New York Craft Whiskey Gets State Government Love

New York Craft Whiskey Gets State Government Love

The rise of New York craft whiskey, among other booze types, is the result of a range of factors, be it access to quality local grains or drive and ingenuity amongst its distillers. Another contributing factor as well looks to be favorable state government policies towards this industry, which have resulted in savings to these start up operations they are then putting back into their businesses to create more great whiskey.

New York Craft Whiskey

A few of New York’s many craft whiskey bottlings (image via Governor Cuomo’s Office)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office earlier this month highlighted the fact over $400,000 in fees have been saved by that state’s distillers over the past three years after a series of “summits” with industry players resulted in policy changes. Specific regulatory and legislative “reforms,” as they are called, brought about the following:

  • Elimination of brand label registration fee: On December 17, 2013, the Governor’s legislation to exempt small batches of spirits from brand labeling fees went into effect. Since then, the State Liquor Authority has approved 1,699 no fee brand labels, providing $424,750 in savings for craft distilleries.
  • Elimination of 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.

In addition to the reinvestment back into the craft distilling industry previously mentioned, it is believed these changes in policy have actually resulted in a rush of “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.”

Here is a list of these new operations for the curious (note not all may produce whiskey):

NameCityCounty
Bardwells Mill DistilleryRemsenOneida
Niagara Distilling CompanyBuffaloErie
Industry City DistilleryBrooklynKings
Sagaponack Farm DistillerySagaponackSuffolk
Little Chicago DistilleriesOleanCattaraugus
Honeoye Falls DistilleryHoneoye FallsMonroe
Good Sherpherd DistilleryMamaroneckWestchester
High Peaks DistillingLake GeorgeWarren
Tommyrotter DistilleryBuffaloErie
Kerrs Creek DistilleryWaltonDelaware
Gardiner Liquid MercantileNew PatlzUlster
Cooperstown Distilling CompanyOneontaOtsego
Chary GroupBuchananWestchester
Nahmias Et FilsYonkersWestchester
Four Fights DistillingCorningSteuben
French Distillers & AlchemistsLisleBroome

“With the small farm based beverage producers on the rise,” said Governor Cuomo in a statement, “and their products being shipped worldwide, there is no denying that New York is truly open for business.”