The first step to determine the top craft beer and cider to be commercially produced for the 2022 Erie County Fair has been scheduled. Homebrewers and cider makers from across New York State may register for the Fair’s Homebrew and Cider Making Competitions starting March 1.

The winning beverages that come out of these competitions has become an anticipated tradition at the Erie County Fair for craft beer and cider lovers alike.

In addition to the opportunity to win a gold medal for excellence, the top entry in each competition will be named “Best In Show” and will also be made for consumption at the Erie County Fair. Entry deadline is Friday, April 29 to be included in the judging.

A $20 entry fee allows for up to 5 entries in a submission. Any New York State resident is eligible to enter these competitions. Judging is scheduled to take place in May. Top brews will be selected through a blind tasting panel made up of at least two certified master judges. Complete entry information including class list is available at

Homebrewers interested in entering the competition can find complete rules and guidelines on the Erie County website. Entries will be accepted with a copy of the entry form at Hamburg Brewing Company (6553 Boston State Road, Hamburg) or Buffalo Cider Hall (155 Chandler Street, Buffalo) during their regular business hours.

Once the “Best of Show” winners are determined, the recipes will be forwarded to the teams at Hamburg Brewing Company and BlackBird Cider Works. Try-It Distributing will distribute the finished products for public purchase at select Western New York retail outlets prior to the Fair. During the Erie County Fair, several on-premises locations will feature these award winning beverages.

The judging of the homebrew and cider are just a couple of the competitions held annually by the Erie County Fair. In 2022, over 12,000 entries are expected to be received and judged by the Fair’s Competitive Exhibits Office. The wide range of ribbon winning categories include agriculture, conservation and creative arts, among others. Entry information for other categories will be available online as early as March 1 with registration opening June 1.

The 182nd Erie County Fair will be held August 10-21, 2022. For more information, visit