Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top lawmakers struck a deal this week on a bill that would make it easier for farmers to make their own hard ciders in New York. The bill, released Monday, would allow farm owners to make up the 150,000 gallons of cider each year, provided that it is made entirely with New York products. The measure would create a new license for farm cideries, which would allow them to host tastings and sell New York-made beers and spirits, as well.The state already had license systems for farm breweries and spirit makers, but didn’t have a system in place for cider makers.
Here is the draft law with the changes shown as underlines. I like how the local breweries and cideries are being set up to help each other over the long term. There's a similar aspect to the news from Brooklyn Brewery about their new beer, Greenmarket Wheat: "[w]heat comes from upstate's Watertown, barley from Hadley, Massachusetts and honey from bees who reside in Chemung County, NY." That sounds fairly yum. Valley Malt is the supplier in Hadley. Pretty sure Valley Malt supplied the pale malt for 2012's Vassar Heirloom Ale I help Beau's with. Valley Malt also came up at the Albany Pump Station when Craig and I were there a couple of weeks ago.
Which all suggests that agriculturally, politically, culturally and commercially something may be coming together in a very interesting way in New York state. Building wealth, identity and pride through making, buying and drinking your own makes a lot of sense.