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Auburn's Prison City Pub & Brewery and Weedsport's Lunkenheimer Craft Beer Co. acquitted themselves well at the third annual New York State Craft Beer Competition.

The competition's winners were announced Friday night at the New York State Brewers Association's annual conference in Albany. Prison City took four awards and Lunkenheimer took three, making the Cayuga County breweries two of only three in the state to win at least three awards, along with Threes Brewing, of Brooklyn. A total of 74 medals were awarded.

Prison City took the night's top prize, the Governor's Cup for best beer in New York, for its Barrel-aged Wham Whams, an imperial stout aged in Willett bourbon barrels and conditioned on toasted coconut and vanilla beans. The State Street brewpub also won gold in the Experimental category for the same beer, plus silver in the Pale Ale category for its Illusion of Knowledge pale ale, the same beer ranked No. 7 in a 2018 blind tasting of 151 pale ales from across the country by Paste Magazine. Last, for its fourth award, Prison City took bronze in Wild and Sour Ale for its dry-hopped sour Laser Brain.

Meanwhile, Weedsport's Lunkenheimer took gold in Strong Ale (non-Belgian) for its Barleywine 2018, third in Fruit and Spice Beer (Non-sour) for its Toasted Coconut Porter, and gold in the New York State Beer category. The last category judged breweries that use at least 20 percent New York state hops, malt and other ingredients, and fielded 353 qualified entries.

Prison City's Governor's Cup win dethroned Threes Brewing, which won the award the first two years of the competition. The event's third year saw more than 100 breweries enter 813 beers, all of which Barrel-aged Wham Whams topped to win the Governor's Cup. The state Craft Brewers Association and the Raise a Glass Foundation organized the competition, which had 56 judges.

Barrel-Aged Wham Whams is no stranger to statewide prestige: It was the beer Prison City entered into Gov. Andrew Cuomo's inaugural Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge in 2017 after the brewpub finished in the top five of the competition's online vote. The Auburn brewpub also took gold in the New England-style IPA category, for Control for Smilers, at last year's New York State Craft Beer Competition.

Of the awarded Cayuga County beers, Prison City's Illusion of Knowledge and Lunkenheimer's Barleywine 2018 are currently on tap at each location. 

"The diversity of this year’s winners is a clear example of the high-quality craft beer being brewed all over the state," state Brewers Association Executive Director Paul Leone said in a news release.

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Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.


Features editor for The Citizen.