The State Liquor Authority is 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.
The 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, expediting the time it takes to open new craft beverage manufacturing businesses throughout the state, officials said.
The 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.
“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 Kathy 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. This is another step in furthering our administration’s efforts to cut red tape, ease regulations, and make commonsense reforms to help these businesses grow and thrive.”
Legislation signed by Hochul in December 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 81 permit applications pending for craft manufacturers statewide, officials said.
State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said getting craft producers open quickly is important for both the individual businesses and for our state’s entire economy.
“When our craft manufactures grow and thrive, they create jobs, put money back into their local economies and set the stage for future growth. New York has been a leader in the craft beverage industry, and these fast-tracked permits will no doubt help ensure this trend continues,” he said.
State Sen. Michelle Hinchey said the 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. As a strong tourism driver and local job creator, New York’s burgeoning craft beverage industry represents an exciting growth sector for upstate economies, and it’s one that I’ve been thrilled to elevate as Senate Agriculture Chair.”
New York State Brewers Association President Paul Leone said the state craft brewing industry continues to grow, even through COVID.
“With wait times lasting up to six months, many brewery owners were paying rent on buildings they couldn’t open, making monthly payments on new brewing equipment they couldn’t use, and not making any money to pay themselves or their employees while they were waiting for their permits,” he said. “This temporary permit will allow breweries who are currently waiting on their permits to open sooner, and for those considering opening their own brewery, an avenue to open quicker.”
Officials said New York state’s craft beverage industry accounted for over $5 billion in revenue in 2018, growing by 230 percent over the last decade. Despite the economic downturn, 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.
Additionally, in the last year twenty-eight farm-based manufacturers have extended their footprints by opening new, no-fee, offsite retail locations across the state in the last year alone, a 17 percent increase over 2021. These branch stores, which now number 198 statewide, allow farm manufacturers to sell their own products, in addition to any other NYS labeled product by the glass or by the bottle to consumers at an offsite location.