And the Winners Are…

August 3rd, 2017 • by Paul Leone
Paul Leone

Paul Leone

Paul Leone is the Executive Director of the New York State Brewers Association.

New York Craft Beer Competition and Governor’s Excelsior Cup Results

In its 1st year, the 2017 New York State Craft Beer competition awarded 63 medals to some of the best craft beers in New York State, plus awarded the 1st ever Governor’s Excelsior Cup to the brewery who was voted to have the best beer in the State.

Overview: New York State Craft Beer Competition

The competition took place in Rochester NY on Saturday, July 29th where gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to winning breweries in 20 beer categories covering 40 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the state. Gold medals were not awarded in 2 categories, and multiple medals were awarded in categories where there was a statistical tie.

Winners were chosen from 707 competition entries from 143 breweries making this the largest beer competition in New York State and the second largest state competition in the country (behind California).

The competition drew a panel of 40 professional beer judges and beer experts from across the state judging all 707 entries. 243 passed the qualification rounds and were judged in the scoring rounds to produce the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners. The 19 Gold medal winners went into the championship round, and after 2 elimination rounds the top 5 went head to head for the Governor’s Excelsior Cup and best beer in New York State.

Overall Competition Highlights

  • Governor’s Excelsior Cup was awarded to Threes Brewing (Brooklyn) for their Vliet Pilsner
  • Most medals won:
  • Three (3) medals were won by War Horse Brewing, Geneva NY (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
  • Two (2) medals were won by 16 breweries

Style Categories

In its first year, the most-entered category was American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 88 entries. The top five entered categories were:

  • Fruit and Spice Beer (66 entries)
  • Porter, Stout, Brown Ale (62 entries)
  • American Style Double India Pale Ale (51 entries)
  • Golden/Blonde Ale (48 entries)
  • Wheat Beer – American, Wit Hefe (39 entries)

Summary: 2017 New York Craft Brewers Competition and Governor’s Excelsior Cup

  • 1st year
  • 354 Breweries in New York State
  • 707 beers entered
  • 45 medal-winning breweries
  • 63 total medals awarded
  • 20 style categories judged, plus Governor’s Excelsior Cup
  • 40 judges from across NYS
  • Category with highest number of entries: American-Style India Pale Ale: 88


Breakdown of Winners:

Category 1: Light Lagers – 47 Entries

Gold: Vliet Pilsner, Threes Brewing, Brooklyn **(Governors Excelsior Cup Winner)
Silver: Lockport Lager, New York Beer Project, Lockport

Bronze: Pilsner, Young Lion Brewing, Canandaigua

Category 2: Golden/Blonde Ale (American, Kolsch, Cream Ale) – 48 Entries

Gold: No gold awarded
Silver: Lemongrass Kolsch, Big Alice Brewing, Long Island City

Bronze: Saranac Brewery, Lake Placid Golden Ubu Ale, Utica

Category 3: Wheat Beer (America, Wit, Hefe) – 39 Entries

Gold: Witte, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown
Silver: Surfcaster, Great South Bay Brewery, Bay Shore

Bronze: Witicale, Rare Form Brewing, Troy

Category 4: Fruit and Spice Beer – 66 Entries

Gold: Pinky Up, the Peekskill Brewery, Peekskill

Silver: Sassypants, Roc Brewing Company, Rochester

Bronze: Mango Infused Goseface Killah Gose, Aurora Ale and Lager Co., King Ferry

Category 5: Belgian Farmhouse – 16 Entries

Gold: Wandering Bine, Threes Brewing, Brooklyn

Silver: Class Project Saison, Brewery at CIA, Hyde park
Bronze: Hennepin, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown

