New York Senate Passes Legislation Sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky Supporting Craft Brewers

David J. Valesky

March 20, 2009

SYRACUSE, N.Y.--The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), which would give smaller brewers the ability to offer packaged or bottled beer for sale or tasting at farmers markets, county fairs and the New York State Fair.

The bill, passed 60-1, provides brewers producing less than 60,000 barrels of beer annually with additional outlets to sell their product and to educate the public about their small craft beers. Similar provisions have already been granted to wineries and farm wineries.

“The craft brewing industry in New York state, and particularly in Upstate New York, has the potential for continued growth and can contribute to the economic development of the region through increased sales and job creation,” Senator Valesky, Vice President Pro-Tempore of the New York State Senate, said. “I am pleased to sponsor legislation that will give these small businesses more options to market and sell their products in our communities, as we have done in the past with our New York State wineries.”

“The small craft brewers often do not have the extensive resources necessary to compete with larger producers through marketing, advertising and staffing. This bill provides the 60 small craft breweries of New York State growth opportunities by directly marketing to target customers and allows for greater access to the market,” David Katleski, President of the New York State Brewers Association, said.

“On behalf of the craft brewers in New York and the New York State Brewers Association, I commend and thank Senator Valesky for his efforts recognizing this opportunity and creating a bill that will allow us to grow our businesses.”

Through the legislation, licensed brewers would apply to the State Liquor Authority for a permit. If granted, brewers could offer product for sale or tasting in a sealed container provided that a representative of the brewer is present.

The bill is being sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblymember William Magee (D-Nelson).

Senator David Valesky represents the 49th Senate District, and is Vice President Pro-Tempore of the New York State