Cuomo makes it easier for farmers to sell wine, beer and cider



Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed two new laws that allow farm wineries, breweries and cideries to sell their products by the glass both on site and in off-site stores, further updating New York’s 80-year-old Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.

These bills (S.5707-a/A.7960-a and S. 5341/A.5580) allow farm wineries, breweries and cideries to sell any New York-made farm alcoholic beverage by the glass at their production facility or off-site branch store.

Under current law, farm manufacturers are limited to selling only products by the glass they produce on site.

“These new laws further break down artificial barriers and help increase exposure to New York’s world-class beer, wine, cider and spirits, which will help this already booming industry grow further,” Cuomo said. “As I’ve said many times, when New Yorkers buy and support New York products, everyone wins.”

The bill signing comes after the governor’s recent visit to the Genesee Brew House in Rochester, where he signed additional legislation to modernize the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law by allowing for the sale of alcoholic beverages at on-premises establishments before noon on Sunday.

The governor says these new laws will provide for increased sales of homegrown products and expand a major revenue source for both established manufacturers and new businesses entering the market.

New York State farm-based alcohol beverage manufacturers, who have more than doubled in number since 2011 and have seen a 13 percent increase in the last year alone, provide local communities with increased tax revenue, job opportunities, increased demand for farm products, and a bolstered tourism impact for the state, the Governor’s Office says.

New York is home to more than 500 farm wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries. The number of farm wineries in New York has increased by over 60 percent, from 195 in 2010 to 315 today while the number of farm distilleries grew from just 10 in 2010 to 95 today. Two new licenses have been created 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.

“This legislation, which I proudly sponsored, eliminates archaic sales restrictions on farm brewed alcohol products,” said Assemblyman Bill Magee, chair of the Agriculture Committee. “This action will increase opportunities for agri-businesses, hospitality, and tourism to flourish in New York.”