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NY craft brewers double in number since 2012, report says

Two craft beers from the Oyster Bay Brewing

Two craft beers from the Oyster Bay Brewing Co. in Oyster Bay. Credit: Ryan Schlotter

New York's craft beer industry had an estimated economic impact of $3.5 billion in 2013, and production in barrels grew by 54 percent from 2011 to 2013, according to a new research report.

The number of craft brewers in New York has more than doubled since 2012, hitting 207 in January, compared with 95 three years ago, said the report, released by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office Thursday. Craft beer production reached 859,535 barrels in 2013, said the report, which was prepared for the New York State Brewers Association and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation.

Long Island has at least 19 craft breweries, according to the Brewers Association website. At Barrage Brewing Co. in East Farmingdale, sales have tripled since it opened a tasting room last June, said Steve Pominski, head brewer and owner. "Since the day we've opened we haven't been able to keep up with the demand," he added.

Pominski, a member of the New York State Brewers Association since 2011, said measures promoted by the governor have expanded tax exemptions for New York brewery tastings, and have helped brewers, wineries and distilleries. "He's made it easier for us to get licensing," Pominski said.

As a result of Barrage's growth, Pominski said, he and his wife, who run the brewery themselves, plan to expand operations and hire some staff before fall.

Craft beer accounts for 6,552 direct industry jobs in the state, and supports 4,814 jobs in related industries, the report said. Direct and indirect revenue for the industry hit more than $2.9 billion in 2013, and $554 million was paid in wages. State brewers also generated more than $748 million in state and local taxes.

"When these craft beverage producers do well, it creates jobs, puts more money in local economies and sets the stage for future growth," Cuomo said in a statement.

The report, by the Stonebridge Research Group, a California-based wine and craft beverage consultancy, used state taxation data, New York State Liquor Authority information and industry interviews.

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