New license expected to help local brewers and hops growers

ALBANY – After the passing of the Farm Brewery Bill by both the state Senate and Assembly earlier this month, new opportunities are opened for area breweries, along with local hops and barley farmers who will profit from increased demand for their crops.

The bill steadily gained endorsements from the New York Farm Bureau, as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo and members of the state legislature since its introduction in March. It allows New York state breweries to apply for a “Farm Brewery” licence, which would open opportunities similar to those made available to the New York wine industry when similar legislation passed in the 1970s.

The Farm Brewery licence permits breweries to sell New York-labeled wines and other state-labeled beverages at their retail outlets. Likewise, wineries will be permitted to sell NYS labelled beer for off-premises consumption, which include farmers markets. A license would also allow breweries to open a restaurant, conference center, inn, bed and breakfast or hotel on the brewery site, and sell beer-making equipment and supplies, food that compliments beer or wine, souvenirs and other products similarly sold by wineries statewide.

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