New York state Sen. Charles Schumer announced a plan on Wednesday to promote the state’s 77 breweries and brewpubs to get businesses to sell more local beer.
The campaign, called “I Love NY Brew,” calls on restaurants, bars and convenience stores to help out the industry. Breweries and brewpubs in New York account for more than 59,000 jobs paying over $4.6 billion in wages, said the Beer Institute, a Washington-based industry lobby group.
Schumer sent a letter to the state Restaurant Association and the National Association of Convenience Stores and Fuel Retailing asking their member restaurants and stores to offer locally brewed beer. Schumer said New York City restaurants and convenience stores are a large, untapped market for upstate and Long Island breweries.
Last year, breweries in the state produced nearly 1.1 million barrels of beer. The Rochester-Finger Lakes region produced the most, accounting for more than 511,000 barrels thanks mainly in part to North American Breweries, a company that produces several popular beers such as Magic Hat and Genesee, Schumer’s office said.
“The task ahead for brewers is to find a way to get their great products out of the neighborhood and onto shelves and taps in other regions across New York State,” Schumer said.
Breweries in the state paid $1.13 billion in federal taxes and $1.14 billion in state and local taxes last year, the Democratic senator from Brooklyn said.
Craft and microbreweries account for 7.5 percent of all beer sold in the state. There are plans to open 39 more breweries throughout the state, industry officials said.
“As long as the public is purchasing New York State beer, this industry will thrive and will continue to create jobs and will continue to grow in exponential form,” said David Katleski, the president of the state Brewers Association.