New York craft beverage makers tops 1,000

beer-blur-close-up-250465The number of craft beverage makers in New York has shot past the 1,000 mark, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Thursday.

The total of beer, wine, spirits and cider makers is now 1,005, with 538 of those businesses opening after the governor’s pivotal beverage summit in 2012.

“By working to remove barriers to expansion, we have helped foster new opportunities for small businesses and will continue to support breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries as they develop their brands, create new jobs and drive tourism all over New York,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The Finger Lakes, which started with the largest number of wineries and other craft beverage makers, maintained that spot by adding another 27 wineries for a total of 178 craft beverage makers.

The Mid-Hudson Valley had quite the beverage boom, adding 93 new businesses, including 54 new breweries.

“Thanks to New York’s tireless efforts to cut red tape, craft beverage manufacturers are thriving like never before in communities across the state,” observed Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

Since the craft beverage summit, New York has welcomed 285 craft breweries, 96 wineries, 95 distilleries, 39 cideries and 23 new producers that are licensed to produce multiple types of alcoholic beverages.

In just the last year alone, 108 new beverage makers arrived.

Cuomo noted that New York ranks first nationally for number of hard cider producers, second for craft distilleries, third for breweries, and fourth for wineries.

After the 2012 summit, a number of legislative and regulatory changes were made to make it easier and faster to gain farm licenses for making alcoholic beverages. Incentives were also put in place to encourage use of local raw ingredients. As a result, acreage for growing malting barley, necessary for craft brewing, increased from 422 acres to 2,000, and 13 malt houses have opened.

“The growth of the industry has had a tremendous ripple effect in our communities, including benefiting our farmers who are supplying fresh ingredients and high-quality agricultural crops for unique varietals of beers, wines, spirits and ciders,” said State Agriculture Commissioners Richard A. Ball.

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