March 15, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces 150 Percent Growth in Farm-Based Craft Beverage Manufacturers Since First Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider Summit in 2012

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More Craft Beverage Producers Are Choosing New York Ingredients for Their Products

Farm-Based Manufacturing Licenses Incentivize Producers to Buy Local

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the number of craft beverage manufacturers holding a farm-based license has grown by over 150 percent since the first Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider Summit in 2012. Immediately following the Summit, Governor Cuomo implemented important legislative and regulatory reforms to promote the state's craft beverage businesses. Since then, 433 new farm-based craft beverage licenses have been issued.

 "New York's craft beverage industry is booming, and by cutting red tape to industry development, we have seen significant growth in the number of manufacturers supporting our local farms and spurring job creation across the Empire State," Governor Cuomo said. "Home to more farm-breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries than ever before, I encourage visitors and craft beverage enthusiasts to enjoy some of the best products around, right here in New York."

"As I travel the State, one of the clearest signs of life in a downtown is the existence of a craft beverage facility," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "By removing barriers, we have opened up new industries that are creating new, exciting jobs all over the State. New York offers among the best products in the nation, and we're proud to promote craft beverage producers and encourage New Yorkers to buy local." 

Since the Governor's first Summit in 2012, the Empire State has experienced a surge in craft manufacturing with the vast majority of that growth coming from farm-based producers. Of the 523 craft beverage manufacturing licenses added since the first Summit in 2012, 433 are farm-based manufacturers that use New York grown agricultural ingredients in their production, accounting for over 80 percent of all new craft beverage manufacturers.

A list of all farm wineries, distilleries, cideries and breweries, by region and city is available here. The total number of all farm-based manufacturers is included below by region:

Region

Total

Capital Region

72

Central New York

57

Finger Lakes

149

Long Island

100

Mid-Hudson Valley

106

Mohawk Valley

34

New York City

35

North Country

42

Southern Tier

72

Western New York

48

Total Statewide

715

Major legislation helping to spur New York's farm-based craft industry includes Governor Cuomo's Farm Brewery Law that went into effect on January 1, 2013, followed by the implementation of the new Farm Cidery Law, effective January 15, 2014. These laws mirrored the 1976 Farm Winery Act that lead to a tremendous growth of wineries and grape production in New York State. The Governor also overhauled the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control laws to give more privileges to manufacturers that use ingredients grown in New York, including hosting tastings, operating gift shops selling any farm-produced wine, beer, cider and spirits by the bottle and by the glass from their tastings rooms. Farm manufacturers may also open branch stores, with 127 farm producers operating no-fee offsite tasting rooms across the state. 

As a result of these reforms, more manufacturers are choosing farm-based manufacturing licenses and in each craft beverage category, there are more farm-based licenses than any other type. New York is now home to 348 farm wineries, 202 farm breweries, 123 farm distilleries and 42 farm cideries. 

In addition, 80 farm wineries, 29 farm breweries, 12 farm distilleries and 6 farm cideries have opened branch stores due to legislation allowing farm breweries, cideries and distilleries to open branch stores. The growth in the number of farm-based licenses has led to an increased demand for locally sourced agricultural products in New York and a synergy between the craft beverage, tourism and agriculture sectors.

State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, "Governor Cuomo recognized from the start the value that craft producers have for not just their own businesses, but for the State's entire economy. Policies enacted over the past seven years including modernizing laws, cutting taxes, eliminating fees, and creating new farm-based licenses have led to the resurgence of the craft beverage industry throughout New York State."

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said, "It is incredible to see the explosion of craft beverage manufacturing across New York State. With every new brewery, winery, cidery and distillery, producers are supporting new jobs, tourism and growth in the agricultural sector. We have only just begun to tap into the full potential of our craft beverage industry and I look forward to continue working with the Governor, producers and our research partners keep the momentum moving forward."

