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Brewery of the year-2

Congratulations to the 2021 NYS Craft Beer Competition Winners

On Thursday, July 15th, the New York State Brewers Association (NYSBA) announced the winners of it’s fifth annual New York State Craft Beer Competition, presented NY Hop Guild and New York Craft Malt.

The awards ceremony, presented by Mengel, Metzger, Barr, took place in-person at Big aLICe Brewing Company’s new Finger Lakes location in Geneva, NY. The ceremony was also live streamed on the New York State Craft Beer YouTube channel. Enthusiasts were invited to tune-in from home or join the celebration from watch party locations held at breweries throughout the state.

5th annual Competition Awards Ceremony at Big aLICe Brewing FLX

“Each year the New York State Craft Beer Competition continues to grow, both in the number of entries and in the quality of submissions,” said Paul Leone, Executive Director, New York State Brewers Association. “We are incredibly proud of the beer being produced by our members and this competition showcases the amazing and diverse craft beer of New York State.”

The NYS Craft Beer Competition, produced by the New York State Brewers Association and Raise a Glass Foundation, is the largest state-level competition in the US and a celebration of the New York State craft beer community. Judging took place in Rochester, NY over the course of 2 days in June. This year 1,143 entries from 182 breweries were judged in 27 categories by 44 qualified industry professionals.

A total of 87 medals were awarded to 50 breweries with the Governor’s Craft Beer Cup given to the Best of Show beer out of all gold medal winning beers. This year, the 2021 Governor’s Craft Beer Cup was awarded to Eli Fish Brewing Company for “Heavy Maple” in the Fruit and Spice Beer (non-sour) category. Grimm Artisanal Ales won the most awards out of any brewery winning a total of 8 medals and taking home the “2021 Brewery of the Year” award.

There was a tie in the Best New York State Beer category, which had to include at least 60% NYS hops and malt – that award went to Eli Fish Brewing Company for “Tiga Queen” and Secatogue Brewing Company for “Gailer Kolsch”.

Best Collaboration beer went to “Friends from Other Places #1” from Unified Beerworks and Bound By Fate Brewing.

Out of the 31 breweries pouring at BriteVibes Beer & Music Festival on Saturday, September 4th, Cooperstown, NY, nearly half (14) are NYS craft beer competition award-winning breweries.

Competition Highlights

2021 NYS Governor’s Excelsior Craft Beer Cup

Eli Fish Brewing Company (Batavia, NY) – “Heavy Maple” in Fruit and Spice Beer (non-sour) category.

2021 Governor’s Cup Winner | Eli Fish Brewing Company

Most Medals Won

  • Nine (9) awards were won by Grimm Artisanal Ales, including the “2021 Brewery of the Year” award.​
  • Five (5) awards were won by Eli Fish Brewing Company, including the “New York State Craft Beer” award and the 2021 Governor’s Cup.


Top 5 Style Categories

The top five entered categories were:

  • Hazy IPA (115 entries)
  • Light Lagers (110 entries)
  • Fruit and Spice Beer – sour (88 entries)
  • Fruit and Spice Beer – non-sour (79 entries)
  • American IPA (63 entries)

2021 Competition Stats (5th year)

  • 182 breweries submitted 1,143 entries

  • 50 award-winning breweries

  • 87 total medals awarded

  • 27 style categories judged, plus Governor’s Excelsior Cup

  • Judging took place over 2-days (June 12 & 13) in Rochester, NY.

  • The Awards Ceremony took place in-person at Big aLICe Brewing FLX, Geneva NY. The ceremony was also streamed on YouTube live, 10+ breweries throughout the state hosted remote watch parties.


Category Winners: 

Category 1: Wheat Beer (American, Wit, Hefe) – 45 entries

Gold: Grimm Weisse – Grimm Artisanal Ales

Silver: Mise en Place Wit – Brewery at the CIA



Category 2: Amber and Dark Lagers – 59 entries

Gold: Cross Stitch – Grimm Artisanal Ales

Silver: Sad Devotion – Prison City Brewing

Bronze: Equinox Amber – Brewery at the CIA


Category 3: Golden/Blonde Ales (American, Kolsch, Cream Ales) – 63 entries

Gold: Regional Dialek – Threes Brewing

Silver: Geiler Kolsch – Secatogue Brewing Co

Bronze: Breakout – Willow Rock Brewing Company

Bronze: Golden Ratio Pale Ale – Upward Brewing Co.


Category 4: Amber/Red Ales (British, American, Irish, Scottish) – 46 entries

Gold: No gold awarded

Silver: End of the Line Scotch Ale – Twisted Rail Brewing Company

Bronze: Live Edge Irish Red – Rusty Nickel Brewing Co.


Category 5: Pale Ales – 31 entries

Gold: PK Pale – Mill House Brewing Company

Silver: Exit 40 Pale Ale – Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing Co.

