Beer judges Terry Felton, Kira Barnes and Thomas Barnes (from left to right) judge entries in the best of show round of the Erie County Fair homebrewing competition on Saturday, April 22, 2017. (Photo provided by Erie County Fair)

Sean Wall's Baltic porter beat out 181 other beers to win the best of show in this year's Erie County Fair homebrew competition.

The Hamburg resident's beer was deemed the best last week by 24 judges following guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program. It is dark brown with ruby highlights in appearance, and filled with plum, dark cherry and raisin aromas. According to the fair, it can be most compared to Polish brewed Okocim Porter and Zywiec Porter, which are both commercially available in Western New York.

“The winning Baltic porter is a delicious, complex beer,” said judge Thomas Barnes of Rochester. “The beer would pair very well with spicy foods including barbecue.”

“This is one of the styles that I often expose people to when they are trying craft beer for the first time. Even though it is big, dark and strong, the sweetness brings them in,” added judge Tim Collins of Grand Island.

Sean Wall of Hamburg, in center, brewed the best beer at the Erie County Fair homebrewing competition. His Baltic porter was deemed the best by the judges. (Photo provided by Erie County Fair)

Steve Landgren of Webster received second best of show for his “Rauchbier,” and Phil Boulanger of Rochester came in third, with an American pale ale. Dan Baish of Buffalo received an honorable mention for his Saison-style brew, and he told The Buffalo News he and his wife, Tavis, brewed the beer together.

A complete listing of 2017 winners is available here.

More than 12,500 entries in hundreds of competitions are expected to be received and judged this year by the fair’s competitive exhibits office. The fair will be held Aug. 9-20.

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