Governor Signs Bill by Hinchey and Lupardo to Help New York Craft Beverage Makers Jumpstart their Business

Michelle Hinchey

December 22, 2021

ALBANY, NY State Senator Michelle Hinchey (SD-46) and Assemblymember Donna Lupardo (AD-123) today announced that their bill (S.6256-A/A.7757) to make it easier for craft beverage businesses to get off the ground was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul. The new law requires the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to create a 6-month temporary retail and manufacturing permit that is inclusive of all alcoholic beverage sectors in New York, allowing growing businesses to produce and sell their products while state agencies process their request for final permanent approval.

Previous to the bill’s signing, temporary permits were only available to winemakers, a rule that had been in effect since 1993. The legislation championed by agriculture chairs Hinchey and Lupardo establishes long-awaited parity in the temporary permit process among all craft beverage businesses — breweries, distilleries, cideries, and wineries — and gives the SLA 45 days to approve or deny any submitted application.

“New York’s booming craft beverage industry is a major source of local pride and an important part of our state’s tourism economy and agricultural heritage. Growing New York’s competitive edge in the craft beverage space means creating a supportive business environment that helps these small entrepreneurs bring their products from farm to glass while creating local jobs,” said Senator Michelle Hinchey. “By expanding New York’s temporary permit process to include all craft beverage makers, this legislation will allow more beverage businesses to open their doors faster and start turning a profit sooner, which is especially important during such challenging economic times. I’m proud to sponsor this legislation in partnership with Assemblymember Lupardo and I thank Governor Hochul for recognizing the importance of temporary permits as a means to set our newest craft beverage businesses up for success.”

Assemblymember Donna Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, said, “New York’s craft brewing industry not only makes some of the best beers, they are ranked #2 in the nation with over 500 breweries. This bill will expedite the opening of dozens of new breweries allowing them to serve customers while they await permanent licensure. I look forward to seeing these new businesses grow and to continuing our ongoing support for the entire craft beverage industry.”

New York State Brewers Association Executive Director Paul Leone said, “With the current wait times for craft beverage licenses now reaching nearly 6 months, this bill sponsored by Senator Hinchey and Assemblymember Lupardo will allow the nearly 45 craft brewers waiting on those licenses to open immediately when they are issued this temporary permit. That will allow them to sell their product, pay their rent, pay their bills, and add employees as they wait for their license. We thank Senator Hinchey and Assemblymember Lupardo who have been champions of our industry, and we thank Governor Hochul who has always been a great supporter of the craft beverage industry in New York State and we applaud her leadership once more with the signing of this bill.”

New York State Distillers Guild President Brian Facquet said, New York is a fertile ground for craft beverage start ups, which led to a long backlog for new license approval. This commonsense legislation is going to make a big difference for many new businesses.”

New York Cider Association Executive Director Scott Ramsey said, We are extremely appreciative of the support from Senator Hinchey, Assemblywoman Lupardo, and Governor Hochul with the passage of the "Temporary Permits Bill." The New York Cider industry now has a total economic impact of over $1.7 billion to the New York state economy and this kind of common-sense legislation allows our newest cider producers and growers to enter the market, build their businesses, create jobs, and contribute to local agricultural economies in a much more efficient and meaningful way.”

New York is first among the 50 states in the total number of hard cideries, second for craft distilleries, second for craft breweries, and fourth for wineries. Together they have a $10 billion impact and support over 100,000 jobs.

Senator Michelle Hinchey represents the 46th Senate District, which includes Greene and Montgomery Counties and parts of Albany, Schenectady, and Ulster Counties. Senator Hinchey serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Energy and Telecommunications, Environmental Conservation, and Local Government Committees.


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