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New state law to aid expansion of homebrewing

By Journal Staff


A small home-brewing set up of containers showing maple wine on the left and apple beer on the right. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently signed into law legislation to aid in the expansion of “homebrew” beer, wine, and cider-making in New York.

The bill (S.1227B/A1100B) allows for the creation and operation of custom beer, wine, and cider-production centers that will rent space and equipment to people looking to produce beer, wine, or cider for home consumption. 

“The craft beverage industry has taken this state by storm, and more and more New Yorkers want to try their hand at making the next great Empire State beer, wine, or cider,” Cuomo said in a news release. “This new law builds upon this increased interest, supports local agriculture, and breaks down artificial barriers to allow innovation and creativity to flow.” 

New York’s craft beverage industry is one of the fastest growing in the nation, Cuomo’s office said, but many urban and suburban residents often cannot afford or do not have access to the space or equipment to make homemade beer, cider, or wine in their homes or apartments. These custom production centers enabled by the law will provide space and lower the overhead costs of production, while also providing amateur brewers and wine and cider makers with the local ingredients and expert training needed when first starting out, the release noted. 

The new custom beer, wine, and cider-production centers will be regulated by the State Liquor Authority.

New York is now home to more than 500 farm wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cideries the release stated. The number of farm wineries in New York has increased by more than 60 percent, from 195 in 2010 to 315 now, while the number of farm distilleries grew from just 10 in 2010 to 95 today. The state has created two new licenses since 2011: the farm-brewery license in 2013 and the farm-cidery license in 2014, with New York now home to 129 farm breweries and 22 farm cideries businesses.

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