In July 2012, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to create a new Farm Brewery license in New York State, modeled after the already-existing Farm Winery license.  Holders of such licenses benefit from tax credits and lesser annual fees, but are subject to additional restrictions, such as a minimum percentage of New York State ingredients and annual limits on the quantity of finished product.

Recently, the New York State Legislature passed new rules that are aimed at easing those production limits.  The rules:

  •  Increase the Farm Brewery limit of 60,000 barrels per year to 75,000 barrels;
  •  Increase the Farm Winery and Farm Cidery limit of 150,000 gallons per year to 250,000 gallons;
  •  Increase the Farm Distillery limit of 35,000 gallons per year to 75,000 gallons;
  •  Allow Farm Distilleries to open one branch location;
  •  Allow all such license holders to provide tastings of their product, and to sell their product by the bottle or glass without a separate license.

These new rules are aimed at making it easier for farm breweries, wineries, and distilleries to grow their businesses, and are expected to be signed into law by Governor Cuomo.  To review the bill, please click here.