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Empire Farm Days has a new Craft Beverage Center

Empire Farm Days—held from Aug. 8-10 at Rodman Lott and Son Farms in Seneca Falls—will have a new Craft Beverage Center this year, officials said.

Empire Farm Days is an annual event that covers 300 acres with the latest in agricultural and rural life exhibits, field equipment and live animal demonstrations, educational seminars, vendors and farming resources.

There has been an increase from 10 farm distilleries in 2010 to 114. There are also 163 farm breweries and 34 farm cideries, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

The new center will showcase small scale bottling equipment, hammermills for grain processing, a new apple grinder that converts to milling malted grain, and high-tech filtration, separation and purification systems, officials said.

The idea for the Craft Beverage Center was suggested by Scott Lufkin with DK Advanced Technologies, a manufacturer of small-scale bottling equipment based in Fort Edward, Washington County.

“The new center will offer the opportunity to see equipment and brainstorm opportunities to enhance their brewing, cider making or distilling,” he said in a statement. “Nationwide, it seems that small is the new ‘big’ in the brewing business. Small craft beverage businesses seem to be popping up everywhere and, remarkably, even small towns seem to be able to support them and prosper because of them in some cases.”

New York ranked fourth in the U.S. for the number of operating breweries in 2015 with 326, supporting 12,564 full-time equivalent jobs, $554 million in wages paid and producing $525 million in craft beer tourism revenue, according to statistics from the New York State Brewers Association.

“We are always open to new ideas for exhibits and programming and Scott’s suggestion of a Craft Beverage Center at Empire Farm Days will be a great way to showcase an emerging sector that supports agriculture, manufacturing and the food and tourism industries in New York State,” said Melanie Wickham show manager of  Empire Farm Days in a statement.

Educators from Cornell University’s Viticulture and Enology Extension will be at the center on Aug. 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and all day Aug. 9. The will demonstrate a wine and cider “sniff test” and will provide information on Cornell lab testing and analysis services.

On Aug. 8 from 1 to 5 p.m. and Aug. 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., brewmaster Jon Paul Partee and co-owner Craig Partee of Fleur de Lis Brew Works and Hop Yards of Seneca Falls will be in the Craft Beverage Center to answer questions about hops production and their French style of artisan beer making, officials said.

Show hours for Empire Farm Days are Tuesday-Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is free however parking is $10 per vehicle.

Follow Kerry Feltner on Twitter: @KerryFeltner

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or email madams@bridgetowermedia.com.

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