ABANY — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today marked the fifth anniversary of the Farm Cidery Law, which created a new craft beverage license for hard cider produced with apples grown exclusively in New York. The Governor’s Farm Cidery Law was a direct result of a commitment made to hard cider manufacturers attending the state’s first ever Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit to create a license similar to those available to farm wineries, breweries and distilleries. As a result of this legislation, New York now ranks first in the nation for the number of hard cider producers.
“The farm cideries law created new opportunities for local apple growers and entrepreneurs across New York, and helped make the Empire State a national leader in the industry,” Governor Cuomo said. “The tremendous success of our cideries has not only provided new revenues for local farmers who are producing fresh, high-quality apples for cider producers, it has also supported our booming tourism industry.”
“Over 1,100 craft beverage manufacturers, including 41 farm cideries, are now operating across the state thanks to our nation-leading efforts to boost the industry,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who toured Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany on Wednesday, the first to receive a license as part of the Farm Cidery Law. “The new craft beverage license established five years ago has helped to grow and support producers, creating jobs and strengthening the agricultural industry of New York State.”
Prior to the Farm Cidery Law, hard cider could only be produced by farm wineries or through a cider producer license, which does not require the use of New York apples. Cider producers also lacked expanded privileges, including providing tastings and sales of other farm-based products by the bottle or glass, and the opportunity to open restaurants, gift shops and branch stores, which have helped New York’s farm cideries become tourist destinations.
In celebration of the third anniversary of the Farm Cidery Law, Governor Cuomo announced the number of farm cideries had tripled from 8 in 2014 to 24 in 2016. Since then, 17 new farm cidery licenses have been issued, bringing the statewide total to 41. Nearly every region of New York is now home to a farm cidery. A list of farm cideries currently operating in New York State is available .
The increased demand for hard cider in the state gives apple producers another avenue for maximizing the value of their harvest, as fruit that is too small or blemished to be sold at stores or farmer’s markets can be sold to cider makers. Continuation of this trend will lead to increased demand for apples, additional job creation, protection of the environment and tourism dollars for local communities, as well as providing a significant revenue source for producers through the production of high value-added products like hard cider and apple spirits.
In 2016, to further encourage collaboration and create new markets for all New York farm beverage producers, Governor Cuomo signed legislation allowing farm cideries, wineries and breweries to sell any farm-produced craft beverage at their manufacturing facility or branch store. Under prior law, farm manufacturers were limited to selling only products by the glass that they produced. This change led to a proliferation of no-fee branch offices or “tasting rooms” across the state, which grew from 35 in 2012 to 154 today, including 10 farm cidery branch stores listed .
5th Annual Gathering of the New York Farm Cideries
In celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Farm Cidery Law, Nine Pin Cider, New York’s first farm cidery, is hosting a series of events, culminating with the fifth annual Gathering of the Farm Cideries on March 2nd in Albany. The sold-out event includes three hours of sampling from a large variety of New York State ciders, a chance to speak with cider makers about their craft and the opportunity to purchase extremely rare ciders from participating farm cideries.
Featured New York’s farm cideries include:
· Nine Pin Cider (Albany)
· Abandoned Cider (Parksville)
· Awestruck Ciders (Sidney)
· Blue Toad Hard Cider (Rochester)
· Brooklyn Cider House (Brooklyn)
· Embark Craft Ciderworks (Williamson)
· Fishkill Farms (Treasury Cider) (Hopewell Junction)
· Graft Cider (Newburgh)
· Kaneb Orchards (St Lawrence Cidery) (Massena)
· Kings Highway Fine Cider (Brooklyn)
· Little Apple Cidery Inc. (Hillsdale)
· Patriots’ Heritage Cider (Melrose)
· Sundog Cider (Chatham)
· WAYSIDE Cider (Andes)
New York State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, “The Governor’s Farm Cidery Law has spurred a renaissance in hard cider production throughout New York. Our state now leads the nation in the number of hard cider producers, who are creating jobs, economic development and supporting sustainable farming in our local communities.”
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We thank Governor Cuomo for his support of our farm cidery producers. The Farm Cideries law has allowed this segment of the craft beverage industry to flourish, and five years later, its continuing to help our orchard owners and hard cider processors expand their business. As a result, we have seen substantial growth and have become a national leader in the production of hard cider.”
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The passage of the Farm Cidery Law helped to stimulate this now-booming segment of the state’s craft beverage industry by removing red tape and outdated legislation to encourage greater cider production and support apple growers and cider producers across the state.”
New York Cider Association Executive Director Jenn Smith said, “The cider community is grateful for Governor Cuomo’s foresight in creating the farm cidery license. Since the license was introduced, over 40 farm cideries have opened in orchards and cities in more than 25 counties across the state. Some are seeing national distribution and, according to third party research, at least seven saw 2 times retail sales growth in 2018. Using 100% New York apples and leading the national industry in terms of quality, diversity, and innovation, New York’s farm cider makers are creating jobs, preserving farmland, increasing apple crop utilization, and helping to enhance New York’s identity as a culinary destination.”
Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, craft beverage manufacturing in New York State is booming. Regulatory reforms, easing sales restrictions, the creation of new licenses and robust marketing campaigns have paved the way for substantial growth in the farm-based craft beverage industry. Since Governor Cuomo hosted New York’s first craft beverage summit in October 2012, the state has added 490 new licenses for farm breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries, bringing the total to 772 farm-based manufactures today.
New York State’s apple industry ranks second in the nation in apple production. The State’s more than 700 producers grow more apple varieties than any other State, providing the basis for the innovation behind New York’s cideries. As the number of cideries in the state continues to increase, the demand for New York apples continues to grow. The New York Apple Association reports the apple industry in the Empire State provides approximately 10,000 direct agricultural jobs in New York and thousands of indirect jobs through fruit handling, distribution, marketing, and exports.
–New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
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