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

August 2nd, 2017 • by Paul Leone
Paul Leone

Paul Leone

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

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

Category 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

Group photo for competition