Cuomo and Batali.
(Philip Kamrass/ Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

Consider Governor Andrew Cuomo your new drinking buddy. As we recently noted, he signed legislation exempting small-time breweries from brand label registration fees, resulting in more than $2.2 million in savings. In addition, a beer-production credit launched in 2012 has saved craft beverage producers $12 million, according to Cuomo’s office. Since the State created a Farm Brewery license in 2013, some 150 farm breweries and 28 farm cider businesses have been established.

Lately, Cuomo has been making an effort to showcase New York breweries, old and new alike. Yesterday at the inaugural Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge, five of them (narrowed down from 170 entrants) competed to be New York’s favorite, as deemed by a judging panel that included Mario Batali. At the event, Cuomo joked(?) that he owned a pair of Batali-esque clogs emblazoned with the New York State insignia, and then boasted about the blossoming beer industry: “Six years ago, there were 50 breweries,” he said. “Today there are over 320. Just think about that. Yeah, that’s right, and when you put the wine industry together with the beer industry together with the cider industry, it is now a $30 billion business in New York State.”

Take that, Wisconsin!

Cuomo and Garret Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery. (Philip Kamrass/ Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

Now the two winners of the Beer Challenge, Brewery Ommegang and Roscoe NY Beer Co., as well as dozens of other New York breweries will participate in a massive tasting event, the Taste NY Experience, at the Pier A Harbor House, a sprawling outdoor-indoor venue on the water, next to Battery Park.

Cuomo is billing the inaugural event, which takes place May 24, as a way to “connect our world-class beverage producers to new markets to support the continued growth and expansion of the booming beverage industry.” But really, it just sounds like an excuse to sample a ton of beers made in our great state– assuming you have $75 to blow on the entry fee. Here’s a rundown of the participants, including a handful of Brooklyn brewers and distillers.

Participating producers include:

Capital Region
Saratoga Brewing, Saratoga County
Shmaltz Brewing, Saratoga County
Slyboro Cidery, Washington County

Finger Lakes
Wagner Vineyards, Seneca County
Embark Craft Ciderworks, Wayne County
Abandon Brewing, Yates County
Anthony Road Wine Co., Yates County
Fox Run Vineyards, Yates County
Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, Yates County

Long Island
Flying Belgian Brewery, Nassau County
Bedell Cellars, Suffolk County
Macari Vineyards, Suffolk County
Moustache Brewing, Suffolk County
Raphael Vineyard and Winery, Suffolk County

Delaware Phoenix Distillery, Delaware County
Brotherhood Winery, Orange County
Newburgh Brewing, Orange County
Orchard Hill Cider Mill, Orange County
Rushing Duck, Orange County
KAS Spirits, Putnam County
Aaron Burr Cidery, Sullivan County
Benmarl Winery, Ulster County
Whitecliff Vineyard, Ulster County
Broken Bow Brewery, Westchester County
Yonkers Brewing, Westchester County

New York City
Breuckelen Distilling, Kings County
Brooklyn Cider House, Kings County
Brooklyn Winery, Kings County
Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, Kings County
Descendant Cider, Queens County
Kings County Brewers Collective, Kings County
Kings County Distillery, Kings County
NY Distilling Co., Kings County
Van Brunt Stillhouse, Kings County
Doc Herson’s Natural Spirits, Manhattan

Southern Tier
Eve’s Cidery, Chemung County
Finger Lakes Distilling, Schuyler County
Lakewood Vineyards, Schuyler County
Dr. Konstantin Frank, Steuben County
Prohibition Distillery, Sullivan County
Ithaca Beer, Tompkins County
South Hill Cider, Tompkins County

Western New York
Four Mile Brewing, Cattaraugus County
21 Brix Winery, Chautauqua County
Five & 20 Spirits, Chautauqua County
Johnson Estate Winery,Chautauqua County
42 North Brewing Company, Erie County
Community Beer Works, Erie County

For more info, go here.