Posted on | March 7, 2012
Written by | BevNetwork
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has drafted two bills he says will provide a boon to the state’s beer and wine industries.
Under the first bill, the state would create a new licensing system for breweries, allowing those that meet specific requirements to be classified as “farm breweries.” This new classification, achieved by making beer almost entirely with hops and ingredients grown in New York state, would allow breweries to operate in a similar fashion to the state’s wineries.
Farm breweries would be allowed to open restaurants, conference centers, inns, bed and breakfasts or hotels on or adjacent to their breweries, conduct tastings of New York state-produced beer and wine on premises and sell beer-making equipment and supplies, souvenirs and other related items at their breweries.
Farm breweries would also be allowed to sell New York state-labeled wine at their retail outlets, while farm wineries could sell New York state-labeled beer for off-premises consumption.
To qualify for a farm brewery license, brewers would have to produce their beer with at least 20 percent of the hops and 40 percent of all other ingredients being grown in New York state until the end of 2017. Those percentages would continue to increase every few years until no less than 90 percent of both the hops and other ingredients were grown in New York state.
Cuomo also proposed legislation today to exempt farm wineries and distilleries from having to annually report sales made to restaurants, bars and other retailers.
Cuomo said the cost on the vineyard owners far exceeds the benefit to the state, which could always request the vineyards’ sales records if necessary.
by John Callegari
March 6, 2012