Licensed farm distilleries in St. Lawrence County get okay to sell liquor at farmers’ markets
Friday, October 5, 2012 - 8:48 am

Any licensed farm distilleries in St. Lawrence County and around the state will be able to sell their liquor at the New York State Fair, recognized county fairs, and not-for-profit farmers’ markets, under a bill signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The new law will help local farms to grow by providing distilleries with the same access to marketing opportunities currently allowed to licensed wineries, farm wineries, and farm breweries, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“By easing restrictions on farm distilleries and permitting tastings and sales outside of their premises, we are giving these distilleries an equal chance to compete in the industry and a better opportunity to reach new customers and grow their businesses,” Cuomo said. Currently farm distilleries, which are required to primarily use New York State agricultural products in their New York State labeled liquors, are allowed to sample and sell their products only on their distillery premises. On the other hand, farm breweries, farm wineries, and licensed wineries are not subject to these restrictions and are allowed to offers samples and sell their New York State labeled products at fairs and markets across the state.

The new law will allow farm distilleries to hold liquor tastings and sell their New York State labeled products off premises at the state fair, recognized county fairs, and local not-for-profit farmers’ markets.

However, they are required to have a state Liquor Authority permit, as well as have a distillery representative on site to ensure that tastings and sales are conducted responsibly.

The law goes into effect in the spring.