Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Joe Morrissey, 518-457-0752,
Dave Bullard, 315-487-7711 x 1377,

October 17, 2014

Official State Fair Beer, Showstopper Ale Makes an Encore Appearance at Taste NY Harvest Fest

Food Vendors, Restaurants Encouraged to Take Advantage of Statewide Exposure at Festival

Showstopper Ale, the first-ever official beer of the Great New York State Fair, will make an encore appearance at the Taste NY Harvest Fest at the Horticulture Building at the New York State Fairgrounds on November 1, New York State Commissioner of Agriculture Richard A. Ball announced today.

The official beer program was created as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s direction to continually raise the prominence of beverages made in New York State.  Showstopper Ale is a craft beer created by Empire Brewing Co. of Syracuse, and the company will provide samples of the beer to those attending Harvest Fest before Showstopper leaves the stage.  Showstopper is a light, Kolsch-style ale produced in part with New York hops and barley, along with water from Skaneateles Lake.

“There are dozens of great reasons to come to Harvest Fest, but a last chance to sample a good summer ale must rank among the best.  The presence of our great Fair’s official beer is a terrific reason to visit the Fairgrounds for Harvest Fest,” said Commissioner Ball.

“Showstopper Ale was such a huge hit at the fair that we ran out of it in the first six days. The Harvest Fest offers a second opportunity for Central New Yorkers to come and try this amazing beer," said David Katleski, President of Empire Brewing Co.

The Taste NY Harvest Fest features scores of New York food and beverage producers offering free samples of their products.  Festival attendees who like what they’ve tasted can then buy those products from the vendors.  There will be many New York companies offering samples of wines, beers, spirits, and ciders, but there will also be companies offering tastes of their cheeses, dips, spreads, pretzels, baked goods, meats, and more.

Food will also be available for sale at the Horticulture Building restaurant for those seeking a meal.

Festival officials are urging companies and restaurants with interesting food offerings to join the festival.  Booth spaces are only $150 for the day.  The festival provides the piping and drapery for the booth, along with a table and chairs, electricity if needed, and ice and freezer or dry storage.  Past food vendors have said their experiences were positive, resulting in many new customers and corporate accounts.

“Harvest Fest has been good for the vendors who have been here. Whether it’s a one-person company with a great food recipe, or a new craft brewer, or a restaurant with unique dishes, Harvest Fest is an ideal place for creating new fans and customers,” said Troy Waffner, Acting Director of the New York State Fair and Fairgrounds.
Companies interested in knowing more about Harvest Fest can call Geneanne Keegan-Smith at 315-487-7711 extension 1212.  Information for exhibitors, including an application form, can be found at

About Harvest Fest

This year’s event will be held in two sessions in the Horticulture Building at the Fairgrounds.  The first session will run from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and the second session will run from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Festival attendees pay a single price and receive (with proper identification) a complimentary glass that can be used for sampling wines, beers, liquors, and ciders.  All vendors make free samples of their products available and can sell their products directly to consumers. 

The Taste NY Harvest Fest will also feature free seminars on New York wines, beers, and ciders, conducted by experts from prominent New York beverage businesses.  Food will be available for sale in the building’s quick-serve restaurant. 

Admission to the Taste NY Harvest Fest is $15 by advance sale ticket purchased no later than 4:30 p.m., Thursday, October 30 and $20 at the door.  Tickets can be purchased in person at the State Fair Administration Building, by phone at 315-487-7711 weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., or by faxing an order form to 315-487-9260.  The order form can be downloaded from the Harvest Fest website at Orders placed by phone or fax can be picked up at the door during the event.  Each ticket is good for only one of the two sessions, and you will be asked to choose the session for which you are purchasing the ticket.  Cash, Visa, and Mastercard are accepted.  Tickets are non-refundable, cannot be exchanged, and cannot be replaced if lost.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

2014 Press Releases