Bronze: Tools of the Trade – Industrial Arts Brewing Company


Category 6: American IPA – 63 entries

Gold: Gun Hill IPA – Gun Hill Brewing

Silver: Sticky Trees – Pressure Drop Brewing

Bronze: Power Tools – Industrial Arts Brewing Company


Category 7: Hazy Pale Ale – 52 entries

Gold: Lumen – Grimm Artisanal Ales

Gold: 4 Piece Citra – Prison City Brewing

Silver: Defies Logic Hazy Pale Ale – Underground Beer Lab

Bronze: Kaaterskill – West Kill Brewing


Category 8: American IPA Variations – 27 entries

Gold: Grass Wagon IPA – Catskill Brewery

Silver: Skydancer -Woodcock Brothers Brewery

Bronze: Collectivity I Farmhouse IPA – Underground Beer Lab


Category 9: American DIPA – 37 entries

Gold: Skull Frog DIPA – Frog Alley Brewing

Silver: Opiate Sun – Upward Brewing Co.

Bronze: Double IPA – Young Lion Brewing


Category 10: Barrel Aged Sour – 16 entries

Gold: Rule of Honor – Big Alice Brewing Company

Silver: Gin Barrel Mixed Fermentation Pillow Talk – Eli Fish Brewing

Bronze: The Dictator Is the People – Threes Brewing


Category 11: Barrel Aged Non-Sour – 53 entries

Gold: Barrel Aged Golden Ale – Heritage Hill Brewhouse

Silver: Bourbon Barrel Aged Jenkins – Thin Man Brewery

Bronze: Chevy to the Levee – New York Beer Project


Category 12: Belgian Farmhouse – 36 entries

Gold: Tra La La – Grimm Artisanal Ales

Silver: Leona – West Kill Brewing

Bronze: Come What May Late Spring Saison – Unified Beerworks


Category 13: Belgian Other (Trappist, Strong, etc.) – 25 entries

Gold: Three Philosophers – Brewery Ommegang

Silver: Soulstice – Soul Brewing Company LLC

Bronze: Jorts – Willow Rock Brewing Company


Category 14: Experimental – 37 entries

Gold: Tiga Queen – Eli Fish Brewing

Silver: Tropical Moon Cake – Aurora Brewing Co.

Bronze: Peanut Butter Habanero Brown Ale – Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing Co.


Category 15: Fruit & Spice Beer (non-sour) – 79 entries

Gold: Heavy Maple – Eli Fish Brewing (Governor’s Cup Winner)

Silver: Pumpkin Ale – Horseheads Brewing

Bronze: Vanilla Chai Tea Milk Stout – Rusty Nickel Brewing Co.


Category 16: Fruit & Spice Beer (sour) – 88 entries

Gold: Lilt – Grimm Artisanal Ales

Silver: Gathering Tart Cherries – Grimm Artisanal Ales

Bronze: Wimmelbilder – Grimm Artisanal Ales


Category 17: Brown Ale (American & British) – 22 entries

Gold: Windsor Nut Brown Ale – LyonSmith Brewing Co.

Gold: American Brown Ale – Good Nature Brewing Company

Silver: Limited Series Honey Brown Ale – Woodcock Brothers Brewery

Bronze: Brown Ale – Stumblin’ Monkey Brewing


Category 18: Porter (non-imperial) – 23 entries

Gold: David’s Porter – Valcour Brewing company

Silver: Thousand Year Porter – Water Street Brewing Co.

Bronze: Porter – Laurentide Beer Company


Category 19: Stout (non-imperial) – 35 entries

Gold: Void of Light – Gun Hill Brewing

Silver: Whiteface Stout – Great Adirondak Brewing Company

Bronze: Steamship Stout – Seneca Lake Brewing Company


Category 20: Imperial Stouts and Porters – 26 entries

Gold: Boris the Spider Russian Imperial Stout – Spider Bite Beer Co.

Silver: Collusion – Seneca St Brew Pub

Bronze: Lagerkoller – Thin Man Brewery


Category 21: Strong Ales (non-Belgian) – 15 entries

Gold: Trippelbock Reserve – Wagner Valley Brewing Company

Silver: Barleywine – Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing Co.

Bronze: S.O.S. (Scotch on Seneca) – WeBe Brewing


Category 22: Kettle and Simple Sours – 24 entries

Gold: Creekside – West Kill Brewing

Silver: Bunny and Bear Crew Sour Porter – Bridge and Tunnel Brewery

Bronze: No bronze awarded


Category 23: Wild and Sour Ales – 16 entries

Gold: Contour Interval No. 2 – Wild East Brewing Co

Silver: Jackie II – Good Nature Brewing Company

Bronze: Brooklyn to Tokyo Yuzu Sour – Brooklyn Brewery


Category 24: Light Lagers – 110 entries

Gold: Base Camp LagerBier – Upward Brewing Co.

Silver: Counterflow – Zeus Brewing Co.

Bronze: Haus Pils – Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.


Category 25: Hazy IPA – 115 entries

Gold: Citra Double Dan – War Horse Brewing Company

Silver: Terps On 20 – Heritage Hill Brewhouse

Silver: 2021 Burning the Ships IPA – Full Boar Craft Brewery

Bronze: Flower Record – Grimm Artisanal Ales

Celebrating the big win – Eli Fish Brewing Company