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NY’s Craft Beverage Industry Gets A Boost

Author: Robert Creenan

State Assemblyman Sean Ryan spoke at Lockhouse Distillery yesterday regarding new legislation proposed by the New York State Legislature that will remove regulations on the craft beverage industry. That particular industry has grown in recent years thanks to lifting regulations and New York State’s focus on supporting the craft brewery, winery, and distillery business.

The new legislation builds upon the farm brewery and distillery law that passed in 2012. It will ease burdensome regulations and give the brewers flexibility to expand their businesses.

Assemblyman Ryan said “New York State has been working diligently to find creative solutions to assist craft beverage makers across the state. Many of our old prohibition-era laws have been an impediment to growth, and this latest package of legislation will spur new investment and expansion of breweries, wineries, cideries*, and distilleries right here in Western New York. Our laws needed to catch up to the rapidly growing craft beverage industry, and we took a huge step forward with the passage of the Farm Brewery and Distillery legislation in 2012 and 2013. This legislation helped to give Lockhouse Distillery the tools they needed to start their business and create jobs in the City of Buffalo. The changes in the new law will allow Lockhouse to expand even more, and give them the option of opening up a branch location to increase their retail presence in Buffalo.”

According to Ryan, the legislation (A.10122, S.7813) passed by the Assembly and Senate during the final week of the legislative session. It is expected that the new legislation that will soon be signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

Specifically, the changes to New York’s Alcoholic Beverage Control law include:

– Raising the production cap for a “Farm Brewery” license from 60,000 barrels per year to 75,000.

– Raising the production cap for a “Farm Winery” or “Farm Cidery” license from 150,000 gallons per year to 250,000.

– Allowing all manufacturers to conduct tastings and sell, by the bottle or glass, the alcoholic beverages they manufacture without a separate license.

– Raising the production cap for a “Farm Distillery” license from 35,000 gallons per year to 75,000.

– Allowing “Farm Distilleries” to open one branch location with the same privileges as the main distillery location.

Lockhouse Distillery representatives Niko Geogiandis, Thomas Jablonski and Chad Vosseller joined Ryan as he announced the details of this legislation. The distillery opened in 2013, and is the first distillery created in the city of Buffalo since the Prohibition Era. Already Lockhouse is looking to expand, and could be coming to a waterfront near you (see here).

*Since passing the Farm Cidery law in January, five new Farm Cideries have opened in New York.

Photo: Assemblyman Sean Ryan’s Facebook page


Written by Buffalo Rising

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