New state laws aid farm breweries/wineries

18 Jul

UTICA — Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature was affixed to a trio of bills today that will help support farm breweries and wineries in the state.

The setting, appropriately enough, was the F.X. Matt Brewery here.

Here, in summary, is what happens now:

• Farm breweries will be allowed to sell New York State-labeled wine at their retail outlets. In addition, farm wineries will be permitted to sell New York State-labeled beer for off-premises consumption.

• Farm breweries will be able to to obtain licenses to operate restaurants, conference centers, inns, bed and breakfasts or hotels on or adjacent to the farm brewery.

• Both farm breweries and farm wineries will be allowed to conduct tastings of New York State-produced beer and wine at their premises.

• Farm breweries will be allowed to sell beer-making equipment and supplies, food complementing beer and wine, souvenir items, and additional products similar to those allowed under the Farm Winery Act.

In addition, brewers in the state producing 60 million or fewer gallons annually will get a refundable tax credit and be exempted from the $150 annual brand label fee.

As noted by the New York Farm Bureau, New York was the national leader in growing hops in the 1800s. In recent years, more attention has been paid to that niche. Hop production has risen 400% in the past two years to about 60 acres statewide. A provision in the legislation calls for 90% of the hops and 90% of the ingredients in the local beer to be New York grown by 2024.

“This legislation is important for our members, as it makes simple financial sense,” said Dean Norton, Farm Bureau president. “Farm breweries are a growing segment of agriculture in New York and new markets are needed to sell their products and continue their progress. Since farm breweries can use crops from New York farms to craft their products, the agricultural industry overall receives an economic benefit as well.”

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Brewery, Legislation/Regulation


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