A new craft-brewer work group will pursue recommendations on ways that New York’s craft-beer industry can pursue additional growth.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement in a news release distributed on Thursday.
The workgroup, which is a direct result of the second wine, beer, spirits and cider summit, will consist of representatives from the craft-beverage industry, higher education and research institutions, the agricultural sector, and state government.
David Katleski, founder of Syracuse’s Empire Brewing Company and president of the New York State Brewers Association, is among a dozen people who are part of the group, according to Cuomo’s office.
It also includes Gary Bergstrom, a professor in the department of plant pathology and plant-microbe biology at Cornell University, and Steven Miller, a hops specialist at Cornell, according to Cuomo’s office.
Representatives from the New York State Liquor Authority and Empire State Development will also participate in the workgroup, Cuomo’s office said.
The workgroup seeks to help coordinate and improve communication between all segments of the craft-brew industry and state government.
Members will also work together to identify emerging needs, including research on new varieties of hops and barley, production methods, and consumer trends.
The group will also make sure New York has the infrastructure in place for this “growing” industry, Cuomo’s office said.
The workgroup will also continue where the summit left off in reviewing areas of potential regulatory reform and guiding the continued development of Empire State Development’s “one stop shop.”
That concept is designed to provide New York’s beverage producers with a single point of government contact for assistance regarding regulations, licensing, state incentives, and any other questions or issues facing the industry.
The craft-brewer group will also explore grant opportunities that it would deem “potentially beneficial” to the industry, Cuomo’s office said.
The governor in July 2012 signed legislation creating a farm-brewery license to promote the use of local ingredients in craft beers.
Since that law took effect in January 2013, 48 new farm breweries have opened up statewide, his office said.
Like farm wineries, farm breweries craft “New York” beer with specific levels of locally grown ingredients, gradually increasing from 20 percent to 90 percent by 2024.
Farm breweries have “privileges” that are similar to farm wineries, including the ability to operate up to five offsite retail outlets, open restaurants, conduct tastings, and sell related products that could include souvenirs, food to complement beer tastings, and equipment and supplies, according to the governor’s office.