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New York agriculture looks to grab more ‘gusto’

NatashaPhoto/iStock/Thinkstock Pressing grapes
PRESSING FOR GREATER PRODUCTION: New York’s new craft beverage license may help spur further growth of the state’s booming industry.
New craft beverage license promises to boost market opportunities for New York farmers marketing to hobby brewers, vintners and cider makers.

New York’s market for locally grown grapes, apples, hops and barley may be picking up new customers, thanks to a new craft beverage license. This week, the Empire State Liquor Authority began issuing licenses for custom beverage production centers for hobby beer, wine and cider makers.

Licenses are available to both current craft manufacturers seeking to establish a secondary business at their current location, or businesses seeking to open a stand-alone custom homemade craft beverage production center. Some of those would transition into commercial-scale businesses in an already booming craft beverage industry.

The license authorizes creation of custom craft production centers where craft beverage enthusiasts, hobbyists and other amateur brewers, vintners and cider makers can utilize the expertise, space and equipment of existing facilities to produce craft beverages for personal consumption. The new custom production centers will also increase demand for locally grown ingredients, generate revenue for New York's small craft manufacturers and provide expert hands-on training for hobbyists and those exploring joining the growing ranks of craft producers across New York state.

The application for current craft manufacturers to add a custom manufacturing facility to their existing premises is available from the state liquor authority.

The application for those not currently holding a manufacturing license is also available from SLA.

Key benefits
State Ag Commissioner Richard Ball says this licensing innovation will support a new market base for custom crush facilities, continue to grow the craft beverage industry and increase demand for locally grown products in New York state. “It allows beverage manufacturers to bring in new business by sharing their space and expertise.” It’ll also create opportunities for experimentation and expansion into new products.

New York farm wineries have increased nearly 70%, from 195 in 2010 to 329 today. The number of farm distilleries grew from just 10 in 2010 to 114 today. The state is also home to 163 farm breweries and 34 farm cideries.

Source: NY Department of Agriculture

TAGS: Crops
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