The deadline is quickly approaching to get entries in for the annual Homebrew and Cider Making Competition for the Erie County Fair.

The winning beverages that come out of these competitions have 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 of Show,” will be commercially produced for consumption at the Erie County Fair and the recipe will also have a limited release of cans produced. Entry deadline is Friday, April 28.

Homebrewers and cider makers from across New York State are eligible to register for the Fair’s Homebrew and Cider Making Competitions.

New in 2023: The judging for the competition will be based on creativity and not necessarily by style. All registered styles can be entered and judged, but the main criteria for the “Best of Show” will be “creative relevancy” or the most fun recipe to enjoy while being at the Fair.

A $23 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 for both competitions. “Best of Show” will be selected through a blind tasting panel made up of at least two certified master judges. Complete entry information including class list and guidelines are available at

Entries will be accepted with a copy of the entry form at The Fairgrounds Main Office, Hamburg Brewing Company (6553 Boston State Road, Hamburg) or Buffalo Cider Hall (155 Chandler Street, Buffalo) during their regular business hours until April 29.

Once the “Best of Show” winners are determined, the recipes will be forwarded to the teams at Hamburg Brewing and BlackBird Cider. Try-It Distributing will distribute the finished products for public purchase at select Western New York retails 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. The wide range of categories to win ribbons and premium money include but are not limited to: Agriculture, Creative Arts, and Environment and Sportsmen, just to name a few. Entry information for other categories are available now at, with registration opening May 1.

The 183rd Erie County Fair will be held August 9 -20. You can find more information at