Here's the Scoop - Seward Bill to Allow Beer, Hard Cider in Ice Cream Passes Senate

Senator James L. Seward with Gilligan’s Island reps during the 2018 Legislative Dairy Day in Albany. From left, Gil Hodges, Senator Seward, Andy Lagoe.

ALBANY, 06/14/18 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref- Oneonta) today announced senate approval of legislation he sponsors that would allow the sale of ice cream made with beer and hard cider.  Senator Seward’s bill (S.8830) was suggested by a Chenango County business and would allow for development of a new product line that combines dairy, craft beer, and hard cider.    

“In recent weeks both the dairy and craft beer industries visited the Capitol to showcase their products,” said Senator Seward.  “Farmers and brewers already enjoy a great symbiotic relationship and this legislation will clear the way for a new product that will capitalize on homegrown New York ingredients.”

The owners of Gilligan’s Island in Sherburne (Chenango County) proposed the legislation.  The restaurant, which already makes over 30 flavors of ice cream, has created ice cream with beer and hard cider and is ready to sell the new flavors as soon as the legislation is signed into law.

“The owners of Gilligan’s should be proud, their advocacy and ingenuity is leading to a new product that will be popular at fairs, ice cream shops, and farm breweries throughout the state,” Seward added.

The sale of wine ice cream is already legal in New York State and Senator Seward’s bill would clear the way for a similar product made with beer or hard cider.  As with wine, senate bill 8830 would limit the percentage of alcohol in beer and hard cider ice cream to no more than 5 percent of alcohol by volume, prohibit its sale to persons under twenty-one years of age, and require the same product labeling and warning statements similar to wine and confectionary that contains alcohol.

“Our agriculture industry is a vital component of New York’s economy and companies large and small throughout my senate district are keeping the long-standing farming tradition alive.  I will continue to work with our ag businesses to ensure the dairy industry and other farming interests are able to flourish – and that includes clearing the way for new, innovative products,” added Seward.

Companion legislation (A.10827) sponsored by Assembly Agriculture Committee Chairman Bill Magee has received committee approval and is expected to advance to a full floor vote before the legislative session concludes.

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