The law will take effect next month

The law will take effect next month

The US state of New York is to ease restrictions on craft beverage producers while launching US$3m in grants for the industry.

State governor Andrew Cuomo last week signed The Craft New York Act - to take effect next month - which will cut a number of requirements for producers and also enable them to hold tasting sessions. Cuomo, who set out the bill in June, said the new law builds upon his administration's effort's to promote the craft beverage industry “by cutting red tape”.

The governor also launched the Craft Beverage Grant programmes - a $2m Craft Beverage Marketing and Promotion Grant Programme and a $1m Craft Beverage Industry Tourism Promotion Grant.

Producers can apply for funding of up to $500,000 in the marketing programme and $250,000 in the tourism programme.

Paul Leone, executive director for the New York State Brewers Association, welcome the move, saying: “Small brewers in this state are now afforded an opportunity to continue their growth, further adding jobs to New York's economy.”

Nicole Austin, president of the New York State Distillers Guild, said: “We are thrilled to have these opportunities to invest our visitor operations and promote local spirits.”

This month, the head of MillerCoors said the company remains “very engaged” in looking at acquiring US craft brewers but is being deterred by the price of potential new assets.