Reforms announced for New York’s antiquated licencing laws for craft beverages

New York state Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has unveiled the 19th proposal of the 2020 State of the State – growing New York’s craft beverage manufacturing industry by reforming antiquated prohibition-era laws, removing barriers to new investments.

The Governor’s proposal will make it easier for movie theatres to sell alcoholic beverages, giving them more revenue and craft producers additional retail outlets; and modernise New York’s Alcoholic Beverage Control law to help higher education institutions train the next generation of the craft beverage workforce.

“New York’s craft beverage industry is flourishing thanks to eight years of targeted investments and forward-thinking policies that are attracting new businesses and supporting our booming tourism industry,” Governor Cuomo said. “This measure will remove outdated Prohibition-era rules that hamper private sector investment, ensure we’re training the next generation of workers in a critical industry and give more New Yorkers the opportunity to responsibly enjoy a drink at the movies.”

The Governor proposes amending New York’s Tied House Law, an arcane provision of the Alcoholic Beverage Control – or ABC – Law that makes relocating to or opening or investing in a business in New York needlessly difficult.  Prohibition-era Tied House Laws are intended to prevent manufacturers or wholesalers from having undue influence over a retail business that sells beverages directly to consumers. New York’s law, on the books since 1933, prohibits all such retailer and manufacturer/wholesaler relationships, and is even stricter than long-standing federal law, which provides discretion by analysing the details of the relationship when there is a partial ownership stake, and allows such a relationship when ownership is total.

New York now ranks in the top five in the US for its number of craft beverage producers in every category. The state ranks first in US for the number of hard cider producers, second in craft distillers, third in breweries, and fourth in the country for the total number of wineries.

> PAV 7.1 – STAND F54

Photo: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo discusses the Fiscal Year 2019 State Budget in the Red Room at the State Capitol. © Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo