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Craft alcohol production surging in New York

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ALBANY — In 2011, New York state was home to five hard cider-makers. Now, it boasts 29.

The significant increase is part of an overall uptick in the number of alcohol producers in the state, as more and more consumers turn to locally produced beer, wine and spirits.

According to figures released Monday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office, the number of businesses producing alcoholic beverages in the state has more than doubled since 2011.

The number of microbreweries is up from 40 in 2011 to 104 this year. The state also has 57 new farm breweries, 100 new farm wineries and 24 new farm cideries, which are allowed to operate retail outlets, restaurants and tastings in exchange for using New York apples, grapes and other local ingredients. The number of distilleries is up from 10 in 2011 to 55 this year.

“The craft beverage industry is one of New York’s greatest success stories, and we are doing everything we can in state government to keep the tremendous growth seen by our wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries going strong,” Cuomo said.

The growing industry reflects a national trend. The number of breweries around the nation has doubled in the past decade to about 3,000.

New York ranks sixth in the nation for the number of craft breweries, according to the national Brewers Association.

Last weekend, Cuomo announced initiatives to support the industry, including a new advertisement that will begin running on Labor Day. Additionally, the state will allocate $300,000 for further advertisements and events to increase tourism around Long Island’s craft beverage industry.

Online and print advertisements will also target key international travel markets in Canada, Europe and Asia that have been shown to be dependable export hubs for craft beverage products from New York.

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