Ritchie Joins Governor Cuomo, Industry Leaders at New York’s First Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit


Governor Announces New Tourism Campaign, Regulatory Reforms

State Senator Patty Ritchie joined Governor Andrew Cuomo, state leaders and dozens of winemakers, craft brewers and small batch distillers at New York’s first Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit, held Wednesday in Albany.

“Our wine, beer, spirits and cider producers have a very significant, positive effect on New York’s economy,” said Senator Ritchie, who is the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.  “Not only do they generate more than $22 billion annually and support tens of thousands of jobs, these producers provide a boost to the agriculture industry when they look to our farmers for the commodities they need to create their beverages.” 

“I want to thank Governor Cuomo for organizing this summit, calling attention to this very important industry and leading the charge to ensure these businesses are given the tools they need to expand, create jobs and succeed.”

Senator Ritchie has been a strong supporter of the wine, beer and spirits industries, and sponsored legislation recently signed into law by Governor Cuomo that recognizes “Farm Breweries” and cuts taxes and red tape to help create jobs and give New York an edge in these growing industries. 

At the summit, wine, beer, cider and spirits producers, farmers, industry officials and tourism experts had the opportunity to discuss legislative and regulatory issues affecting the industry with state agency officials and members of the Governor’s Cabinet.

After listening to a presentation made by industry, agriculture and business leaders, Governor Cuomo announced specific steps the state government will take to expand and grow the industry, including:

·         The creation of a promotion and marketing effort that includes a $5 million dollar marketing campaign, specialized, annual marketing events, and a commitment to work to find ways to promote New York State-produced wine, beer and spirits at the annual State Fair.

·         The establishment of a one-stop shop within the Empire State Development Corp that will host educational and training programs, resolve problems for licensees and respond to inquiries made by producers.

·         A number of regulatory reforms, including ending the prohibition against multiple manufacturing licenses at the same location, allowing craft manufacturers to sell bottles when they are conducting tastings, allowing beer and cider producers to obtain temporary permits to sell at special events and street fairs, reducing the fee for manufacturers’ marketing permits, reducing license application requirements for manufacturers and eliminating duplicative licenses for distilleries and breweries and the formation of a working group to continue to review State Liquor Authority regulations. 

·         The formation of three working groups to address trade issues, beverage trails and international trade shows.

New York State is currently home to more than 450 wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries, which account for more than $22 billion in annual total economic impact in the state.  New York ranks third in the nation in wine and grape production, has the second most distilleries and three of the top-producing 20 brewers in the United States are based in New York.