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "By establishing farm-based licenses, New York State changed the craft beverage landscape and today the industry is thriving. Our farm-based producers are creating jobs, supporting regional economies and encouraging tourism statewide."

Senator Patty Ritchie, Chair, Committee on Agriculture, said, "It's amazing to see how much the craft-beverage industry here in New York State has grown in such a short amount of time. We have producers not only creating great tasting beverages, but also connecting with our state's incredibly hardworking farmers who grow the very ingredients they use. I have been proud to advocate for changes that have helped the industry grow, create new jobs, attract more visitors and boost economies across our state - and thank Governor Cuomo, as well as Commissioner Ball for being partners in that effort."

Senator Rich Funke, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation said, "Since taking office, I have seen firsthand the economic boom that the farm-based craft beverage industry has had in the Finger Lakes region, representing a key component of the nearly $3 Billion generated in tourism spending in this part of the state alone. As Tourism Chair, my primary role is to make New York State more Tourism friendly, by cutting red tape and passing common-sense measures to spur business growth and I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue building on this newfound success."

Assembly Member William Magee, Chair, Committee on Agriculture, said, "We have eased up on restrictions and cut red tape for producers which has allowed farm cideries, distilleries, wineries and breweries to grow and flourish. This has strengthened these businesses, boosting our economy and helping to create jobs while benefitting the agricultural sector as well as local tourism."

Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell, Chair of the Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development said, "The impact the Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Cider Summit has had on the craft beverage industry is undeniable. The farm-based licenses show the benefits of empowering smaller community-based producers. It's a beautiful thing, for New York and the whole country."

New York Cider Association Executive Director Jennifer Smith said, "The happy union of agriculture and economic development that was encouraged by the farm-based manufacturing licenses is powerfully expressed in the growth of New York Cider, a category where orchardists can add value to their apples at the same time that they affirm New York's identity as a leader in craft beverage and culinary culture. We are grateful for Governor Cuomo's vision for our industry."

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Executive Director Sam Filler said, "Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York's craft beverage industry continues to grow at historic rates, supporting not just farm wineries, breweries, cideries and spirit producers, but also our farmers across New York. Thanks to the commitment of Governor Cuomo and the State, our industry continues to grow and thrive."

New York State Brewers Association Executive Director Paul Leone said, "With more farm licenses than micro licenses in New York, it's clear that the quality of our locally grown barley and hops is the best it's ever been. Thanks to the Governor's proactive approach to farm-based legislation, craft beer growth has reached record-breaking levels in our state, and the quality of the beer is some of the best in the country."

New York Distillers Guild President Cory Muscato said, "New York State is looked to as the poster child for alcohol beverage law reform throughout our nation. This is predominantly due to the introduction and success of farm-based licensing across all sectors of craft beverage manufacturers. Not only does the farm-based license prompt producers to choose local NYS agriculture over out-of-state resources, but more importantly it acts as a catalyst for the increasing relevance and participation in a craft consumer culture that has become so visible in many of our communities. The distilled spirits industry here in New York would not be where it is today without having a Governor and Legislature that is open and eager to work for and with us, championing our products here in state and beyond!" 

New York State now ranks in the top five in the U.S. for its number of craft beverage producers in every category. The state ranks first in U.S. for the number of hard cider producers, second for the number of craft distillers, fourth in the country for the total number of wineries, and third in the country for the total number of breweries.   

The changes have not only ushered in an explosion in the craft industry, but have also generated employment and economic development for supporting industries, including bottling, construction, freight, printing and advertising. New York agriculture has benefited directly from the Farm Brewery and Farm Cidery legislation through increased demand for locally sourced farm products. According to Cornell University, the acreage of hops grown in New York State has nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016, and the acreage of malting barley has increased by 374 percent in the same two-year period, from 422 to approximately 2,000 acres. New York is also now home to thirteen malt houses, all of which have opened following the demand generated by the new farm brewery license. At the same time, to the growth of agritourism in the craft beverage sector further bolsters New York's massive $100 billion tourism industry. 

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