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Empire State Development Announces Grand Opening of Graft Cider's Expanded Facility in Orange County

New $1.3 Million Cidery in Newburgh Includes a Tasting Lab, Production Space, and Distribution Center

With More Than 126 Licensed Cider Producers, New York National Leader in Number of Cideries

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Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the grand opening of Graft Cider’s new $1.3 million production facility, The Orchard, in Newburgh, Orange County. Graft Cider has redeveloped the former Powder Creek Mill textile manufacturing complex to grow its manufacturing operations into a 16,000 square foot production and distribution facility with a dedicated testing lab and equipment to ensure better tracking and quality control.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Graft Cider’s expansion contributes to the growth of the region's vibrant food and beverage sector, and further supports the Mid-Hudson Region’s strong agribusiness industry. The company's adaptive reuse of a former textile mill into a modern cidery will attracts visitors and welcome residents to explore and experience Newburgh and its surrounding communities. Cheers to Graft's continued success!"

Graft Cider Owner Kyle Sherrer said, “We are thrilled to announce that The Orchard, our new production cidery that makes our in-house brands of Hudson North Cider, Graft Cider, and Ritual Hard Kombucha, is finally opening its doors! This new project will create job opportunities for the local community while also expanding our brands. We can’t wait to welcome visitors to our taproom and become a destination for Orange County and Newburgh.”

Graft Cider produces a robust portfolio of artisan ciders and all-natural wine spritzers, and this new facility will allow the company to house larger tanks that increase production capacity to accommodate growing demand. Overall quality will improve by substituting jacketed stainless-steel fermenters for the existing plastic fermenters currently used, improving sanitation and providing greater temperature control. By implementing these changes, product consistency is expected to increase from 80% to 95%. Empire State Development has agreed to support this project with a $264,000 capital grant, recommended by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council. As part of this expansion, Graft Cider will create eight new jobs and retain 13 existing full-time positions.

Graft Cider joins the recently announced $80 million Dassai Blue Sake Brewery, which recently opened in Hyde Park, Dutchess County and was also supported by Empire State Development and the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council. Dassai has invested more than $80 million in the facility and will create 32 new jobs.

Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Dr. Marsha Gordon, President & CEO of The Business Council of Westchester and Dr. Kristine Young, president of SUNY Orange said, “The Mid-Hudson Region is home to a growing number of craft beverage manufacturers, which are a favorite destination for residents and visitors alike. We are thrilled at the success of Graft Cider and their decision to stay in the region. They are not only expanding their business; they have created an exciting and vibrant space, growing jobs and supporting the continued revitalization of the City of Newburgh in the process.” 

Senator Rob Rolison said, "The opening of this state-of-the-art facility continues to improve Newburgh's economic climate, promotes local Hudson Valley products, and creates good-paying jobs. Thanks to targeted investments by ESD, an innovative new use has been found for an existing building that will generate additional economic activity. Congratulations to Graft Cider on this momentous occasion.”

Assemblymember Jonathan G. Jacobsen said, "It's exciting to see Graft Cider expand from its original Ann Street location into a 16,000 square foot location and still remain in the City of Newburgh. The new facility will create jobs and help in the revitalization of Newburgh.  It is heartening to see that Empire State Development recognized the importance of this business with its capital grant to help Graft Cider build its new $1.3 million production facility."

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said, “The craft beverage industry in Orange County continues to grow and expand, and I know that Graft Cider will thrive as a destination. I appreciate ESD making this investment into our community and am excited that Graft Cider has opened its doors to the public.”

Newburgh City Manager Todd Venning said, “Graft Cider’s $1.3 million expanded production facility will provide one of our most valued small businesses the opportunity to grow right here at home in the City of Newburgh, while breathing new life into the former Powder Creek Mill manufacturing facility. This is a tremendous win for Newburgh’s flourishing craft beverage industry and for all city residents. We look forward to the final build out of the tasting room where Newburgh will soon welcome visitors for tastings of Graft Cider on the banks of the Quassaick Creek. We are grateful to Governor Kathy Hochul, Empire State Development, and the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council for their partnership and commitment to expanding economic opportunities in the City of Newburgh and all of Orange County.”

New York State is home to more than 125 licensed cideries, a national leader according to the New York Cider Association. Its latest study reports that cideries in New York generate an economic impact of $1.7 billion and support more than 6,100 jobs, making cideries a pillar of the state’s economy.  New York also ranks in the top five in the U.S. for its number of craft beverage producers in every category. second in craft distillers and breweries, and fourth in the country for the total number of wineries. 

Governor Hochul recently signed a package of legislation that will improve New York's laws related to alcoholic beverages in an effort to expand options for consumers and support New York's small businesses in the alcoholic beverage sector. Legislation S.5731/A.6941 allows for the sale of beer, mead, braggot and cider on any day of the week including Sundays. Legislation S.2854/A.7305 allows liquor and wine stores to expand their Sunday hours so that they may open at 10am and close at 10pm. Legislation S.6443/A.6134 extends the length of validity of a brewer’s license from one year to three years. Legislation S.3364A/A.2902 allows for businesses to prepare and keep drinks containing alcohol in pressurized dispensing machines. Legislation S.3567A/A.6050A allows retail stores to sell complementary gift and promotional items related to wine and spirit sales. Legislation S.6993A/A.7688 adds parcels of land to the list of premises which are exempt from the provisions of law which generally restrict manufacturers/wholesalers and retailers from sharing an interest in a liquor license.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.


Kristin Devoe | [email protected] | (518) 414-1087

ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313