ALBANY — In support of New York State’s farm cideries and agricultural producers, State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball and State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley joined Nine Pin Ciderworks at its 3ALrd annual Gathering of the New York Farm Cideries event on February 18 in Albany. During the event, 15 farm cideries from seven regions across the State invited the public to taste and buy some of their most exclusive products made with New York-grown ingredients. The event also marks Nine Pin’s third anniversary as the first licensed farm cidery in New York State under the Farm Cidery Law, signed by Governor Cuomo in 2013.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “I am thrilled to participate in this exciting event and to shine a light on the incredible synergy between the State’s farm cideries and our farms. New York’s craft beverage producers are some of the agricultural industry’s best customers. As their businesses succeed, the demand for agricultural products continues to grow and that’s truly a win for all New Yorkers. Governor Cuomo recognizes the tremendous opportunity that exists when these two vital sectors of the economy work together and I thank him for his efforts to bridge the gap.”
State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, “The Governor’s Farm Cidery Law has led to a renaissance in hard cider sales and production throughout New York. In addition to creating twenty-eight new manufacturers, farm cideries have driven demand for New York apples, created jobs, helped to protect the environment and increased tourism dollars in our local communities.”
3rd Annual Gathering of the New York Farm Cideries
The annual Gathering of Farm Cideries event was held at the Nine Pin Ciderworks tasting room and production facility in Albany. Attendees enjoyed up to three hours of free samples of unique ciders made from New York apples and provided by 15 different farm cideries from the Capital Region, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, Mid-Hudson region, North Country, Southern Tier and New York City. They also had the option to buy limited-batch ciders by the growler or bottles to go. A list of participating cideries is available here.
The event was split into two sessions: 12p.m. to 3p.m. and 4p.m. to 7p.m. A portion of the proceeds benefited the New York State Cider Association.
Nine Pin Expansion
Through its exclusive use of local, fresh produce in its products, Nine Pin Ciderworks supports the State’s vital agricultural industry and has become an integral part of the unprecedented growth of New York’s craft beverage industry. The apples and fruits used in Nine Pin ciders are sourced entirely from Capital Region and Hudson Valley farms including Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, Lindsey’s Idyllwood Orchard in Rexford, Roger’s Family Orchards in Johnstown, and Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont, which also has a farm brewery on site.
Last year, Nine Pin completed a more than $510,000 expansion project to expand its production facility to meet the growing demand for New York State hard cider and to better serve the agri-tourism industry in Albany. With the addition of seven 6,000-gallon fermentation tanks, Nine Pin plans to increase production this year by a least 20 percent. The company has also added five full-time employees. The expansion was made possible with a $100,000 grant provided through Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative.
Nine Pin’s ciders are now sold in more than 1,000 locations across New York and Massachusetts, including Taste NY venues on Amtrak trains. In addition, Nine Pin rotates a selection of New York hard ciders, beers, wines and cocktails at its tasting room. The company’s significant growth has also supported the revival of Albany’s warehouse district.
Nine Pin Ciderworks co-founder and cider maker Alejandro del Peral said, “As New York’s first farm cidery, Nine Pin is encouraged by and thankful for Governor Cuomo’s leadership in making farm-based craft beverages a priority for the Empire State. New York grows more apple varieties than any other state in the country, and is the perfect environment to produce world-class hard cider to enjoy not only in New York, but beyond our state borders as well. We’re proud to continue to share our cidery’s anniversary with this tradition of gathering New York’s farm cideries for an exciting, hard cider experience that can only be found in our great State.”
Growing the Craft Beverage Industry and New York’s Economy
Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, craft beverage manufacturing in New York State is booming. Regulatory reforms, new legislation and robust marketing campaigns have paved the way for significant growth in the industry, which now has an annual economic impact of $3.5 billion. Since 2011, the number of farm-based craft beverage manufacturers in New York State has increased by 197 percent.
In celebration of the third anniversary of New York’s Farm Cidery Law in October, Governor Cuomo announced the number of farm cideries had tripled from 8 in 2014 to 24 in 2016. Since then, four new farm cideries have opened, bringing the statewide total to 28. In addition, six farm cidery off-site branch stores have opened following changes to the Alcohol and Beverage Control Law last year, helping to boost sales, draw visitors and increase tourism in communities across the State.
New York is also home to 322 farm wineries, 149 farm breweries and 109 farm distilleries. Twenty-three of those companies also manufacture hard cider. A list of New York farm-based craft beverage manufacturers that produce hard cider can be found here.
To further strengthen the industry, Governor Cuomo’s 2017-18 Executive Budget proposes a new license allowing up to 10 Taste NY store operators to sell craft beverages along with food and souvenir items. Currently only vintners, brewers, and distillers that operate Taste NY stores can sell both alcohol and other products. The Governor has also proposed expanding the sale of craft beverages at certain locations such as movie theaters, launching the first-ever New York Craft Beverage Week, and a new grant for craft beverage producers to engage in joint marketing campaigns and enter products in national and international competitions.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York’s craft beverage industry has flourished like never before and we continue to see significant growth across the state. Our farm cideries are producing some of the world’s best beverages – made with home-grown New York products – which has generated greater demand for their ciders, as well as new jobs and economic opportunities for New Yorkers.”
New York Cider Association Executive Director Jenn Smith said, “Governor Cuomo’s contributions to the craft beverage industry have made Nine Pin’s success story possible – that along with a lot of hard work on Nine Pin’s part. By hosting an array of producers and consumers at the Gathering of the Farm Cideries Tasting and Market, the team at Nine Pin shares their success with other New York State producers, exemplifying the ambitious and collaborative spirit we see throughout our State’s cider community.”
Cynthia Haskins, President and CEO of New York Apple Association, said, “With the growing demand and market for hard cider, this is an exciting time for apple growers and the beverage industry. This event demonstrates the enthusiasm for such a palate pleasing product. Hard cider is a personal favorite of mine and I appreciate how our State recognizes that opening up market channels for craft beverage producers truly benefits everyone—the businesses, consumers and the farmers.”
–NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
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