August 3, 2015
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Highlights Savings to Craft Distilleries Across New York State

TOP Governor Cuomo Highlights Savings to Craft...

Reforms implemented following summits saved over $400,000 in fees


Governor Cuomo announced that policies implemented following the Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summits have saved New York distillers over $424,000 in fees over the past three years. These savings have been reinvested back into these small manufacturing businesses and encouraged new entrepreneurs to enter the market. In the last year alone, the number of farm distilleries has increased by more than 25 percent from 62 to 78. In 2011, New York had had only 10 such distilleries.

“New York State’s beverage industry produces some of the finest wines, beers, ciders and spirits in the world and the incredible increase in the number of farm distillers these last few years is a testament to our efforts to lower costs, cut red tape and make it easier for these producers to open and grow,” said Governor Cuomo. “With the small farm based beverage producers on the rise, and their products being shipped worldwide, there is no denying that New York is truly open for business.”

As a result of New York's leadership in supporting the industry, the growth of small craft beverage producers is leading to increased tax revenue, job opportunities, increased demand for farm products, and a bolstered tourism impact for the state.

Regulatory and legislative reforms implemented to support the growth and development of New York craft distillers include:

  • Elimination of brand label registration fee: On December 17, 2013, the Governor’s legislation to exempt small batches of spirits from brand labeling fees went into effect. Since then, the State Liquor Authority has approved 1,699 no fee brand labels, providing $424,750 in savings for craft distilleries.
  • Elimination of duplicative license for farm distilleries: Prior to the 2012 Summit, farm distilleries needed a permit from the Department of Agriculture & Markets in addition to a liquor license, at a cost of $400. At the 2012 Summit, the Governor eliminated this requirement, saving farm distillers over $30,000.

Below are the new farm distilleries established in the past year:




Bardwells Mill Distillery



Niagara Distilling Company



Industry City Distillery



Sagaponack Farm Distillery



Little Chicago Distilleries



Honeoye Falls Distillery

Honeoye Falls


Good Sherpherd Distillery



High Peaks Distilling

Lake George


Tommyrotter Distillery



Kerrs Creek Distillery



Gardiner Liquid Mercantile

New Patlz


Cooperstown Distilling Company



Chary Group



Nahmias Et Fils



Four Fights Distilling



French Distillers & Alchemists



As a result of Governor Cuomo ending the SLA’s longstanding prohibition against issuing multiple licenses at the same location, 23 distilleries have obtained multiple liquor licenses at their manufacturing facilities,. Prior to this policy change, a farm distillery that wanted to produce whiskey from New York produced grain and also make rum from imported molasses needed to build one distillery for the whiskey and an entirely separate distillery for rum. In addition, since 2011 the number of micro-distillers, micro-rectifiers and fruit brandy producers has risen by over 200%, from 14 in 2011 to 46 today.

“Governor Cuomo recognized from the outset the growth potential of New York’s small craft producers,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley. “By enacting innovative changes to the state’s liquor laws, policies and regulations, in addition to slashing fees and paperwork, this administration has significantly reduced both start-up and operating costs for our manufacturers, creating jobs in our communities and new markets for local farm products.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Thanks to the Governor’s continued efforts to expand our beverage industry, we have seen every aspect of it grow beyond expectation. New York’s distilleries have reached new heights over the last few years, and the elimination of unnecessary fees and other cost-saving measures continue to support our beverage producers and boost our agricultural economy."

Brian McKenzie, President, New York State Distillers Guild said, “Since we started our business in 2008, there has been a total transformation in our relationship with state government agencies. It's refreshing to do business in an environment where the State recognizes our contributions to the economy - creating jobs, generating tax revenue, supporting agriculture and creating new tourism opportunities. The regulatory and legislative changes that have occurred over the past 4 years have helped our industry flourish and we believe there are even greater opportunities moving forward."

In October 2012, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo hosted New York's first Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit where he brought together dozens of beer, wine, cider, and spirits producers, as well as farmers, industry officials, and tourism experts. The objectives were to find ways that NYS can continue to cut red tape, increase demand for locally grown farm products, and expand industry-related tourism and economic development. Since that time, continued growth and support have brought the beverage industry an enormous amount of success. To follow the growth of the industry, please visit,

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office: 212.681.4640

Albany Press Office: 518.474.8418