Agriculture, Central New York, Community, Consumer

CNY Brewery Takes Advantage of Loosened Regulations

By Aubrie Tolliver Syracuse N.Y. (NCC News) — In November of 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the passing of a new legislation, allowing farm breweries to operate in the state of New York.

At that same time, Saul Kleinberg and his wife, Laura, were on a sabbatical in India when they realized their dream of owning a brewery was now possible.

“We decided if this law passed, we would come up here and try to get this property,” said Saul Kleinberg, “and, low and behold, it did and we did.”

The Griffin Hills Farm Brewery was born.

In 1934, 12 years after the end of prohibition, the New York State put in place the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, which set strict parameters on brewers in the state.

But since then, the Senate has passed a number amendments, making it easier for even small breweries to thrive. For example, the Senate passed a bill last week that allows breweries to give out samples at local tasting events.

“I think it was reasonable for the governor to say we can deregulate this a little bit without running into any of the usual problems,” Paul Blackley, an economics professor at Le Moyne College, said. He believes that a thriving craft brewing industry can be advantageous for the New York State economy.

“It’s like a domino effect right through the economy,” Blackley said. “Not only are people going into the brewery industry, but you’re seeing the revitalization of those kinds of agricultural activities., which will then help the folks that sell equipment to those farmers.”

“I don’t think any brewer would say that [Gov. Cuomo] has done anything but good for the brewing industry,” Kleinberg said. “Especially for craft breweries and small startups in New York State.”

In 2003, there were only 30 breweries in the state of New York. Today, there are about that many in Central New York alone, 300 in the state.