NY craft beverage producers get help from Senator Hinchey

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"PK's Bravest" beer by Zeus Brewing in Poughkeepsie. Mid-Hudson News file photo.

ALBANY – The State Liquor Authority is now accepting applications for new permits to allow craft beverage manufacturing businesses the ability to manufacture and sell alcoholic beverages while their liquor license is pending. These new permits can generally be processed and approved in less than 30 days, compared to applications for new licenses that currently take an average of six months.

“New York’s craft beverage industry is not only a source of local pride but also creates jobs and drives tourism in every corner of the state,” Governor Hochul said. “These fast-tracked permits will allow new businesses to hit the ground running by opening quickly and making immediate contributions to their local economies.”

Legislation signed by Governor Hochul last year, created new temporary permits for breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, and meaderies, allowing them to open while awaiting the final approval, preventing accrued costs in rent and maintenance after the location and equipment have been acquired. There are currently eighty-one permit applications pending for craft manufacturers statewide, as of March 21, 2022.

These permits allow businesses to manufacture and sell alcoholic beverages for a period of six months, or until the full application is approved, for a fee of just $125. The new permits may be extended for a three-month period for an additional $50 fee if necessary. The application for craft manufacturers to apply for the new temporary operating permits is available here.

Poughkeepsie attorney Lorenzo Angelino specializes in helping businesses obtain a liquor license. “The addition of the ‘Temporary’ Craft Beverage permit, similar to the Temporary Permits that have been available to other New York on-premises liquor licensees for many years, is a much needed and noncontroversial change for craft beverage producers,” he said.  “Prior to this permit, minor construction delays at their location would hinder NY manufacturers from selling and distributing their products, even when the construction had nothing to do with the production of the beverage.  This permit allows  the business to bring in revenue faster, offsetting the enormous start-up costs associated with beverage production.”

State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, “Governor Hochul recognizes that getting craft producers open quickly is important for both these individual businesses and for our state’s entire economy. When our craft manufacturers grow and thrive, they create jobs, put money back into their local economies, and set the stage for future growth.”

State Senator Michelle Hinchey lauded the plan she authored. “The launch of New York’s fast-tracked temporary permits is a major turning point for craft beverage producers across our state, and I’m proud to have authored the legislation to help these small businesses bring their exceptional products from farm to glass sooner.”

According to Hochul’s office, New York State’s craft beverage industry has grown by 230 percent over the last decade and the number of craft beverage manufacturing licenses issued by the SLA grew by over 9 percent in the last year, from 1,426 active licenses to 1,559.  New York ranks first in the country for the number of hard cider producers, with 78, second in craft distillers with 205, and second in the country for the number of breweries, with 504 in the state.