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Governor Announces Launch Of "Brew York" From Ithaca Beer Co.

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced Ithaca Beer Co. will launch the state's first commercially produced beer made with predominantly New York-grown ingredients to be available year-round and statewide. Brew York is a pale ale that uses nearly 70 percent New York-grown barley and 100 percent New York hops. Produced with ingredients from local farms, Brew York will be available in both bottles and draft starting May 15. Ithaca Beer's investment in this new product line supports Southern Tier Soaring, the region's strategic plan to revitalize communities and grow regional economies.

"New York continues to set the bar for new and innovative craft beverages, and by encouraging collaboration with local farms and the use of Empire State-grown crops, we have created a win-win situation," Governor Cuomo said. "Ithaca Beer's new offering is a testament to the growth of this exciting industry that also boosts our agricultural and tourism economies in the Southern Tier and across New York."

"I can't think of anything better - a world class New York-based craft brewery promoting their home state with a clever, undoubtedly delicious, product," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Every sip of Ithaca Beer's Brew York supports New York farmers growing barley and hops from the Southern Tier and around our State. New York's focus on supporting the craft beverage industry isn't just about making great beer, wine, cider, and spirits - all second to none, I can assure you - it's also about giving companies an opportunity to grow, invest, and create jobs while supporting our agriculture."

Ithaca Beer created Brew York to showcase the state's high-quality agricultural ingredients, and highlight New York's advancement in supply and pricing that makes it feasible for commercial brewers to commit to buying and using local ingredients. Ithaca Beer is not licensed as a farm brewery, and therefore not required to use local ingredients; however, the company is dedicated to sourcing 66 percent of its malting barley from New York Empire Malt in Champlain, Clinton County and 1886 Malt House in Fulton, Oswego County. The brewery is also exceeding New York's 2019 farm brewery license requirements by using 100 percent hops produced by Chimney Bluffs Hoppery in Wolcott, Wayne County and Ledyard Farms in King Ferry, Cayuga County.

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The Farm Brewery License legislation was passed by Governor Cuomo in 2012 and went into effect January 1, 2013. It was designed to increase demand for locally grown products, and expand industry-related economic development and tourism. Under the law, beer must be made primarily from locally grown farm products, and starting January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023, no less than 60 percent of hops and 60 percent of all other ingredients must be grown in New York State.

In addition to providing new business opportunities for producers, the farm brewery law has also led to a resurgence in New York's hop and barley production. According to Cornell University, in response to a rising demand for locally sourced ingredients, the acreage of hops grown in New York nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016, while the acreage of malting barley increased by 374 percent over the same two-year period. In 2017, New York was growing 400 acres of hops and 2,000 acres of malting barley, more than enough to meet the state's 60 percent threshold.

New York is also now home to 13 malt houses, all of which have opened following the demand generated by the new farm brewery license. These have also generated employment and economic development for supporting industries, including bottling, construction, freight, printing and advertising, as well as growing agri-tourism in the state, augmenting New York's $100 billion tourism industry.

In February, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State is now home to 400 breweries, surpassing the previous record of 393 breweries set in 1876. A summary of recent legislative and regulatory changes supporting New York's brewing industry can be found here.

Dan Mitchell, Ithaca Beer Company President, said, "The release of Brew York has been in the making for more than a decade. In 2004, we introduced an all New York State hopped Double IPA while working on getting the Northeast Hop Alliance off the ground. We spent significant time in front of state legislators requesting support to bring back the once thriving NYS hop industry, and working closely with Farm Bureau to raise awareness and funds. It's been a huge boost for those of us working on projects like this to have Governor Cuomo behind us. When I first began working on Ithaca Beer, there was definitely some support, but the Governor has created incredible awareness about all the great food and beer produced in New York State, and for all the farmers who support our local efforts. There's a much greater sense of pride for New York State, and all it has to offer. Brew York is a continuation of those efforts with more to come."

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Hal    77

Yepper this is good news for The State overall . A lot of folks don’t know NY was at one time a top producer of Hops . I might be trying some of Ithaca’s product . I’m not a fan of IPA , more of an Ale guy less hoppy , more flavor from the malts . 

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Chris    233

Someone I work with told me her husband was looking into going into the hops business and selling to local breweries. He was told not to bother, the market isn't strong enough. At least at the time. 

But if a small brewery grows their own, ya gotta admit that's pretty cool. 

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