In a comprehensive 2013 study of the craft beer industry in New York State, Stonebridge Research Group LLC (click here for study) found that the craft beer industry alone had a $3.5 billion impact on New York’s economy. That impact included over 11,000 jobs generating $554 million in wages, $748 million in state and local tax revenue, and $450 million in tourism expenditures. A similar study (click here for study) conducted in California revealed that craft brewers had a $4.7 billion annual impact in that state. These are momentous figures, and it is expected that craft distilling will follow in craft brewing’s footsteps, generating jobs, tax revenue and tourism on a local, regional and state basis.
Like craft brewing and craft wineries, craft distilling in New York State is all about utilizing local resources to create amazing, artisanal products. The growing number of distillers in New York will steadily increase use of New York State grown grains and other produce. That means more money and productivity for our farmers.
We know, based on the experience of states like California and Oregon, as well as the craft breweries and wineries, that, as new craft distillers appear on the map, tourism is positively impacted. The experience of craft spirits is not just about going to the liquor store and picking up a local artisan’s product. Imbibers of craft spirits want to see where and how the spirits are made. They want to speak to the artisans and learn about the spirits. This desire to experience drives tourism.
The state of craft distilling in New York is healthy and headed to new heights. This is a thrilling time for distillers and consumers of spirits. Each time someone chooses to experience craft spirits, the economy of the State of New York and the locality is boosted a bit more. What a great and fun way to support our neighbors and fellow citizens.