Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New Initiatives Come Out of Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit

This information about the Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit is from Jim Trezise of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced more than $16 million in new investments to grow New York's craft beverage industry.  

Included is $5 million for promotion including direct spending ($2 million), tourism promotion ($1 million), and targeted advertising ($1 million)--plus a $3 million competitive matching grants program.  

In addition, $400,000 is specifically dedicated to getting tourists from New York City to the eastern Long Island wine region.

On the research side, nearly $7 million was committed to the New York State Food Venture Center at the Geneva Experiment Station, which will accelerate the growth of the craft beverage sectors.  This investment reflects the importance of Cornell University and Cooperative Extension in the industry's advancement, complemented by Finger Lakes Community College.

In addition, the incredibly valuable "One Stop Shop" ombudsman service of state government, first created at the 2012 Summit and staffed by Sam Filler and Molly Bauer, will be enhanced with a subset within the State Liquor Authority, since about 90 percent of all industry inquiries involve the Alcohol Beverage Control law or SLA rules, so direct calls make more sense.

There were also about a dozen new initiatives designed to cut bureaucracy in various ways: allowing salespeople to work for multiple craft beverage manufacturers; letting craft beverage manufacturers collaborate in operating a "branch office" (satellite store); permitting the sales of off-premise beer in growlers; letting wineries operate "home winemaker centers" where hobbyists can use the facilities and equipment to make their "homemade" wine; and simplifying the licensing for bona fide wine educators.

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