 189 breweries across the state. Ninety medals were awarded in 29 categories. The 2023 Governor’s Craft Beer Cup was awarded to Genesee Brewing Company in Rochester for its Genesee Brew House Helles in the light lagers, traditional category. Stats and winners from previous competitions can be found at https://www.nyscbc.com/competition using the dropdown menu.

For additional information about the competition, visit https://www.nyscbc.com/competition.

Founded in 2003, NYSBA promotes, protects and educates about the culture and business of New York state breweries. More information is available at thinkNYdrinkNY.com and newyorkcraftbeer.com

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