Craft beer industry in need of support in NY

CHATHAM, N.Y (NEWS10) – Buying local in New York also means residents can buy their favorite local New York craft beer. A brand that is enjoyed across the nation and something Senator Chuck Schumer says he wants to protect.

New York is fourth nationwide for having the most craft breweries in the state so Sen. Schumer visited Chatham Friday to explain how Upstate New York can protect this industry.

“That made in New York label is getting known not just around the country but across the world for great craft beers as well as spirits,” Sen. Schumer said.

Currently, there are over 200 craft breweries that operate in Upstate New York. As the number increases, there is also a growing need for local ingredients like malt barley, which requires very specific conditions to grow.

“There is crop insurance for malt barley, just not for most of New York State.

Right now, there is only malt barley crop insurance in four counties, including Ontario and Genesee, but will expand to 44 counties in 2018. However, some farmers still run into problems when it comes to collecting the money from this insurance.

“We have one kind of insurance, but not the best kind of insurance, that’s the most lucrative and that’s why we’re here today.”

Sen. Schumer is hoping that the USDA will now bring the Malting Barley Endorsement to the state. This is basically a special federal insurance option for farmers, like Rachel Czub.

“With the malt barley endorsement now we have the ability to access a premium for our barley in advance of a growing season,” Czub said.

New York will require craft brewers and distillers to get 90 percent of their ingredients from local farms by 2024.

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