Some New York craft brewers are asking their local congressman to reduce the federal taxes on their beer so they can continue to grow.
The number of craft brewers in the state has risen to more than 140 in the past two decades as demand for more flavorful beers has grown. A handful of brewers met with Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei Monday at Empire Brewery in Syracuse. They had two main requests.
A reduction in the federal excise tax will help them expand, Mark Rubenstein, owner of Middle Ages Brewery, said.
Sen. Charles Schumer says lifting a ban on the U.S. Postal Service shipping alcohol will help both the struggling postal carrier and New York’s growing beer and wine industry.
Private carriers like UPS and Fed-Ex can deliver mail-order alcohol. Schumer, a Democrat from New York, is pushing for the USPS to be able to do the same. The ban against it transporting alcohol dates back to Prohibition.
A century ago, New York could claim that much of its liquor was local, thanks to distilleries large and small that supplied a lot of the whiskey, gin and rum that kept New York City (and the rest of North America) lubricated. Then Prohibition arrived and the industry largely dried up, before trickling back to life in the 21st century.
Now, distillers in New York state are toasting a revival 80 years in the making.
The historic F.X. Matt Brewery, maker of the popular Saranac line of beers, is getting more "green" next month. It won't be making green beer on a regular basis, as some brewers do for St. Patrick's Day, but it will flip the switch on a new anaerobic digester.
Special bacteria will munch on the yeast and grains left floating around. The process will get the water about 85 percent cleaner before it's discharged into the sewer system, according to CEO Nick Matt.
But the digestion process also gives off methane gas and carbon dioxide.
That methane will be used to power a generator. CEO Matt says the new system will cover up to 40 percent of the brewery's electricity needs.