A beer brewed at the Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, New York being poured from tap.

The case for building your craft beverage business in New York State — distilled

Alcoholic beverage manufacturing has changed, especially in New York State — in fact, no state has done more to assist and promote the craft beverage industry. To benefit the growing number of independent brewers, vintners and distillers, we’ve worked collaboratively with the industry to transform our laws and add business-friendly legislation, including two new farm-based manufacturing licenses and tax incentives. The result is a renaissance in craft production throughout the state. Wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries abound, their numbers keep climbing, and the trend is expected to continue thanks to the state’s focus on this industry.


licensed manufacturers of craft beverages based in New York State


Farm Licensed Manufacturers


increase in craft beverage producers since 2011

Key facts

With an already robust craft beverage industry, New York State is doing even more to support and grow businesses with expanded production caps, great tax initiatives and less red tape to navigate. Here’s how New York is growing the industry:

  • New York State ranks No. 3 in the nation for wine and grape production, No. 2 in apple production and No. 2 in the number of distilleries, and is home to three of the nation’s 20 top-selling craft breweries.
  • New York State’s roster of craft beverage manufacturers includes 435 wineries, 400 breweries, 150 distilleries and 65 cideries.
  • Licensing applications are approved in 48 days on average by the State Liquor Authority, down from the timeframe back in 2010, which was more than 100 days. Faster review times translate to businesses opening and earning profits sooner, and more jobs, economic development and investment in our communities.
  • New York State is the second-largest wine-producing state in the nation and was named Wine Region of the Year in 2014 by the prestigious Wine Enthusiast magazineciting the quality of wines, industry growth and improved business climate. 

Strong support, including incentives and grants, for craft beverage producers in New York State

The growing abundance of farm breweries, wineries and distilleries in New York State supports the state’s strong economy. To support continued growth, and to keep growth strong, New York State offers incentives and assistance for the industry.

Empire State Development has issued grants for the promotion of craft beverages, including $250,000 to each of the four beverage segments to help conduct targeted advertising and marketing campaigns to promote their products. ESD issued an additional $500,000 to Oneida County Tourism through the Market NY grant program for their Brew Central Marketing Campaign.

Financial assistance and incentives are also available for building and expansion. Examples include $6 million to Brooklyn Brewery for a new production facility and a $3.6 million loan to Empire Brewing Company for their new Empire Farmstead Brewery, a manufacturing and agritourism facility in Cazenovia, Madison County. Alcohol and alcohol-material production facilities can qualify for tax credits, and the state is reimbursing organic certification fees for many farmers. To encourage new start-ups, the state awarded nearly $743,000 in New Farmers Grant Fund awards to 25 projects in 2016 alone.

Industry Contacts

Molly Bauer
Industry Development Associate; Craft Beverages and Tourism
  • Craft Beverage
(518) 292-5200
Stefan Fleming
Assistant Director, Industry Development; Craft Beverages
  • Craft Beverage
(585) 399-7050