ALBANY, N.Y. –– New York State’s craft beer industry grew 59 percent from 2013 to 2014, producing an economic impact totaling $3.5 billion, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced in a news release Thursday.

The state’s craft beer industry directly employs more than 6,500 people while supporting another 4,800 jobs in related industries. That includes suppliers, distributors, and tourism-related businesses.

The findings are based on a research report prepared for the New York State Brewers Association and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. Stonebridge Research Group, a California–based consulting firm focused on the wine industry, produced the report.

The number of craft brewers in the Empire State more than doubled from 95 in 2012 to 207 in January 2015. Production grew 54 percent to 859,535 barrels in 2013 from 557,436 barrels in 2011.

Legislation to ease regulations on the craft beer industry and other government support helped fueled craft beer’s growth in New York state, according to the report. In 2012, Cuomo and the state legislature passed the Farm Brewing Law to facilitate demand for locally grown products and strengthen the state’s brewery industry. Under the law, a farm brewer must make the beer primarily from locally grown farm products in order to qualify for the state’s farm brewery license.

Cuomo said the report shows why the state needs to allocate economic resources to foster growth in the craft beer industry.

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