The brewing industry has been growing at a rapid pace in Central New York. A major factor that has contributed to this increase is the Farm Brewing law passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, which gives farm breweries in the state a license about a third cheaper than past licenses.
Anything But Beer is one of the many farm breweries that has been able to open business thanks to this license. Founder and owner Logan Bonney said this law has created a sense of cooperation, or “coopetition” instead of competition, between local brewers.
“The Syracuse business environment is really cool,” he said. “By all of us cooperating, we get to make the pot bigger and all of us succeed more.”
However, this law has its pros and cons.
In order to maintain the license, breweries are required to purchase 20 percent of their ingredients from local farmers. Starting next year, that number will increase to 60 percent.
Bonney said that meeting the requirement might be difficult for local farm breweries but that, at the end of the day, the idea is for New York to create a business around revolving around breweries.
According to Bonney not only will the brewing industry continue to grow thanks to the necessary partnerships with local farmers, but also malt houses, known as malted grain production facilities, and hop farms.
On the other hand, Matthew Ducey, brewer at Empire Brewing Company, believes this will ultimately affect bigger breweries who are not looking to take advantage of the license.
Ducey says the future of the brewing industry in New York is going to focus more on local industry versus national industry, which is why this law is going to gain more importance in the near future.
As stipulated in the Farm Brewing Law, by 2024, farm breweries must buy at least 90 percent of their ingredients from local farmers.