New York state hosted its second Wine,
Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit on April 8,
a $6 million marketing and promotional
commitment to raise the profile of New
York’s beverage producers was announced.
State officials said it is a dramatic increase
from the campaign launched at the
first summit in 2012.
The summit brought the farm-based
beverage sector together with agricultural
producers and government officials in an
effort to accelerate and prolong the rapid
growth exhibited by the state’s beverage
The Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs areas
have experienced an increase in micro
brewery and distillery businesses over the
last few years.
Under the new marketing and promotional commitment announced by the Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state will commit $2 million in direct spending to support the industry’s growth via a $1 million targeted advertising campaign and $1 million in tourism promotion funding.
Additionally, Empire State Development (ESD) will launch a $2 million grant program that matches $2 million in industry contributions for the marketing and promotion of wine, beer, spirits and cider produced in New York state.
Officials said that entities deemed eligible for this grant funding will include nonprofit organizations whose primary purpose and mission is the promotion and marketing of New York state-produced wine, beer, spirits and cider.
“Agriculture and tourism have the potential for tremendous growth in New York, and over the past few years we have seen that our investments in the farm-based beverage industry are resulting in new opportunities for small business owners throughout the state,” Cuomo said.
He said the state efforts “will make it easier than ever before to start a farm based beverage business, raise the profile of producers across the state, and open up new markets where our entrepreneurs can succeed.
He said the summit was “about creating jobs and stimulating the economy, and I am confident that by working alongside our partners in the private sector our producers will be able to thrive and compete anywhere in the world.”
Since the first summit, legislation were enacted and initiatives launched to help the beverage industry open new markets and expand its visibility. This, in turn, has helped create thriving new businesses, increase agritourism opportunities and grow jobs in every region of the state, according to the governor. He said since the first quarter of 2011, State actions that support agricultural producers have contributed to an 83 percent growth in farm-based beverage licenses.
Senate Majority Coalition Co-leader Dean G. Skelos said, “New York has a host of businesses and products that put our state on the map as a leader in agriculture-based beverages, including our award-winning craft breweries and wineries that stretch from the Finger Lakes to Long Island, as well as the small, artisanal distilleries and cider-makers that are just starting up.
The initiatives Gov. Cuomo is proposing to bolster New York state’s beverage industry will help to ensure that small businesses can continue to grow. Not only do these proposals encourage entrepreneurship, but they help businesses succeed and stay here in New York.”
One state measure is the Craft New York Act, a set of reforms to consolidate and simplify distilling manufacturing licenses, raise production limits and lower licensing fees for craft manufacturers, expand marketing opportunities, modernize shipping laws, and increase retail outlets where small craft manufacturers can sell, serve, and offer samples of their products, officials said.
In addition, Cuomo announced he will put forth legislation providing the Department of Agriculture and Markets with statutory authority to administratively designate wine trails across the state, expediting the siting of wine trails from two years to approximately four to five months.
Over the coming weeks, the State Liquor Authority (SLA), the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Taxation and Finance will issue advisories offering clarifications on laws and regulations that have previously caused confusion within the beverage industry. These agencies will also take a variety of actions that will propel additional growth within the industry, said state officials.
Of note, SLA will eliminate unnecessary paperwork and clarify standards on brand label registrations and the sales of growlers of beer and cider; eliminate the need for farm wineries to obtain a bond; reduce costs to manufacturers and wholesalers with multiple licenses allowing them to deliver all their products in one shipment; and provide guidance to the industry concerning the new “roadside farm market law” on who can get the license and what venues are eligible, officials said.
SLA will also offer breweries interim licenses to expedite the start dates of operation.
The governor said the Department of Agriculture and Markets will provide financial relief to hops producers by exempting them from paying the fee for a food manufacturing license required in order to pelletize their products, saving them $400 on a two year license. The department will also exempt farm cideries from obtaining a food processing license, similar to what has been done for farm wineries, distilleries and breweries.
A Taste NY marketing and branding program at state liquor stores will be created to maximize exposure and sales, officials said.
The program will include Taste NY signs to highlight New York wine and spirit brands on shelves and encourage store owners to build product displays highlighting the wide variety of New York brands.
The state has also set a goal to triple the number of restaurants participating in the Pride of NY Restaurant Pledge. Restaurants that have joined this program are working to increase their use of New York products by ten percent or more, in order to support the sourcing, marketing, and education of New york state-grown and made products.
In addition, the following tourism opportunities were unveiled during the summit:
• New York State will double the number of Taste NY events held from 2013 to 2014. Taste NY has coordinated with the beverage industry to identify the events of greatest importance to the exposure and sales of their products.
• Taste NY ambassadors will be appointed to promote New York State products and events.
• The New York Racing Association’s Saratoga Race Course will feature alcoholic beverages and foods produced in New York on specific days.
The first official New York State Fair Beer will be launched for the 12 day event later this summer.
New York State will launch a barley research initiative and secure a hops scouting specialist to provide technical assistance on Integrated Pest Management, and establish a craft brewers and industry working group to ensure communication between government and industry.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams said “We are making doing business in New York State easier and it’s working. From our $4.8 billion wine and grape industry to the unprecedented growth of our distilleries, the beverage industry is thriving and today’s summit further solidifies New York’s position as a leading hub of craft beverage production.”
For more information about New York’s growing beer, wine, spirits and cider industries, visit www.taste.ny.gov.