Craft brewers in New York City will be among those that benefit from the new statewide laws

Craft brewers in New York City will be among those that benefit from the new statewide laws

New York's craft beer industry is set for a boost after new laws were agreed that include tax breaks for small brewers.

Under the rules, agreed yesterday (15 June) New York State breweries producing 60m gallons or less of beer will be eligible for a refundable tax credit. The credit amounts would be US$0.14 per gallon for the first 500,000 gallons produced in New York State and $0.045 cents per gallon for the next 15m gallons.

Under a previous law, New York's craft brewers, who number around 90, received an excise tax exemption. However, the legal structure of the exemption was challenged by a Massachusetts brewer, leading to its repeal.

"New York's craft breweries are ... creating jobs, supporting farmers and our hops growers, and bringing in tourism dollars all across the state," said Governor Andrew Cuomo. "This is a big victory for our craft brewers and will help New York's already vibrant beer industry to continue to grow." 

The legislation will also exempt breweries that produce brands of 1,500 barrels or less annually from a US$150 annual brand label fee. 

The new legislation will also see the creation of "farm brewery licences", allowing craft brewers to operate in a similar way to wineries. Farm breweries would be allowed to open restaurants, conduct tastings and sell their products in shops with a New York State label.

New York's farm breweries, wineries and distilliries will also be exempt from tax filing requirements under the legislation.