Bronze: Suite G Saison, Stumblin’ Monkey Brewing, Victor

Category 6: Amber and Dark Lagers – 20 Entries

Gold: Exposinator Dopplebock, Naked Dove, Canadaigua

Silver: Common Sense, Upstate Brewing Company, Elmira

Bronze: Octoberfest, Saranac Brewery, Utica

Category 7: Amber/Red Ale (British, American, Irish, Scottish) – 39 Entries

Gold: Irish Red Ale, Seneca Street Brew Pub, Manlius

Silver: Devil’s Bathtub, Strong Rope Brewery, Brooklyn

Bronze: Soda Bread Red Ale, Bottomless Brewing, Geneva

Category 8: Pale Ale – 42 Entries

Gold: Lieutenant Dan, War Horse Brewing Co., Geneva

Silver: The Juice, Skewed Brewing, Watertown

Bronze: Mosaic Pale Ale, Five Boroughs Brewing, Brooklyn

Category 9: American IPA – 88 Entries

Gold: Blight Buster. Good Nature Brewing, Hamilton
Silver: Tainted Haze IPA, Knucklehead Craft Brewing, Webster

Bronze: Rockaway IPA, Rockaway Brewing, Long Island City

Category 10: American IPA Variations – 20 Entries

Gold: 4 Piece, Prison City Brewing, Auburn

Silver: Non Stop Hop Onslaught, Good Nature Brewing, Hamilton

Bronze: Brux IPA, Rushing Duck, Chester

Category 11: American DIPA – 51 Entries

Gold: Giant IPA, Big Slide Brewery and Public House – Lake Placid
Silver: The Big Broadcast, War Horse Brewing Co., Geneva

Bronze: Deep Cut, Big Ditch Brewing Co., Buffalo

Category 12: Porter, Stout, Brown Ale (non imperial) – 62 Entries

Gold: Oatmeal Stout, Stumblin’ Monkey Brewing, Victor

Silver: Black Meadow Bog, Glenmere Brewing, Florida

Silver: Oyster Stout, Blue Point Brewing Co, Patchogue

Bronze: Yada Yada Yada, Barrage Brewing Co., Farmingdale

Category 13: Imperial Stout and Porter – 15 Entries

Gold: Boris the Spider, Spider Bite Beer Co., Holbrook

Silver: Russian Imperial Stout, WT Brews, Baldwinsville

Bronze: Storyteller, Strong Rope Brewery, Brooklyn

Bronze: Baltic Porter, Three Heads Brewing Co., Rochester

Category 14: Belgian Other (Trappist, Strong) – 25 Entries

Gold: No gold awarded
Silver: Hyperballad, Thin Man Brewery, Buffalo

Silver: Local 1, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn
Bronze: Muscat Love, Great South Bay Brewery, Bay Shore

Category 15: Strong Ale (non Belgian) – 13 Entries

Gold: Old Red Nose Special Edition 14, Heartland Brewery, New York City
Silver: Old Red Nose Special Edition 13, Heartland Brewery, New York City
Bronze: Breaking Point Barleywine, Roscoe Beer Co., Roscoe

Category 16: Wild and Sour Ale – 42 Entries

Gold: Zingerbier Berliner Weisse, Rushing Duck, Chester
Gold: Citra Bridges, Mill House Brewing Co., Poughkeepsie

Silver: Abbot’s Reserve, Duncan’s Abbey, Tarrytown
Bronze: Tarty McFly, War Horse Brewing Co., Geneva

Category 17: Barrel Aged Sour – 14 Entries

Gold: Kiwi’s Playhouse, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn

Silver: H4 Plum Harvest Sour, Transmitter Brewing, Long Island City

Bronze: Far Star, Galaxy Brewing Co., Binghamton

Category 18: Barrel Aged non sour – 33 Entries

Gold: Baltic Porter aged in Iron Smoke Whiskey barrels, Three Heads Brewing, Rochester
Silver: Barrel Aged Coconut Stout, Blue Point Brewing Co., Patchogue

Bronze: Barrel Aged Boris the Spider, Spider Bite Beer Co., Holbrook

Category 19: Experimental Beer – 13 Entries

Gold: Wham Whams, Prison City Brewing, Auburn

Silver: Juniper’s Baby, Nedloh Brewing Company, Bloomfield
Bronze: Cucumber Blessings, Mill House Brewing Co., Poughkeepsie

Category 20: New York State Beer (100% NYS Ingredients) – 14 Entries

Gold: Pomme Apple Ale, Saint James Brewery, Holbrook

Silver: NY1 Saison, Transmitter Brewing, Long Island City

Bronze: Mellennial Falcon, Lucky Hare Brewing Co., Hector