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Small breweries receive help from new legislation

New York's smallest breweries and some wineries are getting a tax break from Albany.

Governor Cuomo went to Utica yesterday and the family-owned Matt Brewing Company to sign a package of bills to help smaller brewers and the farmers supplying them.

In recent years, small breweries, brewpubs and farm breweries have become a tiny but vital part of the state's liquor industry, along with wineries and small distilleries.

The bills signed by the governor ease the tax and regulatory rules and will probably help the farms supplying essentials like hops.

"It allows the expansion by having these tax benefits and it supports the local farmers and especially the farmers that produce hops," said Senator Mark Grisanti who backs the legislation.

"Supporting this craft beer industry not only will increase the demand for locally-grown farmer products but the support for brewers and wineries in this area."  

Farming remains the state's largest industry and is benefiting right now from milk sales to the new manufacturers of Greek yogurt.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.