O'Mara applauds signing of new law to encourage growth of farm cideries

Thomas F. O'Mara

October 18, 2013

Albany, N.Y.—Legislation co-sponsored this year by State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to take steps to encourage the expansion of New York’s growing hard cider industry has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  

O'Mara applauded the signing, which was announced earlier today at the Capitol.

“It’s critical that we continue to take these  important steps for the future of agriculture, business and tourism opportunities throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and statewide,” said O’Mara, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. ”I strongly supported this bipartisan effort to welcome yet another growing and vibrant agricultural industry, hard cider, and look forward to helping the industry grow, create jobs and increase the demand for New York-grown crops.  Diversifying economic opportunities for New York's farmers is a key to the future, and this action promises to tap into other exciting economic spin-off opportunities for the upstate, rural economy.”  

The new farm cideries law (S.5833/A.8047) seeks to promote the manufacturing and sale of hard cider made from New York State-grown crops and to take other steps to ease and streamline the registration process for all of the state’s craft beverage manufacturers, including farm cideries. 

The Farm Cideries bill authorizes the establishment and licensure of farm cideries for the manufacture and sale of cider made from crops grown in New York State.  The hard cider must be made exclusively from apples grown in New York State to obtain a farm cidery license and no more than 150,000 gallons may be produced annually. Farm cideries will be allowed to offer tastings of and sell not only cider, but also beer, wine and spirits made from New York products. In addition, because farm cideries may also sell products such as mustards, sauces, jams, jellies, souvenirs, artwork, crafts and other gift items, these businesses, much like farm wineries, will become destination locations that will promote tourism within their communities. Also, the need for apples in the manufacture of New York State-labeled cider will create a sustained demand for products from New York’s farmers.

O’Mara, who also serves as one of 10 members on the Legislature’s joint, bipartisan Commission on Rural Resources, said he co-sponsored the legislation in the Senate as a way to help enhance and strengthen the foundations of agriculture and tourism across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.