Governor Cuomo announces legislation to modernize alcohol laws

On Wednesday, May 18, Governor Cuomo followed up on the recommendations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law Working Group by announcing new legislation to continue bolstering New York’s craft beverage industry by reworking parts of the Alcohol Beverage Control Law. The announcement was made from the Three Heads Brewery in Rochester, New York, a large-sized microbrewery slated to open its doors in the near future. The new legislation, named the Craft New York Act, aims to reduce burdens on producers of alcohol and lower restrictions on marketing of craft alcohol products.

There are several key components to the Craft New York Act, many of which can be tied directly to the recommendations of the Working Group. A few highlighted components include:

  1. Permitting on-premises establishments such as restaurants or bars to serve alcohol before noon on Sundays.
  2. Expanding discretion of the State Liquor Authority to allow full liquor licenses within two hundred feet of a school or place of worship.
  3. Combining certain craft manufacturing license applications into one application for businesses seeking multiple licenses (for example, a facility producing both wine and liquor) in order to lower costs and reduce administrative burdens.
  4. Authorizing New York wineries to fill a customer’s growler or to permit customers to take home partially finished bottles of wine.
  5. Reducing fees for small wholesalers of alcoholic beverages by creating a low-cost wholesaler-to-wholesaler permit.

The full press release may be found at:

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-new-legislation-modernize-new-yorks-alcoholic-beverage-control-law

The Craft New York Act represents another progressive step for New York in the state’s series of reforms to the craft beverage industry that began in 2011. The monumental rise of microbreweries and other manufacturers of craft beverages in the past six years demonstrates the success of these initiatives. Members of the craft beverage industry are highly encouraged to follow the progress of this important legislation.

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