Reforms implemented following summits saved over $400,000 in fees

Cuomo Signs Nail Salon Bill-07152015Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that policies implemented following the Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summits have saved New York distillers over $424,000 in fees over the past three years. These savings have been reinvested back into these small manufacturing businesses and encouraged new entrepreneurs to enter the market. In the last year alone, the number of farm distilleries has increased by more than 25 percent from 62 to 78. In 2011, New York had had only 10 such distilleries.

“New York State’s beverage industry produces some of the finest wines, beers, ciders and spirits in the world and the incredible increase in the number of farm distillers these last few years is a testament to our efforts to lower costs, cut red tape and make it easier for these producers to open and grow,” said Governor Cuomo. 

As a result of New York’s leadership in supporting the industry, the growth of small craft beverage producers is leading to increased tax revenue, job opportunities, increased demand for farm products, and a bolstered tourism impact for the state.

Regulatory and legislative reforms implemented to support the growth and development of New York craft distillers include:

  • Eliminating brand label registration fee exempted small batches of spirits from that state fee. As a result, the State Liquor Authority has approved 1,699 no fee brand labels, providing $424,750 in savings for craft distilleries.
  • Eliminating duplicative license for farm distilleries: Prior to the 2012 Summit, farm distilleries needed a permit from the Department of Agriculture & Markets in addition to a liquor license, at a cost of $400. At the 2012 Summit, the Governor eliminated this requirement, saving farm distillers over $30,000.
  • Ending the SLA’s longstanding prohibition against issuing multiple licenses at the same location, 23 distilleries have obtained multiple liquor licenses at their manufacturing facilities. Since 2011 the number of micro-distillers, micro-rectifiers and fruit brandy producers has risen by over 200%, from 14 in 2011 to 46 today.

“Governor Cuomo recognized from the outset the growth potential of New York’s small craft producers,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley. Chairman Bradley credited the Cuomo administration with significantly reducing start-up and operating costs for local manufacturers, creating jobs in our communities and new markets for local farm products.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Thanks to the Governor’s continued efforts to expand our beverage industry, we have seen every aspect of it grow beyond expectation. New York’s distilleries have reached new heights over the last few years, and the elimination of unnecessary fees and other cost-saving measures continue to support our beverage producers and boost our agricultural economy.”

Brian McKenzie, President, New York State Distillers Guild said, “It’s refreshing to do business in an environment where the State recognizes our contributions to the economy – creating jobs, generating tax revenue, supporting agriculture and creating new tourism opportunities.” Mckenzie credited the regulatory and legislative changes with enabling the distillery industry to flourish and creating even greater opportunities moving forward.

In October 2012, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo hosted New York’s first Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit where he brought together dozens of beer, wine, cider, and spirits producers, as well as farmers, industry officials, and tourism experts. The objectives were to find ways that NYS can continue to cut red tape, increase demand for locally grown farm products, and expand industry-related tourism and economic development. 


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