A Look at New York's 2013 Great American Beer Festival Winners
Fifty thousand people descended on Denver, Colorado for the 2013 Great American Beer Festival, a massive showcase of everything happening in brewing in this country that took place October 10-12. The event also pits beers against each other in competition, and this year, 4,000 beers from big and small breweries alike were entered in 100 categories. New York breweries took home seven awards; here are the details on the state's medal-worthy brews.
Great American Beer Festival via Facebook
Field Beer or Pumpkin Beer
Great South Bay Brewery Splashing Pumpkin
Bronze: Splashing Pumpkin, Great South Bay Brewery, Bay Shore
Says Phil Ebel, chief operations officer at Great South Bay Brewery: "Splashing Pumpkin was first released in 2010 as our first seasonal beer. We wanted to make a pumpkin beer that was lower in alcohol, very drinkable, used real pumpkin and a pinch of select spices. We only use cinnamon and clove, whereas most other pumpkin-style beers use nutmeg and allspice. We've always been very proud of this beer, and our brewer Greg Maisch has always joked that if we won a GABF medal, it would be for our pumpkin beer. We've had great success with this beer, and it feels great to be the recipient of this award. This is the fourth season we've brewed this beer and we're excited to brew it for years to come."
The brew is only available on draft in Long Island, so those who want to get a taste will have to venture out to the source. The tasting room at Great South Bay Brewery is open 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Blue Point Brewing Company RastafaRya
Bronze: RastafaRye, Blue Point Brewing Co., Patchogue
This is the second win for Blue Point Brewing's RastafaRye, a silver medalist at 2009's GABF. The flamboyantly marked beer--the label is shrouded in psychedelic rainbows and a Rasta head--is full of impeccable rye flavor, and the proceeds go to an honorable cause: They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO), an organization that benefits underprivileged children in the Caribbean with sports, health, and enrichment programs.
RastafaRye is available in Whole Foods and a number of restaurants, craft beer bars, and bottle shops around the city. It's also on draft at Stag's Head, Rattle and Hum, and Terroir Highline, among other spots. Look for the kinky dreads on the tap handle. Drink on and be happy.
Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Hops n' Roses
Gold: Hops n' Roses, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., Elmsford
Hops n' Roses is one of Captain Lawrence's most adventurous beers. The malty beverage is aged in oak barrels with rose hips, elderflower, and hibiscus, and the result is an immensely herbaceous sour ale balanced with floral notes. And don't be surprised by its color: This brew looks more like carbonated grapefruit juice than your usual beer.