The annual New York State Craft Beer Competition Awards is a testament to the growing popularity and quality of craft beer in the state. It brings together some of the best brewers and beer experts in the industry, and it provides a platform for breweries of all sizes to showcase their talents.

The Western New York region was well represented at this year’s awards, which took place Friday night at the Albany Capital Center as part of the New York State Brewers Conference. Six local breweries combined to win nine medals in 10 different categories, headlined by New York Beer Project, who won three medals. Community Beer Works also picked up two medals.

This year, 1,350 entries from 189 breweries were judged in 29 categories, and a total of 90 medals were awarded, in addition to the Governor’s Craft Beer Cups and the “Brewery of the Year” award.

The 2023 Governor’s Cup, given out each year to the beer that is deemed the best in the state, was awarded to Genesee Brewing Company for their Genesee Brew House Helles. Big Ditch’s Double Barrel Aqueduct Imperial Stout finished second in Governor’s Cup voting.

The 2023 “NY Brewery of the Year” Award was won by Wayward Lane Brewing, a less than 2-year-old brewery out of Schoharie.

Pearl Street Brewery grabbed the first gold medal of the night in the American DIPA category for their classic Sabre’s Edge Double IPA. Big Ditch then picked up a gold medal in Barrel Aged (Non Sour) for their Double Barrel Aqueduct. In the next category, Community Beer Works nabbed their first medal of the night, gold, in Belgian Farmhouse for their soon-to-be-released Thirst Aid Kit.

Steelbound Brewery also picked up gold for their Buy the Berries Blueberry Wheat in the Fruit & Vegetable (Non-Sour) category, the same category New York Beer Project won bronze in, the first of their three medal wins on the night, for their The One V-43: Island Edition.

CBW scored silver for The Whale, their classic brown ale, in Brown Ale (American & British), West Shore Brewing nabbed bronze in Strong Ales (Non-Belgian) for their Winter Warmer, New York Beer Project won bronze again in Wild and Sour Ales for Yellowstone Wild Ale, then scored silver in Light Lagers – Traditional for Lockport Lager.

There is remarkable beer being brewed on the daily right here in our backyard – all you have to do is look. These awards are simply further proof of that.

To see all of the winners from the 2023 NYS Craft Beer Competition, click here.

Brian Campbell is co-founder and Brand Manager of the Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).