First Commercially-Produced Beer Made with Nearly All New York-Grown Ingredients to Exceed State's 2019 Farm-Brewery License Requirements
Brewery Planning May 15 "Brew York" Release, Photos Available Here
Supports "Southern Tier Soaring" - the Region's Strategic Plan to Revitalize Communities and Grow Regional Economies
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced Ithaca Beer Co. will launch the state's first commercially produced beer made with predominantly New York-grown ingredients to be available year-round and statewide. Brew York is a pale ale that uses nearly 70 percent New York-grown barley and 100 percent New York hops. Produced with ingredients from local farms, Brew York will be available in both bottles and draft starting May 15. Ithaca Beer's investment in this new product line supports Southern Tier Soaring, the region's strategic plan to revitalize communities and grow regional economies.
"New York continues to set the bar for new and innovative craft beverages, and by encouraging collaboration with local farms and the use of Empire State-grown crops, we have created a win-win situation," Governor Cuomo said. "Ithaca Beer's new offering is a testament to the growth of this exciting industry that also boosts our agricultural and tourism economies in the Southern Tier and across New York."
"I can't think of anything better - a world class New York-based craft brewery promoting their home state with a clever, undoubtedly delicious, product," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Every sip of Ithaca Beer's Brew York supports New York farmers growing barley and hops from the Southern Tier and around our State. New York's focus on supporting the craft beverage industry isn't just about making great beer, wine, cider, and spirits - all second to none, I can assure you - it's also about giving companies an opportunity to grow, invest, and create jobs while supporting our agriculture."
Ithaca Beer created Brew York to showcase the state's high-quality agricultural ingredients, and highlight New York's advancement in supply and pricing that makes it feasible for commercial brewers to commit to buying and using local ingredients. Ithaca Beer is not licensed as a farm brewery, and therefore not required to use local ingredients; however, the company is dedicated to sourcing 66 percent of its malting barley from New York Empire Malt in Champlain, Clinton County and 1886 Malt House in Fulton, Oswego County. The brewery is also exceeding New York's 2019 farm brewery license requirements by using 100 percent hops produced by Chimney Bluffs Hoppery in Wolcott, Wayne County and Ledyard Farms in King Ferry, Cayuga County.
The Farm Brewery License legislation was passed by Governor Cuomo in 2012 and went into effect January 1, 2013. It was designed to increase demand for locally grown products, and expand industry-related economic development and tourism. Under the law, beer must be made primarily from locally grown farm products, and starting January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023, no less than 60 percent of hops and 60 percent of all other ingredients must be grown in New York State.
In addition to providing new business opportunities for producers, the farm brewery law has also led to a resurgence in New York's hop and barley production. According to Cornell University, in response to a rising demand for locally sourced ingredients, the acreage of hops grown in New York nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016, while the acreage of malting barley increased by 374 percent over the same two-year period. In 2017, New York was growing 400 acres of hops and 2,000 acres of malting barley, more than enough to meet the state's 60 percent threshold.
New York is also now home to 13 malt houses, all of which have opened following the demand generated by the new farm brewery license. These have also generated employment and economic development for supporting industries, including bottling, construction, freight, printing and advertising, as well as growing agri-tourism in the state, augmenting New York's $100 billion tourism industry.
In February, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State is now home to 400 breweries, surpassing the previous record of 393 breweries set in 1876. A summary of recent legislative and regulatory changes supporting New York's brewing industry can be found here.
Dan Mitchell, Ithaca Beer Company President, said, "The release of Brew York has been in the making for more than a decade. In 2004, we introduced an all New York State hopped Double IPA while working on getting the Northeast Hop Alliance off the ground. We spent significant time in front of state legislators requesting support to bring back the once thriving NYS hop industry, and working closely with Farm Bureau to raise awareness and funds. It's been a huge boost for those of us working on projects like this to have Governor Cuomo behind us. When I first began working on Ithaca Beer, there was definitely some support, but the Governor has created incredible awareness about all the great food and beer produced in New York State, and for all the farmers who support our local efforts. There's a much greater sense of pride for New York State, and all it has to offer. Brew York is a continuation of those efforts with more to come."
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Launching Brew York is an exciting and bold move by Ithaca Beer that clearly demonstrates the company's commitment to New York agriculture and confidence in the State's growers. By sourcing a majority of their malting barley and all of their hops from local farmers, Ithaca Beer is leading the way in the large-scale production of a unique, high-end product that consumers across the State will be able to enjoy."
State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, "Ithaca Beer's Brew York brings a whole new meaning to drink local. Not only does this beer showcase New York State's top-notch agricultural products, it demonstrates how far the state's craft beverage, agricultural and tourism industries have come in working together to make the Empire State one of the premier destinations for craft beverage enthusiasts."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Brew York is a testament to Ithaca Beer's dedication to New York State's farmers, maltsters and hop growers, and the quality of the ingredients being grown and produced statewide. This is all part of New York State's larger craft beverage ecosystem that helps create jobs, revitalizes communities and supports regional economies."
Senator Tom O'Mara said, "Congratulations to Dan Mitchell and the Ithaca Beer Company on the launching of Brew York and yet another creative, innovative and important Southern Tier product. We appreciate Ithaca Beer's deep commitment to our farmers and to New York State's locally grown ingredients. It's an exciting move that we hope will encourage and inspire more and more production efforts like it."
Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton said, "The launch of Brew York is an exciting milestone for local agriculture in New York. Over the last few years we have seen a remarkable increase in hop and barley production as the state's craft beverage industry continues to grow. I applaud Ithaca Beer for supporting our local farmers and recognizing that we have quality ingredients right here in New York State."
New York State Brewers Association Executive Director Paul Leone said, "With over 200 licensed farm breweries, it's a true testament to quality that a brewery the size of Ithaca would make a year-round beer focusing on New York State hops and malted barley, and distribute it throughout the state and beyond. We hope this will motivate more non-farm licensed breweries like Ithaca Beer to support local agriculture by using New York State hops and malted barley in their beer, further highlighting the quality of both."
New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, "Congrats to Ithaca Beer Company on the release of their first beer produced with predominantly New York grown ingredients. It demonstrates their commitment to supporting local farmers and shows what is possible as breweries across the state strive to meet the benchmarks set in the farm brewery license."
Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, "Dan Mitchell's leadership and vision in Ithaca and the Southern Tier has helped grow a successful business that emphasizes ingredients grown in New York. Our faculty within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are actively working with farmers across the state to meet the surge in demand for locally grown ingredients by New York brewers. From everything from better crop management to improved varieties of malting barley and hops, we are providing the innovative science needed to ensure brewers get high-quality ingredients from the nation's best farmers right in here in New York. Congratulations to Ithaca Brewery for this fantastic partnership between farmers, breweries and consumers."
Located in Ithaca, NY, Ithaca Beer Co. was founded in 1998 by Dan Mitchell.
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
Today's announcement also complements "Southern Tier Soaring," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan - attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation.
Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.