New York’s craft breweries had their best showing since 2002 at last month’s Great American Beer Festival in Colorado — one of the country’s premier beer competitions.
And a brew from Great South Bay Brewery in Bay Shore was among the four gold medals that New York breweries took home after the competition.
Governor Andrew Cuomo publicly congratulated the gold medal winners Monday.
“New York is home to some of the best breweries in the world that, as this competition demonstrates, are second to none,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Congratulations to this year’s winners, who make us proud and are leaders in a booming industry that is creating jobs, increasing tourism and generating economic activity in every corner of this state.”
Great South Bay took first prize in the honey beer category for its Jetty Cream Ale, which is described as a medium-bodied beer that is also light, crisp and smooth.
The country’s premier beer festival drew a crowd of 60,000 people and featured nearly 1,800 breweries from every state and Washington D.C.
More than 7,000 beers were entered in 96 categories.
New York State beers have won 149 medals since the competition began, according to the governor’s office. Last year, New York breweries took home two gold and three silver medals,
The other three gold medal winners from New York this year were Adirondack Pub and Brewery, Brewery Ommegang and Broken Bow Brewery.
Great South Bay Brewery is a state-certified farm brewery.
In 2012, Cuomo and the state Legislature passed legislation meant to facilitate the growth of farm breweries in New York State, with the idea that they’ll use more and more state-grown products. The law requires companies holding farm brewery licenses to use more and more locally grown products. (A full 90 percent NYS-grown products will be required by 2024.)
In return, farm breweries enjoy tax benefits and other economic incentives.
The legislation is modeled after the 1976 Farm Winery Act, which has since tripled the number of farm wineries in the state to 249, reads a press release that was issued by Cuomo’s office in 2012.
“Thanks to Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature, New York’s craft beverage manufacturers are operating with fewer restrictions, less red tape, and more opportunities than ever before,” said state Agriculture & Markets commissioner Richard Ball, while also congratulating the gold medal winners.
“This is helping to spur competition and innovation in the industry, creating more options for consumers and helping our producers grow their businesses.”