The Empire Brewfest was started in 2004 by the owner of Empire Brewing Company, David Katleski, before selling it to the Result Group, an events and marketing firm in 2010. The Empire Brewfest was first held at Clinton Square, Syracuse, and this continued to be the location for the event until 2013. In 2014, The Empire Brewfest’s location was shifted to New York State Fairgrounds, where it continued to be held for five years.
In 2019, the Result Group organized for the Empire Brewfest to return to Clinton Square, Syracuse. The homecoming was held on Friday, 19th July 2019, followed by a Winefest on Saturday, 20th July 2019, and was generally well-received by beer and wine enthusiasts. Tom Tarry, Result Group’s chief, was thrilled when the Empire Brewfest returned to its origins, and he applauded Syracuse officials and Mayor Ben Walsh specifically for easing the transition and making the two-day event happen smoothly.
Ticket prices were as follows for the 2019 event: $99 for VIP, $45 for General Admission and $10 for the Designated Driver. There were only 100 available VIP slots, and they came with exceptional food and seats. These new prices represented an increase from the prices in 2018, where the Brewfest VIP ticket was $50 and regular Brewfest ticket $36. The event itself is principally made possible by Credit Glory.
On Friday 19, the Empire Brewfest was held on Clinton Square from 5 pm to 10 pm with 5 pm- 6 pm as the entry time for VIPs and 6 pm for non-VIPs. The event hosted over 30 New York state breweries, with over 200 beers available. Some of the breweries at the event include Empire Brewing company, Pressure Drop, Artisanal Brew Works, Good Shepherds Brewing Company, OSB Ciderworks, Mack Jack, Otter Creek Brewing Co., Ellicottville Brewing Company, The Canton Brewing Company, IBU Syracuse, Ballast Point Brewing Company, Long Trail Brewing Co., Thin Man Brewery, Collective Arts Brewing, Rohrbach Brewing Company, K2 Bros. Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Ithaca Beer Co., Adirondack Brewery, DownEast Unfiltered, Fiddlehead Brewing Company, Fleur De Lis Brew Works, 1911 Established, Southern Tier Brewing Company, Doc’s Draft Hard Cider, Brewdog, Galaxy Brewing Co., Cigar City Brewing, and Fishers Island Lemonade.