Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the
craft beer industry in New York state grew
59 percent from 2013 to 2014, with a total
economic impact estimated at $3.5 billion.
These results, according to a research report
prepared for the New York State Brewers Association
and the New York Wine and Grape
Foundation, are another example of the incredible
growth the industry has been seeing.
“We have said time and time again that
New York produces some of the best craft
beverages anywhere, and this report backs
up exactly why we are focusing on growing
these breweries,” Cuomo said. “By cutting the
costs of doing business, rolling back red tape,
and promoting products through Taste NY, we
are seeing monumental success across the
state. When these craft beverage producers
do well, it creates jobs, puts more money in
local economies and sets the stage for future
The report, prepared by Stonebridge Research Group, finds significant growth in the
craft beer industry since the 2012 passage of
New York Farm Brewery legislation and with
continued support from the governor. The
number of craft breweries has more than
doubled from 2012 to 2015, from 95 breweries
in 2012 and 207 in January, 2015. Craft beer
production is up 54 percent from 2011 to 2013,
to 859,535 barrels.
The craft beer industry is creating large
ripples in the state’s economy. Craft beer
accounts for 6,552 direct industry jobs,
according to the report, while supporting
another 4,814 jobs in related industries. It is
responsible for more than $2.9 billion in direct
and indirect revenue within the state, and
another $554 million in direct and indirect
wages, making up the nearly $3.5 billion in
total economic impact on the state.
Tourists and New Yorkers alike are flocking
to craft breweries and brew pubs. Their visits support more than 3,000 jobs that pay
more than $77 million in annual wages and
generate more than $450 million in revenue,
the report says.
Cuomo has hosted several summits for the
beer, wine, spirits, and cider industry. Those
summits resulted in a significant effort to
eliminate regulatory red tape and create incentives
for the strong growth of the industry.
Among the efforts:
The recently adopted 2015-16 state budget
included Cuomo’s proposal to expand tax
exemptions for tastings conducted by New
York breweries, lowering costs for hundreds
of craft producers and allowing them to better
market their products and reinvest in their
businesses. The tax credit goes into effect on
June 1, 2015.
In November 2014, the governor signed the
Craft New York Act, further stimulating the
development of small breweries by reducing
costs and increasing the annual production
cap for farm breweries and micro-breweries
from 60,000 barrels to 75,000. Also in November
2014, the governor launched the Craft
Beverage Grant programs–a $2 million Craft
Beverage Marketing and Promotion Grant
Program and a $1 million Craft Beverage
Industry Tourism Promotion Grant.
The second Wine, Beer, Spirits, and Cider
Summit, in 2014, resulted in the elimination
of paperwork for beverage manufacturers
while reducing costs and regulations on farm
The creation in 2013 of a One-Stop Shop
to provide beverage producers with a single
point of contact on state regulations, licensing,
incentives, and other issues.
The Farm Cidery law, in 2013, which fostered
the speedy development of the hard
cider segment of the beverage industry, leading
to 480 percent growth in the number of
cideries from 2011 to 2014.
Legislation signed by the governor in 2012
that allowed farm distilleries for the first time
to sell their products at the Great New York
State Fair, at recognized county fairs, and
not-for-profit farmers markets.
The first Wine, Beer, and Spirits Summit,
in 2012, gave manufacturers the ability to sell
bottles when they are conducting tastings,
eliminated duplicative licenses and reduced
Successful efforts by the state Liquor
Authority to speed up the process of reviewing
new manufacturing licenses. The review
time was cut in half, from 83 days in 2010 to
38 days in 2014.
The promotional efforts of the Taste NY
program, which has brought the consumer
sampling of New York beverages and other
products to major events across the state
and which makes those products available at
special stores in Thruway rest stops and New
York City-area airports.
The creation of a $350,000 fund to support
research into hops and malting barley, crops
that are essential to the growth of the craft
beer industry. Disease and Prohibition wiped
out New York’s hops farms decades ago, but
the recent Farm Brewery legislation signed
by the governor mandates that New York craft
breweries get 20 percent of their ingredients
from within the state, a percentage that will
rise over time to 60 percent and then 90 percent.
The state’s support has caused a swift
rise in hops acreage, from just 15 acres in 2010
to 250 acres in 2014 with more on the way.