NYC’s Craft Booze Business Is Booming, Figures Show

The five boroughs are now home to 84 craft brewers, distillers, wineries and cider makers — 180 percent more than in 2012.

There’s no shortage of places to buy booze in New York City, but the number of places making it is growing, too. The five boroughs are now home to 84 craft beer, wine, liquor and cider manufacturers — 180 percent more than in 2012, according to State Liquor Authority figures released Thursday.

The city’s beer business has boomed the most. There are now 41 craft breweries here, about five times as many as in 2012. But the hard stuff isn’t far behind — the number of craft distillers has more than doubled to 25 from 11, the figures show.

The city has 11 wineries and eight cider producers, an increase of four in each category from 2012. There are also 12 offsite branches of farm manufacturers, up from none in 2012.

The growth in the city’s industry came as the number of craft manufacturers more than doubled statewide to 1,005. More than 500 new craft producers have opened in New York since October 2012, when state officials held a “craft beverage summit” that led to looser regulations on the industry, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said.

“The craft beverage industry as a whole is a true economic success story on many levels, all made possible by favorable legislation and bipartisan support from our legislature,” Paul Leone, the executive director of the New York State Brewers Association, said in a statement.

The state offers “craft” licenses to booze makers that manufacture relatively small amounts of beer, wine, liquor or cider. Some licenses require the use of ingredients local to New York State.

New York City’s growth in craft manufacturing was second only to the Mohawk Valley, where the number of craft producers has increased 193 percent since 2012, state figures show.

The industry has also bolstered farming, state officials say. The number of acres of hops across the state nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016 while the acreage of malting barley increased 374 percent, Cuomo’s office said.

By Noah Manskar [Patch]