Majority Leader Morelle and Senator Funke Introduce Legislation Seeking to Designate Portions of State and Local Roadways as the "Rochester Craft Beverage Trail"

Rich Funke

February 10, 2016

Legislation Seeks to Enhance Promotion of Local Craft Breweries, Brew Pubs and Distilleries Through the Placement of Signage on Designated Roadways

February 10, 2016 (Albany, NY) – Today, Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle (D-Irondequoit) and Senator Rich Funke (R-Perinton) announced the introduction of legislation (A9063/S6370) that would designate various portions of the state and local highway system as the “Rochester Craft Beverage Trail.” The Beverage Trail would seek to create greater awareness and enhance the promotion of local craft breweries and brew pubs by placing signage on designated roadways. 

“Our community boasts a long and proud brewing heritage which has been bolstered by the recent growth of local craft breweries and brew pubs,” said Morelle. “These breweries are making significant contributions to our local tourism and agriculture economies and exposing locals and tourists alike to some of the best beer in the world. Through the creation of the Rochester Craft Beverage Trail we can continue to support the growth of these brewers by increasing awareness amongst local consumers and better connecting visitors to our community’s incredible selection of craft breweries.”

“The craft beverage industry is a major contributor to our local economy and I’m proud to say our region is making some of the best beers, wines, and spirits anywhere,” said Funke. “The Rochester Craft Beverage Trail will do even more to promote the growing employers that are producing world-class drinks and creating good-paying jobs in our community. Thank you to  Majority Leader Morelle and all of our partners for supporting this effort to pop-open the craft beverage industry’s potential right here in Rochester.”

Currently, the craft beverage industry in Rochester and Monroe County has had success in promoting their products through the informal creation of the Rochester Craft Beverage Trail. This partnership has allowed local craft beverage businesses to pool their marketing efforts through cross-promotion. However, government partnership and support remains an essential component to the growth of our local brewers. 

Over the past several years the State has worked aggressively to collaborate with brewers in an effort to overcome obstacles to growth, expand existing and create new support services, and enhance the national and international promotion of their products. It is in this vein that the official designation of “The Rochester Craft Beverage Trail” under the State Highway Law is an important next step in fostering the growth and promotion of the Rochester area craft beverage industry. 

Senator Joe Robach (R-Greece) said: “The craft beverage business has seen tremendous growth in the Rochester region in recent years, playing an important part in our small business economy by providing jobs and opportunities to brewers and farmers alike.  The Rochester Craft Beverage Trail will help promote local craft breweries and the local craft brewing business to area residents and visitors of our community.”

Assemblymember Harry Bronson (D-Rochester) said: “I am proud to join my colleagues and the many fine beverage craft’s men and women to share with the rest of the state all the amazing things there are to discover in our Rochester. The Rochester Craft Beverage Trail designation will allow our local artisans and their products to add to the many things that make our region great and while they build our local economy.”

Furthermore, New York’s $4.8 billion grape juice and wine industry enjoys the many benefits of official roadway designations in the Finger Lakes and in other regions across the State. Given that New York’s breweries account for over $3.5 billion in economic activity it is reasonable to believe it would be equally beneficial to promote our regions craft brewers in the same manner as we do wineries in an effort to support their continued growth. 

 If passed and enacted into law Rochester Craft Beverage Trail sign placement would span portions of 390, 490, 590 and interstate 90, amongst others. For a full listing of the breweries and distilleries that make up the Rochester Craft Beverage Trail please visit