Senator Michelle Hinchey Urges Signing of Temporary Permits Bill to Help New York Craft Beverage Producers Launch their Business

John Curtin, Founder/CEO of Albany Distilling Company and Representative of the New York State Distillers Guild, Paul Leone, Executive Director of the New York State Brewers Association; Brenda Schworm, Owner of Back Barn Brewing Company in Delanson; Senator Michelle Hinchey, Guy Bucey, Owner of Mixed Breed Brewing in Guilderland; Albany County Legislator Dennis Feeney, Danielle Walsh, Executive Director of the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce; Scott Ramsey, Executive Director of the New York Cider Association.
Hinchey bill removes administrative hurdle for new craft beverage producers, expands temporary permits to include all New York alcoholic beverage entrepreneurs

GUILDERLAND, NY Today, State Senator Michelle Hinchey (SD-46) gathered a coalition of craft beverage producers and industry representatives at Mixed Breed Brewing in Guilderland to call for the signing of her bill, S.6256-A, which would require the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to create a new temporary retail and manufacturing permit inclusive of all alcoholic beverage sectors in New York. The temporary permit proposed by Hinchey would allow businesses to manufacture and sell alcoholic beverages while waiting for their permanent license to issue — authorization that is only accessible to winemakers, and has been in effect since 1993. If enacted, Hinchey's bill would finally establish parity in the temporary permit process by allowing all craft beverage producers, including brewers, distillers, cider and winemakers to apply for a 6-month permit in order to get their businesses up and running faster so they can start generating income. The SLA would have 45 days upon receipt of an application to approve or deny.

New York is home to over 1,200 craft beverage manufacturers and ranks in the top five states in the U.S. for its number of craft beverage producers in every category. The state is first in the nation for the number of hard cideries, second in craft distilleries and breweries, and fourth in the total number of wineries. According to recent economic impact reports, New York’s craft beverage industry generates more than $10 billion in economic activity and supports over $100,000 jobs.

Hinchey, who chairs the Agriculture Committee in the State Senate, was joined on Friday by members of the New York State Brewers Association, New York Cider Association, New York State Distillers Guild, Capital Craft Beverage Trail and Guilderland Chamber of Commerce who stressed the importance of removing this administrative hurdle, which will help galvanize the success of young craft beverage companies.

“New York’s craft beverage industry is a burgeoning market, and we want to continue our leadership in this space, which contributes immensely to the vibrancy of our upstate communities. At this critical time, when we are working to jumpstart our economy, it is incredibly important for our state to help these small businesses get off the ground faster and with minimal administrative roadblocks,” said Senator Michelle Hinchey. “Creating a new temporary permit application that includes all sectors of New York’s craft beverage industry is one way we can help up-and-coming entrepreneurs start to turn a profit and invest in our workers and communities. Craft beverage producers are critical partners to our farmers as well as our hospitality, tourism, and manufacturing industries; bolstering support for them will have a positive impact across our upstate supply chain. I’m proud to sponsor this common-sense legislation and I thank all of our industry representatives and beverage producers for their support. The sooner this bill is signed into law, the sooner we can set these new businesses up for success.”

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, who sponsors the companion bill in the Assembly, said, “There are many regulatory burdens that make it difficult to operate in NYS, especially for small businesses. This bill eliminates one such obstacle to entering the growing craft beverage industry, by allowing temporary permits for manufacturing and sales. It could otherwise take up to 6 months for a final license to be issued, sidelining a business from operating at all. It also brings needed parity to the industry by extending a rule that currently just applies to winemakers.”

Guy Bucey, Owner of Mixed Breed Brewing in Guilderland, said, As a brewery and small business that has been directly impacted by not having this bill in place, we strongly support this bill. Allowing temporary permits to begin operation will greatly benefit the start of and future success for new businesses in the craft beer industry. Breweries, cideries and distilleries are much more than a manufacturer of product, they support their communities, create incredible areas for patrons to gather with their families and friends and are a positive portion of our economy in New York. We should do everything we can to ensure the prosperity of this industry.”

New York State Brewers Association Executive Director Paul Leone said, “The craft beer industry in New York State is the second largest in the nation in total number of breweries with 485 currently open. This bill will allow more breweries to open faster while they wait for their licenses from the State Liquor Authority which can take up to 6 months. We thank Senator Hinchey and Assemblymember Lupardo for sponsoring this bill which will create more business, more jobs, and an even great economic impact on the State’s economy.”

New York State Distillers Guild President Brian Facquet said, “The New York State Distillers Guild strongly encourages Governor Cuomo to sign this legislation, which represents an important aspect of parity among the producers of all the world class alcoholic beverages made in New York State.  This will expand a common sense accommodation that wineries have enjoyed for nearly three decades without any negative effect.”

New York Cider Association Executive Director Scott Ramsey said, "The New York Cider industry contributes $1.7 billion dollars annually and over 6,000 jobs to the state's agricultural economy. In order to see this industry continue to grow, especially during such challenging economic times, we are thrilled to support Senator Hinchey's bill and urge the Governor to sign this bill into law."

President of the Capital Craft Beverage Trail Andy Weber said, “The Capital Craft Beverage Trail, which includes 51 producers of wine, beer, spirits, cider, mead and kombucha in the eight-county Capital Region, which extends from Washington and Warren Counties south to Columbia and Greene Counties, wholeheartedly supports this legislation, which will eliminate an administrative hurdle to new producers. When it becomes law, this change will be meaningful to small entrepreneurs who face innumerable obstacles bringing their products from farm to glass.”

Executive Director of the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce Danielle Walsh said, “The Guilderland Chamber supports bill S.6256-A, which would provide an avenue for new breweries, distilleries, and cideries to receive a temporary permit to get their business up and running, while waiting on their permanent license. Mixed Breed Brewing reached out to the Chamber back in November 2020 to see if there was anything they could do to speed up the process on their license. We were eager to assist the first brewery in Guilderland to open it’s doors, but due to the current process it took until March of 2021 for them to receive the official license to open. This is an important bill that will allow entrepreneurship to flourish and small businesses to recoup some of the upfront costs of starting a business in the craft beverage industry.”

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