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Craft beverage makers can get temporary permits while waiting for liquor licenses

Make beer or cider, get your liquor license later.

The state Liquor Authority is accepting applications that will allow craft beverage makers to begin manufacturing and selling their products while their liquor license applications are pending. It takes up to six months on average to get a liquor license, but the new permits can be obtained in as little as 30 days.

“New York’s craft beverage industry is not only a source of local pride, but also creates jobs and drives tourism in every corner of the state,” Governor Hochul said. “These fast-tracked permits will allow new businesses to hit the ground running by opening quickly and making immediate contributions to their local economies. This is another step in furthering our administration’s efforts to cut red tape, ease regulations, and make commonsense reforms to help these businesses grow and thrive.”

New law helps cut through permit backlog

In December, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law creating the temporary permit process. The permits allow craft beverage makers to operate for six months, or until they get their permits, for $125. The permits can be extended for an additional three months for a $50 fee.

Craft beverage associations react

New York State Brewers Association President Paul Leone said, “The New York State craft brewing industry continues to grow, even through COVID. With wait times lasting up to six months, many brewery owners were paying rent on buildings they couldn’t open, making monthly payments on new brewing equipment they couldn’t use, and not making any money to pay themselves or their employees while they were waiting for their permits. This temporary permit will allow breweries who are currently waiting on their permits to open sooner, and for those considering opening their own brewery, an avenue to open quicker. The New York State Brewers Association thanks Governor Hochul for signing this legislation into law as well as her continued support of the craft beer and craft beverage industry.”

New York State Cider Association Executive Director Scott Ramsey said, “Our cidery members, especially small businesses, are continuing to face major economic challenges due to the pandemic which now include supply chain issues and rising fuel costs. In this environment, we’re so appreciative of this much needed support from Governor Hochul, Senator Hinchey, and Assemblywoman Lupardo. The “Temporary Permits Bill” is common sense legislation that allows our newest cider producers and growers to enter the market, build their businesses, create jobs, and contribute to local agricultural economies in a much more efficient and meaningful way.”

New York State Wine and Grape Foundation Executive Director Sam Filler said, “New farm wineries have been fortunate to have temporary permits available to them for decades, and we applaud Governor Hochul for extending these fast-tracked permits to our industry partners producing beer, cider and spirits. Waiting for a permit means months of no revenues while paying a mortgage or rent, making capital investments, purchasing equipment, and hiring staff, and these permits will ensure these new businesses can hit the ground running.”

New York State Distillers Guild President Brian Facquet said, “This new legislation will be helpful to the new manufacturers trying to get permits in New York by allowing them to get up and running while the SLA has the time to properly vet their applications.  The New York State Distillers’ Guild commends Governor Hochul and the legislature for implementing this vital legislation to get craft manufacturers, who create jobs and drive tourism in every corner of the state, up and running as quickly as possible.”

You can download the permit application here.