The beer is finally flowing at Mixed Breed Brewing, the first brewery in Guilderland. But the road to opening wasn’t an easy journey.
“It was about 450 pages that were required,” said the brewery’s owner, Guy Bucey.
Right now, brewers are navigating a lengthy permitting process. For Bucey, it took nearly five months.
“We cannot sell our product to customers and put it out there to the public,” he said. “We also can’t manufacture at that time.”
But the state legislators say they want to cut the red tape.
What You Need To Know
- Right now brewers, distillers and cider makers are navigating a lengthy permitting process that takes six months or more to complete
- It's keeping new businesses from opening their doors and generating revenue
- New legislation before Gov. Cuomo is designed to create a temporary permit structure
“We can’t support the growth of that industry without business-friendly policies,” said Sen. Michelle Hinchey, D-46th District.
Legislation on the governor’s desk would create a new temporary permit structure. Currently, it’s a permit only accessible to winemakers.
“And we love our wineries. We want them to be successful,” said Hinchey. “But we also want to make sure there is parity across the industry for our distilleries, our ciders and our breweries.”
There are about 90 new breweries in a holding pattern, as they await their licenses.
“They’re paying rent on space that nobody is allowed in. And they’re paying equipment costs for equipment they can’t use,” said Paul Leone, executive director of the New York State Brewers Association. “And during the pandemic, especially, there were some that went out of business before they had a chance to go into business.”
The state is home to the second-most craft beer breweries in the country behind California, and the industry continues to grow.
“If this was going to be my livelihood or something, I was trying to build off of or my sole way of being able to make income, it basically makes it impossible right now. It makes it very hard to do,” said Bucey.
The governor has until the end of the year to sign the legislation.