NY State Craft Beer Competition presented by Ultimate Brew Services

To make a great craft beer you bring all of your artistry, dedication, science and passion to the table. We bring the most respected judges from the industry to the other side of that table.


Our Judges

WE HAVE THE BEST JUDGES. Our judges include the most influential people in the NY beer industry, including Brewmasters, Cicerones, BJCP judges, educators, retailers, and industry writers and consultants.


John Fischer

John Fischer showed a talent for creating balanced beverages early on, adding the perfect amount of sugar to his mother’s coffee for her every morning. At least she said it was the perfect amount.


At age twelve, he began mixing his grandmother’s afternoon Gibson Cocktails every day. With a jigger, small glass pitcher, gin, dry vermouth and pickled onions, four o’clock was time for the daily ritual of thanking Gran for her day’s labors with the laundry. Ironed sheets deserve to be rewarded.


A stint behind the bar at the Phi Psi fraternity at Swarthmore College reignited John’s passion for mixing drinks, but also provided his first taste of what it was like to interact with guests from ‘behind the stick.’ Amateur moments led to bartending for money at alumni events, which eventually provided the experience to land him behind a ‘real’ bar at the Chart House in Dobbs Ferry, NY. This is also the job that pulled Fischer away from more conventional careers, and into the world of restaurants, where he remains today.



After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, John went back to New York City, working as a manager with various duties, at various restaurants. Beverage management was always one of those duties. And while wine management is perhaps what Fischer is known best for, his passion for this business was born behind the bar, and that is where his heart still lies.