Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today welcomed 14 newly-licensed local farm breweries that have opened as a result of legislation signed by the Governor that took effect in January 2013. The "Farm Brewery" license allows craft brewers that use products grown in New York State to operate in a similar fashion to the state's farm wineries, leading to increased demand for locally grown farm products as well as expanded economic development and tourism.
Additionally, the Governor announced nearly a 100 percent increase in microbreweries across the state over the past two-plus years. In the first quarter of 2011, there were 51 licensed microbreweries across New York State; today, there are 93.
"With the opening of 14 farm breweries since January and a nearly 100 percent increase in our microbreweries, it is clear that New York's craft beer industry is booming -- and this is just the beginning," Governor Cuomo said. "The State is committed to promoting New York's exceptional food and beverage producers through our Taste NY initiative and investments in research and development to further grow the industry. Not only do these efforts benefit New York's craft breweries, but they also help our agricultural sector to flourish. We want New Yorkers and visitors alike to "buy local' and keep coming back for more."
In July 2012, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to support and strengthen New York's craft breweries. Under the new law, in order to receive a Farm Brewery license in New York State, the beer must be made primarily from locally grown farm products. Until the end of 2018, at least 20% of the hops and 20% of all other ingredients must be grown or produced in New York State. From January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2023, no less than 60% of the hops and 60% of all other ingredients must be grown or produced in New York State. After January 1, 2024, no less than 90% of the hops and 90% of all other ingredients must be grown or produced in New York State. The beer manufactured under these guidelines would be designated as "New York State labeled beer." The legislation was modeled after the 1976 "Farm Winery Act," which spurred the growth of wine production in this state, including the creation of 261 farm wineries and tripling the number of wineries.
Under the farm brewery license, brewers do not need an additional permit to serve beer by the glass, which has the highest return for brewers in terms of sales. Farm brewers can also make cider and serve that cider by the glass. They are allowed to have five branch offices, where they can sell their products and other New York State labeled beer, wine, and liquor, in addition to having tasting rooms, retail shops and restaurants.