Schumer, Joined By Upstate Brewers, Calls On NYC & NYS Restaurants, Bars & Heads Of Convenience Store Associations To Sell More Locally-Brewed Beer From New York – Plan Would Help Boost One Of NY’s Fastest Growing Industries
Plan Would Be A Shot In The Arm For 7 Breweries In The Hudson Valley, 15 Breweries In The Southern Tier, 7 Breweries In The Capital Region, 10 Breweries on LI
(New York City, NY) – Today, joined by the head of the New York Brewers Association and several brewery owners from Upstate New York, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced the creation of his “I Love NY Brew” campaign to place more locally-brewed, New York beer in New York City and state restaurants, bars and convenience store shelves. Schumer, a strong supporter of New York’s growing craft brewery industry, is pushing to expand New York brewers’ market share so that they can grow their business and hire more employees in a business that currently supports nearly 60,000 New York jobs. In a personal letter to the National Association of Convenience Stores and Fuel Retailing and the NYS Restaurant Association, Schumer urged both associations to offer more beer brewed at the 77 micro-breweries, regional craft breweries, and brewpubs across the state. Schumer said that pushing New York-brewed beer onto convenience store shelves and restaurants in major cities like New York would be a major step forward for an industry that pumps billions of dollars into the state’s economy each year.
“Local breweries across the state are proven job creators, helping support 60,000 New York jobs and brewing not simply great beer, but billions for our local economy too,” said Schumer. “Craft breweries have catapulted New York to the top shelf of beer states, and our beers are more than ready for prime time. Whether you are searching for a six-pack at your local 7-Eleven or grabbing Buffalo wings with a beer after work, you should have a wide assortment of locally brewed beers to choose from. I’m strongly urging New York restaurants, bars and convenience stores alike across the state to take a close look at New York’s beers, and consider putting them on their shelves or on their menu. It would be a win-win, both for those selling the beer, and for the breweries making it.”
“The growth of the craft brewing industry in New York State is tremendous,” from David Katleski, President of NYS Brewers Association. “Continued growth will greatly contribute to the number of jobs, tax dollars, and economic benefit to NYS. Of all the beer sold in NYS, NY craft beer currently represents a 7.5% market share. One can only imagine the economic impact to our state if craft beer sales here reflected that of craft beer sales in Oregon, where they’re 30%.”
The approximately 2,000 small breweries across the country combine to employ nearly 100,000 American workers. In New York, the beer industry directly supports approximately 60,000 jobs in brewing, distribution and sales. According to the Beer Institute, these jobs paid nearly $4.6 billion in wages last year, and accounted for more than $13.2 billion in economic activity during 2010. New York breweries paid $1.13 billion in federal taxes, and $1.14 billion in state and local taxes last year. In a meeting with New York brewers from across New York earlier this month, the brewers told Schumer that local convenience stores and restaurants, particularly those in New York City, represent the largest untapped markets for Upstate and Long Island beer. Several breweries that have tapped into these markets told Schumer that they had quickly become an integral part of their business. Genesee Brewing in Rochester has become incredibly popular in Brooklyn, helping to drive up sales and overall revenue. In order to help brewers sell more beer within the state, Schumer today is launching a new campaign to encourage restaurants and convenience stores to look locally when stocking their shelves.
Schumer is asking the New York State Restaurant Association to encourage their member restaurants to offer locally brewed beer on their menu. In addition to getting more beers into restaurants close to where it is brewed, Schumer will be pushing the New York City members of the Restaurant Association to consider offering beers brewed across Upstate New York and Long Island. While some beers like Genesee and Saranac have gained popularity in the downstate market, Schumer and New York brewers believe this market is vastly underutilized and represents the chance to dramatically grow craft brewing across the state. Many smaller breweries don’t have the resources to launch extensive marketing campaigns. To combat this problem, as part of Schumer’s campaign the New York State Brewers Association will be providing promotional material, on behalf of its members, to restaurants and convenience stores to help boost awareness of locally brewed beer in hopes of increasing sales. Schumer, who toured breweries throughout the state earlier this year, noted that brewery owners tend to put increased revenue back into the business in the form of capital improvements or hiring new workers. Today, Schumer also called on the National Association of Convenience Stores and Fuel Retailing to encourage their major chain members to carry locally brewed beers at their New York location.
“Getting New York beers on convenience store shelves and in local menus would help pour jobs into New York’s breweries,” continued Schumer. “Our local breweries provide good-paying jobs and help draw tourists and visitors to the Empire State – I’m going to do everything I can to help them grow and expand even further.”
Micro-breweries (brewing fewer than 15,000 barrels annually), regional craft breweries (over 15,000 barrels annually) and brewpubs across the state all stand to benefit from Schumer’s buy local campaign. Here is a breakdown of local brewing businesses and their production levels by region:
In the Capital Region, 6 breweries brewed 4,922 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open 2 new breweries
In Central New York, 6 breweries brewed 287,883 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open 3 new breweries
In the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, 4 breweries brewed 511,063 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open 3 new breweries
In the Southern Tier, 11 breweries brewed 42,279 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open 7 new breweries
In Western New York, 4 breweries brewed 31,349 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open 2 new breweries
In the Hudson Valley, 7 breweries brewed 11,895 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open 7 new breweries
In the North Country, 5 breweries brewed 8,728 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open at least 1 new brewery
In the New York City, 5 breweries brewed 132,073 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open 9 new breweries
On Long Island, 10 breweries brewed 54,122 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open 5 new breweries
A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to the National Association of Convenience Stores and Fuel Retailing, as well as the NYS Restaurant Association appears below:
Rick J. Sampson, President and CEO
New York State Restaurant Association
Henry Armour, President and CEO
National Association of Convenience Stores and Fuel Retailing
Dear Mr. Sampson and Mr. Armour,
I write today to urge you to join me in an effort to promote New York craft breweries in restaurants and convenience stores across the State. As you may know, the craft beer industry in New York and across the country is booming. Despite the struggling economy and a decline in overall beer consumption, the American appetite for craft beer has gained as a share of all beer sales. According to the Brewers Association, year-over-year sales have grown by as much as 14%. The time is ripe to take advantage of this trend and that’s why today I am asking that you work with the New York State Brewers Association to learn more about our “I Love NY Brew” campaign and explore the numerous reasons why providing greater availability to craft beer in your stores is a winning strategy. I am confident that working together we can satisfy New York’s thirst for a homemade product and grow good-paying brewing jobs in New York.
In response to the growing trend towards craft beer, New York has seen a marked increase in the number of craft brewery businesses opening in the State with a total of 75 operating breweries and over 40 more in the planning stages. From Blue Point Brewery on Long Island all the way to Lake Placid Brewery in the North Country, New York has been one of the premier states for growth in this industry. In total, New York can boast 31 Micro-breweries (under 15,000 barrels of annual production), 5 Regional Craft Breweries (over 15,000 barrels of production) and 32 Brewpubs. Each of these institutions provides direct economic benefits to their host community. According to the Beer Institute, 2010 was a banner year for New York brew: over $4 billion in wages for workers and more than 59,000 jobs in brewing, wholesaling and retailing.
New York is now on par with states like Colorado and other traditional regional leaders in this industry. So the task ahead for the brewers is to find new ways to get this great product out of its neighborhood and onto the shelves and taps in the other diverse regions across New York State. Whether its providing access to Upstate brews in the New York City market or helping Long Island’s great brands into downtown centers in Upstate, we need to make a concerted effort to sustain the upward job growth this industry is providing for thousands of families.
In some places in New York, this is already happening. For example, Rochester’s own classic Genessee Ale has become a big hit in young Brooklyn neighborhood pubs. And across the State, annual craft festivals and brewery trail promotions have become the rule and not the exception. Despite this movement, however, there is still much work to be done to make craft beers available in many restaurants and convenience stores throughout New York. For many of your merchants, local brews just might not be on the radar.
Here are the key some reasons why, with your help, we believe we can turn a corner:
-For convenience stores, craft beer is the pricing leader in the beer category with the highest average price and profit margin per case and offers the widest variety of styles in the beer category
-For restaurants and pubs, craft beer drinkers spend approximately $16 more per visit
-Craft beer flavors offer unique food pairing experiences for customers and restaurant patrons
As a part of our campaign, the Brewers Association will be sending you additional information about the benefits of selling New York craft beer, the variety of choices that are available, and how you can access this great product.
We hope you will join us.
Charles E. Schumer