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Know The Law: SLA Concludes an Active Year

Posted on  | January 3, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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by Arielle Albert and Keven Danow

During the 2013 legislative session, Governor Cuomo signed into law several bills that will amend the New York Alcoholic Beverage control Law. One of these bills creates new licenses for farms cideries. As part of his ongoing initiative to promote economic development for New York’s wine, beer and cider producers.

In recent years, licenses have been created that ease these specific restrictions for farm wineries, farm distilleries and farm breweries. Following that tradition, Bill A8047/S5838 created a new farm cidery license and expands the privileges of cider producers. Sponsors of the bill hope to make cideries “destination locations that will promote tourism within their communities.”

Farm cidery licensees may produce a maximum of 150,000 gallons annually. Benefits of the this license include:(1) permission to sell cider in bulk to other licensed manufacturers of alcoholic beverages, (2) permission to sell or deliver cider outside the state in accordance with the law of the state into which the cider is sold, (3) permission to sell cider consumption on or off the premise, and (4) permission to conduct tasting of the licensee’s cider or cider from any other farm cideries.

The license also permits the tasting and sale of other New York labeled products. Specifically, holders of a farm cidery license are permitted to conduct tastings of New York State labeled beer, wine and liquor. Licensees will also be able to sell New York State labeled beer, wine and liquor at retail (subject to certain limitations) and to sell certain food items that “complement cider tastings.”

The bill also amends the definition of cider. Under the current legislation, cider producers are prohibited from using anything but apples made in New York to produce “New York State labeled cider.” Once implemented, producers will be allowed to include other New York grown pome fruits (such as pear and quince) in cider. Finally, the bill amends the definition of cider to provide for an increase in alcohol percentage by volume to 8.5%.

Another new law created the “roadside farm market license.” The Liquor Authority may now issue a license to the proprietor of a farm stand. With the license the owner of the farm stand is authorized to sell, for off-premise consumption, New York State label products from licensed farm wineries or special wineries. The roadside stand may sell wine produced by no more than two wineries and the wineries must be located within twenty miles of the farm stand. The bill does not allow wine tasting at the farm stands. Also, it limits the hours during which wine may be sold. The law becomes effective on March 26, 2014.

Online Application for Special Event Permits

The New York State Liquor Authority implemented a new system that allows applicants to apply online for Special Event Permits. These permits include: Temporary Beer Permits, Temporary Wine Permits, Temporary Cider Permits, All Night Permits, Caterer Permits, Club Caterer Permits and Charitable Event Permits.

The online system allows applicants to view the applications online, apply and pay for permits with a credit card, upload all supporting documentation related to the application and check the status of a pending application. The online permit application is the first step in a larger project which will eventually give applicants the ability to file all Liquor Applications using the Online process. The Online applications for Special Event Permits can be found at http://www.sla.ny.gov/online-permit-applications.

The Interstate Shipping Wars Continue

Earlier this year, the New York SLA issued an emergency order of summary suspension against Liquors Galore Inc., a New York State retailer that ignored a cease and desist order served by upon it by the states of Louisiana and Missouri. In addition, the Authority has sought cooperation from sister states to stop illegal shipments into New York. Recently, with the cooperation of the New Jersey Liquor Authority, the SLA has been successful in stopping sales into New York State by Wine Library, a large New Jersey retailer.


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