Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s fiscal year 2019 budget includes a proposal to create a license for farm meaderies, a new license similar to those already available to farm wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries.
Mead, commonly referred to as “honey wine” is an alcoholic beverage that is created by fermenting honey with water, which can be infused with fruits, spices, herbs and flowers.
“New York is the number one producer of honey in the Northeast, and by increasing opportunities for farms to produce mead, our thriving craft beverage manufacturing sector will continue to grow,” Cuomo said. “The creation of the farm meadery license will help strengthen these two great New York industries, and further add to our tourism economy, fueling growth in every corner of this great state.”
The farm meadery license will authorize the establishment and licensure of farm meaderies for the manufacture and sale of mead made from New York state produced honey. The provision also allows farm meaderies to produce “braggot,” a malt beverage made from honey, in addition to malt, hops, fruits, spices, herbs and other agricultural products.
In order to obtain a farm meadery license, the mead or braggot must be made exclusively from honey produced in New York state and no more than 250,000 gallons may be produced annually. Farm meaderies will be allowed to sell by the glass, offer tastings of, and sell to go not only mead and braggot, but also any state farm-produced beer, wine, cider and spirits.