Area breweries use local farm produce
PENN YAN, WATKINS GLEN—Three area breweries, including Abandon Brewing Company and Climbing Bines Hop Farm in Penn Yan, and Rooster Fish Brewing in Watkins Glen, are part of 14 newly-licensed local farm breweries that opened as a result of legislation that took effect in January, 2013. The “Farm Brewery” license allows craft brewers who use products grown in New York State to operate in a similar fashion to the state’s farm wineries, leading to increased demand for locally grown farm products as well as expanded economic development and tourism.
“We received our Farm Brewery license at the end of July and just opened our tap room on Sept. 28,” said Garry Sperrick, owner of Abandon Brewing Company. “By late afternoon our parking lot was full. We’re already developing a loyal grassroots following. We’ve also been active in sampling under the ‘Taste N.Y.’ initiative, which has helped our business get some great exposure outside of Penn Yan. In addition to hops, our farm grows grapes and apples, which we plan to convert into cider and beer flavors. The farm brewery license is great for our business and is helping local agriculture expand as well.”
Additionally, there has been a nearly 100 percent increase in microbreweries across the state during the past two-plus years. In the first quarter of 2011, there were 51 licensed microbreweries across New York State. Today, there are 93.
“With the opening of 14 farm breweries since January and a nearly 100 percent increase in our microbreweries, it is clear that New York’s craft beer industry is booming—and this is just the beginning,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “The state is committed to promoting New York’s exceptional food and beverage producers through our Taste N.Y. initiative and investments in research and development to further grow the industry. Not only do these efforts benefit New York’s craft breweries, but they also help our agricultural sector to flourish. We want New Yorkers and visitors alike to buy local and keep coming back for more.”
There are currently 14 licensed farm breweries in New York State, which use 20 percent of local products in their blends, with more than a dozen more applications currently in the pipeline. These include:
· Good Nature Brewing (Hamilton)
· The Beer Diviner (Stephentown)
· Rooster Fish Brewing (Watkins Glen)
· Climbing Bines Hop Farm (Penn Yan)
· Hopshire Farm and Brewery (Freeville)
· Fairport Brewing Company (Fairport)
· Brown’s Brewing Co. (Troy)
· Abandon Brewing Company (Penn Yan)
· Hamburg Brewing Company (Hamburg)
· Erie Canal Brewing Company (Canastota)
· Henneberg Brewing Company (Cazenovia)
· Long Ireland Beer Company (Riverhead)
· Honey Hollow Brewery (Earlton)
In July 2012, Cuomo signed legislation to support and strengthen New York’s craft breweries. Under the new law, in order to receive a Farm Brewery license in New York State, the beer must be made primarily from locally grown farm products. Until the end of 2018, at least 20 percent of the hops and 20 percent of all other ingredients must be grown or produced in New York State. From January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2023, no less than 60 percent of the hops and 60 percent of all other ingredients must be grown or produced in New York State. After January 1, 2024, no less than 90 percent of the hops and 90 percent of all other ingredients must be grown or produced in New York State. The beer manufactured under these guidelines would be designated as “New York State labeled beer.” The legislation was modeled after the 1976 “Farm Winery Act,” which spurred the growth of wine production in this state, including the creation of 261 farm wineries and tripling the number of wineries.
Under the farm brewery license, brewers do not need an additional permit to serve beer by the glass, which has the highest return for brewers in terms of sales. Farm brewers can also make cider and serve cider by the glass. They are allowed to have five branch offices, where they can sell their products and other New York State labeled beer, wine, and liquor, in addition to having tasting rooms, retail shops and restaurants.
To apply for a Farm Brewery License, visit: http://www.sla.ny.gov/forms-quick-find#wholesale.