Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) has proposed legislation that would revise the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (Blue Laws) to modernize the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in New York state. The new rules would also consolidate licensing and reduce “burdensome fees for wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries statewide.”
In particular, the legislation would (i) lift restrictions on Sunday morning sales of alcoholic beverages at on-premises establishes; (ii) allow the New York State Liquor Authority to consider exceptions to the “Two Hundred Foot Law” that prohibits the dispensation of full liquor licenses to establishments within 200 feet of a school or place of worship; (iii) combine craft manufacturing licenses into one application to reduce the paperwork burden on small breweries, wineries and distilleries; (iv) authorize the sale of wine in growlers and allow customers to take home unfinished bottles of wine; (v) reduce fees for craft beverage salespeople; and (vi) reduce fees for small wholesalers.
“The new legislation builds on the progress made by the governor over the past five years, including enacting the Craft New York Act, to cut burdensome requirements on producers and ease restrictions regarding the marketing of craft products,” states a May 18, 2016, press release. “Since 2011, the state has implemented a number of significant reforms and expanded programs to grow the craft beverage industry, including creating new farm-based manufacturing licenses, launching a $60-million statewide promotional campaign and hosting wine, beer and spirits summits across the state.”