Next week, at the first-ever Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge, New York's Governor Andrew M. Cuomo will host a final-round taste-off between five New York breweries during American Craft Beer Week (May 15 to 21). These five finalists will be culled from the more than 170 who signed up to participate in a online vote (you can vote for your favorite right here!) and will be tasted and judged by an expert panel including:
- 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, Food & Wine's Senior Digital editor
- Brad Leone, Test Kitchen Manager at Bon Appetit
Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery and EIC of The Oxford Companion to Beer, will deliver remarks at the taste-off.
New York State is home to 321 microbreweries, farm breweries and restaurant breweries. The sharp growth in number of breweries in the state over the past six years has been attributed to Cuomo's Farm Brewery License (which provides tax credits for brewers) and his administration's modernization of New York's Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.
"The incredibly high level of participation in the Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge demonstrates the passion New Yorkers hold for their local beer and the major economic impact of craft breweries in every corner of this state," Governor Cuomo said in a statement. "By reducing regulation and removing unnecessary barriers to growth, New York’s craft beverage industry is thriving, and the Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge will showcase the best of the best and help connect our world-class products to new markets."
Don't forget to vote for your favorite New York State brewery before 5 p.m. May 12!