More than 42,000 votes were cast online for 170 breweries entered in the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge, which is a concept backed by the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The goal of the voting was to name five finalists who would then attend a final blind tasting event in New York City on May 17 (today!), which will be hosted and judged by Governor Cuomo and a panel of expert judges.
Pretty cool idea. The five final breweries that received the most votes, in alphabetical order, are:
- Brewery Ommegang—Cooperstown, Otsego County
- Genesee Brewing Company—Rochester
- Prison City Pub and Brewery—Auburn, Cayuga County
- The Roscoe NY Beer Co.—Roscoe, Sullivan County
- Southern Tier Brewing Company—Lakewood, Chautauqua County
“New York’s craft beverage industry is thriving, creating jobs and driving economic activity across the state, and the high participation in the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge is one more metric showing its success,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Challenge is a great way to celebrate the industry’s growth—more than 500 percent since 2011—and the passion New Yorkers feel for their local craft breweries. I look forward to joining my fellow judges in tasting some of the top beers in the state and connecting New York’s world-class products to new consumers and new markets.”
Meet the judging panel
The judging panel will include:
- 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, will deliver remarks at the event.
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.