ESD Announces Grand Opening of 1886 Malt House in Central New York

New York’s Newest and Biggest Malting Facility Will Work with Farmers, Brewers and Distillers Statewide

November 2, 2017

Investment Complements “Central New York Rising” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the official grand opening of the 1886 Malt House in Oswego County. The state-of-the-art facility will work to meet the rising demand for malted barley that has been created by the rapidly growing beer industry statewide. This system will be capable of producing a diverse group of malted products for craft brewing industry demands. Featuring a full in-house ASBC (American Society of Brewing Chemists), the malt operation is expected to produce more than 2,000 tons of top-notch malted barley sourced from New York State farms per year. That equates to more than 1.6 million gallons of beer. New York has 13 other malt houses, but 1886 is the largest.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “As the number of craft breweries in New York state continues to rise so does the demand for homegrown malt barley. This investment in the 1886 Malt House will help area farmers and brewers meet client demand, further supporting the unprecedented growth of the industry statewide.”

The project included the transformation of the former Miller Brewing Company plant, which closed more than 20 years ago, into a 30 metric ton per week grain malting facility. The malting facility shares some administrative and logistical operations with owner and operator, oil giant Sunoco, which opened a corn-based ethanol production plant on the site in 2010. 

1886 Malt House Marketing Manager Erin Tones said, “The 1886 Malt House grand opening symbolizes two years of collaboration and hard work by an inventive team here at the facility. We are thrilled to be part of this growing industry, and even more excited to be sourcing our grain exclusively from New York farmers. We have developed relationships with growers across the state who are growing fantastic grain, and in turn we’ll be able to provide our craft beverage producers with high quality malt.”

To support the undertaking, Empire State Development has offered up to $700,000 through a CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative Grant. The effort is expected to result in the creation of eight new full-time jobs. The owners of the malt house have invested more than $12.5 million into the project.

The name, 1886 Malt House, references another era when beer making was big business in New York and is also a nod to the year the Statue of Liberty was officially dedicated in New York Harbor. It was in 2012 that Governor Cuomo signed a farm brewing law fostering a more symbiotic relationship between local farmers and brewers that industry growth took off. Since the law passed, the number of New York State breweries has grown from 60 to more than 370.

“The opening of the 1886 Malt House could not have come at a better time for New York as the number of farm breweries and barley production continue to skyrocket throughout the state,” said State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley.  “The 1886 Malt House will help to ensure our craft brewers and farmers can meet the ever increasing demand for locally produced products made with locally grown ingredients.” 

The growth of the craft beverage industry has helped boost the agricultural economy with more producers sourcing ingredients from local New York farms.  According to Cornell University, the acreage of hops grown in New York State has more than doubled from 2013 to 2016, and the acreage of malting barley has increased by nearly 500% in the same three-year time period, from 336 to approximately 2,000 acres.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “It’s exciting to see all kinds of businesses—from malting houses like 1886 Malt House to local farms—benefiting from the resurgence of the State’s craft beverage industry.  More breweries and distilleries are using homegrown ingredients to manufacture unique beverages, which is great news for consumers and for the agricultural economy.  I’m pleased to see the State continue to support the industry at every point on the supply chain.”

“New York’s craft beverage industry is booming and the 1886 Malt House is ready to be part of this new chapter not only for craft beverages, but also for the hardworking farmers who grow the crops needed to support the industry,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie. “This facility is an important link between our farmers and craft beverage producers and I am excited to see how it helps both industries tap into new opportunities for growth that will benefit our entire state.”

State Assemblyman William Barclay said, “I am pleased to see the ribbon being cut today on the 1886 Malt House.  Not only is this facility providing jobs but they are a vital link to the growing the craft beer industry in New York state.  Their capacity to produce the malted barley needed by the industry will assist hundreds of small businesses throughout the state.  In addition, New York’s craft beer law is one of the best laws we have passed in recent years and I was proud to support this legislation that specifically assisted small businesses—from farmers to malt producers to craft beer producers.” 

Oswego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Gardner said, Kevin Gardner, Chairman of the Oswego County Legislature said, “Agriculture has long been a significant part of the Oswego County economy and we are happy to support partners like Governor Cuomo and Sunoco as they create new opportunities for the region’s farmers and high end processing jobs for our residents. We have recently completed a very comprehensive economic development strategy for the County and Sunoco’s vision and investment was instrumental in helping us identify the craft beverage industry as a targeted sector to support as we go forward. “

For additional information about 1886 Malt House, click here.

Accelerating Central NY Rising
Today's announcement complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.7 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.



Shari Voorhees-Vincent | [email protected] | (585) 399-7055
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