Following up on the state's first yogurt summit this past August, Gov. Andrew Cuomo hosted a wine, beer and spirits summit Wednesday in Albany with a goal of promoting locally-produced alcohol across New York State. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
How do you top yogurt? With beer, wine and liquor, of course.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo hosted a meeting in Albany Wednesday in an effort to help New York-based producers increase their market share.
"I think your industry has tremendous potential," Cuomo said. "First of all, the numbers in your industry are just astronomical. The growth has been staggering."
According to the governor, in the two years he's been in office, microbreweries in New York State have seen 74 percent growth. Wineries are up 17 percent and distilleries are up 211 percent.
Brooklyn Brewery began production in Williamsburg 24 years ago.
"We would like to see more promotion of craft breweries as tourist attractions," said Stephen Hindy of Brooklyn Brewery. "At Brooklyn Brewery, we get about 180,000 visitors every year."
When the business portion of the summit ended, the participants were invited back to the Executive Mansion, the governor's residence in Albany, to sample the product. The press was also invited, although in a more limited capacity."
"Can I invite you all as people and not as reporters to the mansion?" the governor said. "How about just as citizens? You'll enjoy this one. I'll see you all at the mansion."
At first, reporters were set up behind a velvet rope, but those restrictions were lifted once reporters were asked to leave the cameras behind to join the sampling.
After hearing from the industry about how government can help them, Cuomo announced a handful of administrative changes, including allowing production of spirits, wine and beer under one roof. Up until now, they must be produced at separate facilities.