The legislation "is designed to support New York's breweries and wineries, increase demand for locally grown farm products, and expand industry-related economic development and tourism."
It accomplishes these goals by:
•Providing a tax credit of 14 cents per gallon for the first 500,000 gallons produced and 4.5 cents for the next 15 million gallons produced in New York.
•Exempting small breweries (less than 1,500 barrels) from paying the annual state liquor authority fee.
•Exempting farm wineries, distilleries and breweries from certain tax filing requirements.
•Creating a farm brewery license that allows craft brewers that use New York State-grown products to operate in a similar fashion to the state's wineries.
Developing a farm brewery license in particular could serve to benefit Michigan farmers and craft brewers. Michigan State University Extension estimates there will be 140 acres of hops in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties alone by 2013.
With steady growth in hops production across Michigan and a thriving agri-tourism sector, developing a farm brewery license would complement the state's wineries and cideries and offer another unique experience for tourists and locals alike.
In addition to the economic benefits of regional "farm brewery trails," legislation could be written to enhance the benefits to Michigan farmers as well. Mirroring New York's law, Michigan could take a phased approach. As an example, perhaps in order to receive a "farm brewery license," by 2024, 90% of the hops and 90% of all other ingredients must be grown in Michigan.
As the "Great Beer State," it may be time for Michigan to join the ranks of other states like New York, Massachusetts and Maryland and enact legislation to support Michigan's farmers and growing craft beer industry.