Posted on | July 30, 2014
Written by | Keven Danow and Arielle Albert
Liquor Authority Welcomes New Commissioner
On June 20th, 2014, the New York State Senate confirmed Governor Cuomo’s nominee, Kevin Kim, as Commissioner of the New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”). Mr. Kim is a former member of midtown Manhattan Community Board 5, serving on its Public Safety and Quality of Life Committee. As a committee member, Mr. Kim worked with community residents, licensees and the Liquor Authority to review and make recommendations on liquor license applications.
Senate Unanimously Confirms Reappointment of SLA Chairman
The New York State Senate unanimously confirmed the reappointment of Chairman Dennis Rosen to the State Liquor Authority. In the announcement, Governor Cuomo praised Mr. Rosen for his commitment to the recent regulatory changes supporting New York manufacturers. The Governor also commended the Chairman for eliminating the backlog of license applications.
Legislation Drafted To Support Craft Beverage Producers
On June 16th, 2014, Governor Cuomo announced an agreement with legislative leaders on a bill to amend New York’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) law supporting the state’s growing craft beverage industry.
This legislation is a direct product of the state’s second Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit, where New York craft manufacturers joined agricultural producers and government officials in discussions aimed at growing the New York industry.
The legislation intends to provide greater economic opportunities for New York craft beverage manufacturers by:
Amending the ABC law, the legislation allows all New York manufacturers to conduct tastings and sell, by the bottle or glass, the alcoholic beverages they manufacture without a separate license. The legislation also lowers the food requirement that manufacturer’s must observe when offering tasting and on-premise consumption. Licensees can now comply with the requirement by offering sandwiches, soups or other such foods, whether fresh, processed, pre-cooked or frozen; and/or food items complementing the beverage that customers can conveniently consume while standing or walking.
The legislation also increases the production cap on small producers, allowing such producers to pay a lower licensing fee while manufacturing more quantity of the product. The annual amount of wine produced by farm wineries has been increased from 150,000 gallons of finished wine to 250,000 gallons of wine annually. The annual production cap for farm distilleries has been increased to 75,000 gallons of liquor annually; and for farm breweries 75,000 finished barrels of beer and cider annually. And the cap for farm cideries was increased to 250,000 gallons of cider annually.
Finally, the legislation amends the ABC law to allow farm distilleries to operate one branch office located away from the licensed farm distillery. This location is considered part of the licensed premises and all activities allowed at the distillery may be conducted at the branch office. This amendment provides greater marketing opportunities to farm distilleries, allowing them to offer tastings and sell their products from the second branch location. The privilege to operate branch offices has already been afforded to other New York manufacturers.