By Stefan Oliva SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Craft beer has exploded in New York state since 2011.
According to the Brewer’s Association, between then and last year, the amount of craft breweries almost tripled from less than 100 to 269. There are 38 in Central New York and 11 of those are in Syracuse. Craft beer contributed almost $3.5 billion to the state’s economy last year.
The consumers’ taste in beer changing and the farm brewery law are the main factors in craft beer’s booming popularity in New York.
State legislation passed in 2012, which made it easier for craft breweries to distribute and maintain profitability. Legislators designed the law to increase the demand for locally produced products, including food and wine, and to give small brewery owners a tax benefit.
IBU Brewery opened late last year and its owner, Mike Mintier, welcomes the extra competition brought in by the law because it keeps him on his toes. “I’m a firm believer in competition,” Mintier said. “If I had no competition and my customers were required to come to me, then where’s my drive to improve my quality?”
Consumers can tell that’s why his brewery is successful and one offered his take on IBU’s success. “Find out what in there that they’re brewing; that’s the best that sells,” said Dave Chambers, who was visiting IBU for a happy hour for work, “and move what keeps people coming through this door.”
Mintier has worked diligently to satisfy that part of the equation. He now wants to reach out to nearby businesses. “We’re gonna start advertising,” Mintier said. “We’re gonna start distribution to our local bars and restaurants to help the neighborhood learn that we’re here.”