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New York Lawmakers Agree To Relax Restrictions On Craft Producers

June 17, 2014

New York governor Andrew Cuomo and several key state legislators have agreed on a bill that seeks to reduce restrictions on craft beer and spirits producers in the state. The changes to current law being sought include increasing the production cap on small producers, allowing all manufacturers to conduct tastings and sell by the bottle and glass without a separate license and a lowering of the food requirement manufacturers must meet when offering tastings on their premises.

The alterations being proposed are in response to the governor and legislators’ assertion that current New York laws are overly restrictive, limit producers’ marketing ability, and incentivize them against growing through higher licensing fees for “any modest increase in alcohol beverage production.” The proposed bill’s changes would take effect 30 days after it becomes law.

The push to update laws governing craft producers comes as New York sees a surge in the craft beer and spirits sectors. Since 2011, the state’s number of microbreweries has jumped from 40 to 100, while the number of farm distilleries has grown from 10 to 52 and the number of farm wineries has shot up from 195 to 289 over the same period.

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