December 2, 2015
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Over 100 Farm Breweries Are Now Operating in New York State

Governor Cuomo Announces Over 100 Farm Breweries Are Now Operating in New York State

43 New Breweries Have Opened In the Last Year

Fee Reductions Have Saved Brewers Nearly $1 Million

Governor Cuomo announced that during the past year, 43 new farm breweries have opened their doors in New York State, bringing the state's total number of operational farm breweries to 106. Additionally, the Governor's Farm Brewery law, which created a new license for craft brewers that use New York grown ingredients and included an exemption on brand label registration fees for small brewers, has saved brewers nearly $1 million to date.

"New York's thriving craft beverage industry continues to grow, create jobs and bolster local economies in every corner of this state," Governor Cuomo said. "This administration has cut red tape and eased regulations that have helped these farm breweries expand while strengthening the state’s agriculture and tourism industries."

Click here for a list of the new farm breweries established in New York since November 2014.

Aside from the 106 farm breweries, New York is now home to 133 micro-breweries, up from just 40 in 2011, and 39 restaurant breweries, up from 10 in 2011. Additionally, eight farm breweries have opened off-site branch stores, a practice which was also authorized under the Governor's law.

In April, Governor Cuomo announced that New York's growing craft beer industry accounts for 6,552 direct industry jobs, in addition to supporting another 4,814 jobs in related industries. It is also responsible for more than $2.9 billion in direct and indirect revenue within the state, and another $554 million in direct and indirect wages, making up a total economic impact of nearly $3.5 billion. Additionally, more than 3,000 jobs are supported by tourism related to the craft beer industry, representing $77 million in annual wages.

This rapid growth of the industry can be attributed to several recently implemented regulatory and legislative reforms, spearheaded by Governor Cuomo, which are:

  • Eliminating fees: The Governor's farm brewery law included a provision to exempt small batches of beer from brand labeling fees, effective January 1, 2013. Since then, the State Liquor Authority has approved 6,659 no fee brand labels, providing $998,850 in savings for craft brewers. The Governor's farm brewery law also protected a tax benefit for small brewers. Any brewery that produces 60 million or fewer gallons of beer is eligible for a refundable tax credit applied against New York State personal income and business taxes.

  • Providing tax relief: The 2015-16 New York State budget included Governor Cuomo's proposal to expand tax exemptions for tastings conducted by New York breweries, lowering costs for hundreds of craft producers and allowing them to better market their products and reinvest in their businesses. The tax credit went into effect on June 1, 2015.

  • Raising production levels: The Governor's 2014 Craft Act raised the annual production cap for farm breweries and micro-breweries from 60,000 to 75,000 barrels, in addition to allowing all craft producers to conduct tastings and sell, by the bottle or glass, the beverages they manufacture without a separate license.

  • Promoting and marketing craft beverages: At the Third Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit, Governor Cuomo announced an investment of $5 million to renew the marketing and promotional commitment first launched in 2014. The State will commit $2 million in direct spending to promote the industry through tourism promotions and a targeted advertising campaign. Additionally, a $3 million grant program will match 20 percent of the industry's contributions for the marketing and promotion of wine, beer, spirits and cider produced in New York State. Through the Governor's Global NY Fund, another $5 million is reserved for zero percent interest loans of up to $50,000 to help the wine and beer industry develop export capacity.

  • Funding research: The State will renovate the Winery and Enology Lab and the New York State Brewery & Analytics Lab at the New York State Food Venture Center at Geneva. A $3.5 million commitment was made to the Food Venture Center in addition to the $3.4 million that was committed in the previous budget.

State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, "Governor Cuomo's support of New York's of craft producers, through creating two farm-based licenses, providing marketing incentives and streamlining regulations, has led to a boom in manufacturers throughout the state. In less than three years, over a hundred entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the new farm brewery license, creating jobs and demand for locally grown farm products in the process."

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "The Governor's leadership in growing New York’s beverage industry is leading to incredible gains for our farm breweries while increasing demand for our locally grown products. New York’s craft brewers are vital to our state’s thriving agricultural economy, using diverse, local ingredients that result in unique beverages and support our state's farmers and hops growers."

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The significant growth of farm breweries in the past year is great news for New York State. We are excited to participate in the resurgence of craft production, which includes leveraging New York-grown ingredients. State agencies are working together to cut costs for businesses looking to start up or expand, and create jobs throughout the state."

Empire Brewing Company & NYS Brewers Association President David Katleski said, "Governor Cuomo and his administration have adapted to the changing needs of NYS craft brewing by implementing solid initiatives which have resulted in impressive growth for our industry. Clearly the number of farm breweries that have opened since the establishment of the Farm Brewery Law is a testament to how effective just one of his initiatives work."

Executive Director of the New York State Brewers Association Paul Leone said, "When the farm brewing license was created, it was always our hope, that not only would many new breweries in New York State begin to buy local ingredients, but new businesses would be created to support our industry around the state. Since 2013 we now have over 9 malt houses, thousands of acres of barley being planted every year, and the hops industry making a tremendous come back to support not only our Farm Breweries, but all breweries in New York State. Without Governor Cuomo's continued support, none of this would have been possible, and for that, we sincerely thank him."

Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office: 212.681.4640

Albany Press Office: 518.474.8418