Monday, June 23, 2014

Governing Beer

I don't much care for my boss.

Not my direct supervisor, mind you, or for that matter her boss, or the boss above that. I'm talking about my boss's, boss's boss—Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. To be honest I think he a self-serving narcissist. But what governor isn't?

Policy-wise, he and his staff shoot from the hip quite often, not necessarily thinking through good governance. Going for for the sound bite and quick photo-op, or grabbing headlines, and more often than not, credit for others work. Typical political stuff. All things considered I will concede, however, that he's done some good for the brewing industry in New York State.

This July will be the two-year anniversary of the farm brewery law. I wrote about that last October. It’s been a little slow going, but the parties are beginning to talk. There are plans to implement a farm brewery caucus within the New York State Brewers Association, the Helderberg Brewshed at the Carey Center for Global Good is continuing their work, bringing brewers and farmers together; and brewers and law-makers are working together to determine realistic goals for the implementation of the new law. There are still some big hurdles to get over, but things are starting to coalesce.

Most recently, last week in fact, more advantageous legislation was signed in to law. This new legislation reduces the regulations on New York’s breweries by—according to a press release from the Governors office—increasing the production caps on small producers; allowing for brewers and distillers to sell by by the bottle and glass without a separate license, and lowering food requirements at tasting rooms and samplings. The to-be law also allows the state’s distilleries to operate a branch office.

My difference of opinion with the Governor on other matters aside, like I said, all-in-all I think these are good things. But, while things are good now, I am a bit wary about the ever-increasingly lovey-dovey relationship between beer and politicians. 

Call me cynical, but I tend not to trust politicians.

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