Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill into law that will allow for the creation of custom beer, wine and cider production centers that will rent space and equipment to those looking to produce alcoholic beverages for home consumption.
The bill, S.1227B/A.1100B, was sponsored in the Senate by State Sen. David Carlucci, (D-Rockland/Westchester).
"Providing places in the community for people with shared interests to come together has always been important to me,” Carlucci said. “The creation of these custom centers will allow neighbors to receive training and share equipment.
“New York’s beer, wine and cider industry is blossoming, and this legislation will allow the talent pool to thrive. Moreover, the bill will have a positive effect on the agricultural industry in New York State, as more producers will look to use locally-grown grapes, apples, hops and barley. I thank Gov. Cuomo for signing this important bill into law."
Although New York's craft beverage industry is one of the fastest growing in the nation, many urban and suburban residents often cannot afford or do not have access to the appropriate space or equipment to make homemade beer, cider or wine in their homes or apartments.
The custom production centers will not only provide space and lower the overhead costs of production, but provide amateur producers with the local ingredients and expert training needed when first starting out.
The centers will be regulated by the State Liquor Authority.
“The craft beverage industry has taken this state by storm, and more and more New Yorkers want to try their hand at making the next great Empire State beer, wine or cider," Cuomo said. "This new law builds upon this increased interest, supports local agriculture and breaks down artificial barriers to allow innovation and creativity to flow.”
Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Bill Magee, another supporter of the legislation, also noted the ripple effect the new law will have on other goods and services.
“This opens the door to allow hobbyists, farmers, students and aficionados of craft beverage brewing to partake in small scale production in a custom center, fully equipped with all the amenities of the trade,” he said. “Not only will this increase interest in craft brewing and wine making, it will benefit sales of New York agricultural products used in wine and beer production, while creating a new market base for the newly licensed custom crush facilities."
Since 2011, the state has implemented a multitude of significant reforms and expanded programs to grow the craft beverage industry, including creating new farm-based manufacturing licenses, launching a $60 million statewide promotional campaign and hosting wine, beer and spirits summits across the state.
In the past year alone, Cuomo has signed legislation to modernize the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law by allowing for the sale of alcoholic beverages at on-premises establishments before noon on Sundays and enabling farm wineries, breweries and cideries to sell any New York-made farm alcoholic beverage by the glass at their production facility or off-site branch store.
New York is now home to over 500 farm wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries.
The number of farm wineries in New York has increased by over 60 percent, from 195 in 2010 to 315 today, while the number of farm distilleries grew from just 10 in 2010 to 95 today.
With the creation of the farm brewery license in 2013 and the farm cidery license in 2014, New York is now home to 129 farm breweries and 22 farm cideries.
Rockland County, which encompasses the bulk of Carlucci’s district, already has three breweries: Defiant Brewing Co. in Pearl River, Industrial Arts Brewing Co. in Garnerville and Kuka Andean Brewing Co. in Blauvelt.