Assembly Passes Bill to Ensure Craft Brewer Fee Exemption

June 20, 2005

The State Assembly today approved legislation (A.7675-A/S.5055-A) that would ensure the removal of the $150 brand label registration fee for beer crafted in small batches totaling 1,500 barrels of beer or less annually.

“This legislation encourages the continued growth of small craft breweries in New York State that brew a variety of specialty and holiday-draught-type brews in an atmosphere of craftsmanship,” said Assemblyman Robin Schimminger the bill’s sponsor. Schimminger chairs the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, which has jurisdiction over the state’s alcoholic beverage control laws.

Chapter 561 of the Laws of 2000 removed the $150 registration fee for beer crafted in batches totaling 1,500 barrels or less, but recent interpretations of the law by the New York State Liquor Authority required legislative action to clarify the provisions in the law to ensure that small craft brewers would not be charged this fee.

“The $150 fee can cause significant harm to a small craft brewer’s profit margin,” said Schimminger. “The elimination of this $150 surcharge would help specialty and seasonal brewers operate in an economically sensible environment and tap into a niche market large brewers cannot reach.”