KINGSTON, NY – Senator Michelle Hinchey today announced that two of her bills to help New York’s burgeoning farm breweries and craft distilleries were signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul. One bill authored by Hinchey establishes parity between distillers and all other alcoholic beverage manufacturers in New York regarding certain tasting and retail privileges. Another bill maintains farm brewery beer labeling requirements through 2028.
S5438A-Hinchey allows craft distillers to participate in new income-generating activities they’ve previously been barred from under State law, including the ability to conduct tastings at licensed locations and sell their products both on and off-premises. S7655A-Hinchey gives farm breweries more time (until 2029) to comply with a law that says NYS beer must be made primarily from locally grown ingredients. Under current law, a farm brewery can only sell “New York labeled beer” when 60% of all hops and other ingredients are grown in New York. That standard was set to increase to 90% in 2024, which would have been hard for farm brewers to comply with given gaps in production and supply, necessitating Hinchey’s bill to give more time for businesses to meet that threshold.
Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “Small breweries and distilleries have become anchors of our upstate economies, creating local jobs, supporting local agriculture, attracting local tourism, and then reinvesting those profits back into our communities. I’m proud that Governor Hochul has signed two of my bills that will make it easier for New York’s craft beverage businesses to operate, increase their profits, and continue serving us their great products.”
Paul Leone, Executive Director of the NYS Brewers Association said, “With over 500 breweries in New York State currently, over half hold a farm license. The farm brewing industry has grown steadily since it was created in 2012, but the NYS hop, barley, and malt industries need a little more time to mature and grow, so there was a need to push the 90% threshold set to take effect on January 1, 2024, to January 1, 2029. We thank Senator Hinchey and Assemblymember Lupardo for their leadership once again, and Governor Hochul for signing the bill into law so quickly. They understand the big picture when it comes to craft beverage and agriculture and we appreciate their continued support as always.”
Brian Facquet, President of the New York State Distillers Guild and Founder of Do Good Spirits in Roscoe, New York, said, “The distiller parity bill ushers in a new era for craft distilling in New York State, where distillers will be able to operate in a similar manner as our counterparts in beer, wine and cider. This bill will generate new jobs, increase tax revenues and provide each distiller with the ability to sell the products they proudly manufacture. We’re so thankful to Senator Hinchey and the Governor for all of their efforts and support of New York’s agricultural manufacturers.”