Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bill Passes State Senate to Boost Craft Beverage Industry

Ritchie, righ,t with Ashley Lynn Winery's Craig Hurlbut, front, and Leon Hurlbut, back. Ashley Lynn, in Mexico, makes wine out of apples and other fruits.
From the office of state Sen. Patty Ritchie:

A bill that would help boost the state’s growing craft beverage industry by allowing farm breweries, wineries and distilleries to sell each others products has passed the state Senate and moved on to the state Assembly..

While current law allows farm breweries to sell beer or cider, it does not allow them to sell farm wine or spirits. Similarly, while the law allows farm wineries to sell wine or spirits, they cannot sell beer or cider.  

The bill sponsored by state Sen. Patty Ritchie allows farm breweries to sell wine and spirits, and beer and cider would be able to be sold at farm wineries.

Today, New York’s wine and grape industry generates more than $4.8 billion annually for New York state, and includes nearly 1,700 family vineyards, as well as more than 400 wineries — up from just 14 wineries in New York state in 1976. 

There’s been growth when it comes to distilleries too, with the number of farm distilleries increasing by more than 25 percent in the past year. 

New York’s craft beer sector has also seen tremendous growth, with the number of craft breweries more than doubling from 2012 to 2015. Overall, the craft beer industry has a $3.5 billion economic impact on New York state annually.  

In addition, New York has harnessed the power of one of its biggest crops — apples — to expand our state’s cider industry. Today, there are more than 50 operating cideries in New York state, including 16 farm cideries, 19 cider producers and 16 farm wineries that also make cider.

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