Official judging for the 2021 Home Brew and Cider Competitions are complete. The Best in Show Home Brew is a Kolsch style brewed by Rick Felser of Orchard Park and the Best in Show Cider is a Modern Cider made by Tim Hull of Tonawanda.

A panel of judges and master judges recently evaluated the submissions with the home brews judged according to nationally recognized Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) protocols and the ciders according to USACM Cider Style Guidelines.

The Best of Show Home Brew brewed by Rick Felser was a Kolsch style. Kolsch is a German pale ale that is easily mistaken for a cream ale (to the untrained taster), it is brewed with noble hops and light pilsner malt. Winning brewer Rick Felser has been brewing beer for 5 years. He also placed in the top 10 with this beer at the Kolsch Beer Competition in Austin Texas. He recommends pairing this beer with a sausage sandwich at the Fair. Felser also brought home a total of 4 medals with entries in other categories in the Erie County Fair Home Brew competition this year.

Tim Hull of Tonawanda won the Best in Show Cider with his Modern Cider. The Standard Styles for ciders lists Modern Ciders are made primarily from culinary/table apples (McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Gala and Fuji), its flavor should be bright and refreshing. Tim started brewing about 5 years ago after sampling cider at a family Christmas party. He recommends having some fried dough with a glass of this cider.

Both the winning recipes were submitted to Flying Bison Brewery and Blackbird Cider Works for commercial production and will be available for consumption at the Erie County Fair Beer Gardens. The Erie County Fair Home Brew and Cider Competitions are put on by the Erie County Agricultural Society with support from Try-It Distributing, Flying Bison Brewing and Blackbird Cider Works.