Mid-Hudson is Mecca for Craft Brewing Industry

John Jordan | June 2018

ALBANY—A report touting the burgeoning craft brewing industry in New York State clearly shows that the Mid-Hudson region is the top market for this sector.

A report released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 14 noted that the Mid-Hudson Valley added the most new craft manufacturers statewide, with 93 new businesses opening in the past six years. The region also has the largest number of craft breweries in the state, with 54 new breweries launched since 2012.

Gov. Cuomo announced that New York State is now home to 1,005 craft beverage manufacturers operating in 60 counties across the state. Since he hosted the first Beer, Wine Spirits and Cider Summit in 2012, the number of businesses producing craft beverages has more than doubled, while the number of farm-based manufacturers has increased by more than 150%. New York now ranks in the top five states in the U.S. for its number of craft beverage producers in every category. The state ranks first in U.S. 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.

“The growth of New York’s craft beverage industry continues to boost local economies throughout the entire state,” Gov. Cuomo said. “By working to remove barriers to expansion, we have helped foster new opportunities for small businesses and will continue to support breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries as they develop their brands, create new jobs and drive tourism all over New York.”

Since October of 2012, 538 new craft businesses have opened, including 285 new craft breweries, 96 wineries, 95 distilleries, 39 new cideries and 23 new producers that are licensed to produce multiple types of alcoholic beverages. In the last year alone, 64 new craft breweries, 22 new wineries, 15 new craft distilleries and seven new cideries have opened in New York State.

The resurgence of New York’s craft manufacturing industry has touched all corners of the state, with every region experiencing significant gains. The growth of craft beverage businesses by region can be found here.

New York City had the second largest percentage growth in craft manufacturers, rising from 30 in 2012 to 84 today. New York City had no offsite tasting rooms in 2012, today there are 12 including four farm winery branch stores, four farm breweries, two farm distilleries and two farm cidery branch stores.

The Capital Region added 62 new craft beverage manufacturers, the third highest in the state. The region led the state with a 1,000% increase in the number of offsite tasting rooms.

Central New York added 30 new craft breweries, a 600% increase from five in 2012. Overall the region grew by 172%, with the addition of 43 new craft businesses.

The Finger Lakes boasts the highest total number of craft beverage manufacturers statewide at 178. Additionally, the region has added 27 new wineries, the most in the state.

Long Island has the second most wineries in the state at 79. The region also added over 50 new craft businesses since 2012, increasing the total number of manufacturers to 131.

The Mohawk Valley led the state with the largest % increase in new craft beverage manufacturers, increasing 193% from 15 in 2012 to 44 today. Additionally, the number of wineries, craft breweries, craft distilleries and cider producers has all more than doubled in the region since 2012.

The North Country grew by over 150% since 2012, adding 32 new craft businesses. The number of offsite tasting rooms in the region increased by 225%, from four in 2012 to 13 today.

The Southern Tier led the state with a 600% increase in the number of hard cider producers. The region also has the second most offsite tasting rooms in the state at 18.

Western New York led the state in craft distillery growth, increasing from one in 2012 to 18 today. The number of craft manufacturers grew by 88% with the addition of 43 new craft businesses since 2012, including 21 new breweries.

The growth of the state’s craft beverage industry has also directly benefited New York’s farmers by increasing the demand for locally sourced farm products. According to Cornell University, the acreage of hops grown in New York has nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016, and the acreage of malting barley has increased by 374% in the same two-year period – from 422 to approximately 2,000 acres. New York is also now home to 13 malt houses, all of which have opened following the creation of the new farm brewery license. At the same time, the growth of agri-tourism in the craft beverage sector further bolsters New York’s massive $100 billion tourism industry.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth