Register Star Covers Regional Columibia-Greene-Berkshire Craft Beverage Summit
Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 12:30 am
Representatives from over 20 local craft beverage companies were present in addition to a number of representatives from economic groups in Columbia and Greene counties. The event featured presentations on the craft beverage industry, a roundtable with all the producers and ended with a tasting of products provided by each producer.
He added that the recently passed Craft Act will allow breweries to sell their beer by the glass, as opposed to only farm breweries as was previously allowed, as well as increase the production cap to 75,000 barrels for breweries and 25,000 gallons for wineries.
“The governor’s intention is to minimize the regulations on this industry and make it easier for you to do business,” said Filler.
With the influx of new businesses, many are not aware of the opportunities available to them and the best way to promote their brand.
“There’s a whole bunch of us here who run these businesses and we don’t know each other,” said Carlo DeVito, co-owner of the Hudson-Chatham Winery. “If we don’t even know who each other are, how do people on the outside know who we are? That’s one of the biggest things that we need to do as a group is to make sure that we’re all pulling the train in the same direction, which is to get the word out on what it is we’re doing.”
DeVito suggested offering tastings and classes to get people interested in local craft beverages, approaching writers and critics to cover their events and cross-promoting with other similar businesses in the surrounding area. He also noted the different beverage trails and festivals that producers should take advantage of, which include the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail, Scawangunk Wine Trail, Hudson River Craft Beer Festival, Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival and others around the region.
“One of the things that’s really important is that we promote each other,” he said. “In our tasting rooms, you should have the rack cards of some of your neighboring businesses. It’s about promoting each other. By banding together, we are stronger.”
According to Todd Erling, executive director of Hudson Valley Agribusiness, businesses should collaborate for mutual benefit. He said that it can be effective to partner with businesses that aren’t directly related.
“Think outside the box,” he said. “It’s not just wine, it’s not just beer, it’s not just cider. The amazing thing about the Hudson Valley is that it’s bread, it’s cheese. We have world-class and you pick the commodity sector or you pick what it is.”
One way craft beverage companies can do this, Erling said, is to share products.
“We’ve worked closely with this idea of collaboration, not so much teetering between what’s allowed and what isn’t, but products themselves,” he said. “So, a good example over in the Sullivan County area, we have a distillery that’s then giving their whiskey bales to a maple sugar house, the maple sugar house is making a bourbon aged maple syrup, then that barrel after the maple syrup has been made in it goes to a local brewery over there.”
Erling also spoke about the importance of bringing production back to New York state, exporting goods and incentivizing the purchase of products from New York. He said that this region is the “gatekeeper to a major market,” not only in New York City, but also in Boston and New England.
“Most of our work and time is spent on small business because that is where the jobs are, where the majority of most jobs are created,” Flood said.
Assemblywoman Didi Barrett (D-106) also attended the summit to show her support for local craft beverage producers.
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