Schumer Calls for More Locally Brewed Beer Sales in New York

NYC c-stores, restaurants represent biggest untapped market, state brewers say

NEW YORK -- U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), joined by the head of the New York Brewers Association and several brewery owners from Upstate New York, announced the creation of his "I Love NY Brew" campaign to place more locally brewed, New York beer in New York City and state restaurants, bars and convenience store shelves.

Schumer is pushing to expand New York brewers' market share so that they can grow their business and hire more employees in a business that currently supports nearly 60,000 New York jobs.

In a letter to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and the New York State Restaurant Association, Schumer urged both associations to encourage their members to offer more beer brewed at the 77 micro-breweries, regional craft breweries and brewpubs across the state.

Schumer said that pushing New York-brewed beer onto c-store shelves and restaurants in major cities like New York would be a major step forward for an industry that pumps billions of dollars into the state's economy each year.

"Local breweries across the state are proven job creators, helping support 60,000 New York jobs and brewing not simply great beer, but billions for our local economy too," said Schumer. "Craft breweries have catapulted New York to the top shelf of beer states, and our beers are more than ready for prime time. Whether you are searching for a six-pack at your local 7-Eleven or grabbing buffalo wings with a beer after work, you should have a wide assortment of locally brewed beers to choose from."

David Katleski, president of New York State Brewers Association, said, "The growth of the craft brewing industry in New York State is tremendous. Continued growth will greatly contribute to the number of jobs, tax dollars and economic benefit to New York state. Of all the beer sold in New York state, New York craft beer currently represents a 7.5% market share. One can only imagine the economic impact to our state if craft beer sales here reflected that of craft beer sales in Oregon, where they're 30%."

The approximately 2,000 small breweries across the country combine to employ nearly 100,000 American workers. In New York, the beer industry directly supports approximately 60,000 jobs in brewing, distribution and sales. According to the Beer Institute, these jobs paid nearly $4.6 billion in wages last year, and accounted for more than $13.2 billion in economic activity during 2010. New York breweries paid $1.13 billion in federal taxes, and $1.14 billion in state and local taxes last year.

In a meeting with New York brewers from across New York earlier this month, the brewers told Schumer that local c-stores and restaurants, particularly those in New York City, represent the largest untapped markets for Upstate and Long Island beer. Several breweries that have tapped into these markets told Schumer that they had quickly become an integral part of their business. Many smaller breweries don't have the resources to launch extensive marketing campaigns. To combat this problem, as part of Schumer's campaign the New York State Brewers Association will be providing promotional material, on behalf of its members, to restaurants and c-stores to help boost awareness of locally brewed beer in hopes of increasing sales.

Schumer, who toured breweries throughout the state earlier this year, noted that brewery owners tend to put increased revenue back into the business in the form of capital improvements or hiring new workers.

Schumer also called on NACS to encourage their major chain members to carry locally brewed beers at their New York locations.

"Getting New York beers on convenience store shelves and in local menus would help pour jobs into New York's breweries," he said. "Our local breweries provide good-paying jobs and help draw tourists and visitors to the Empire State--I'm going to do everything I can to help them grow and expand even further."

Click here to read Schumer's letter.