Sen. Ritchie bill to create craft beer trail in North Country, 'boost upstate economy' passes in Senate
Friday, March 4, 2016 - 5:53 am

New York’s first official craft beer trail could become a reality in the North Country if state Sen. Patty Ritchie’s bill, which has passed in the Senate, is also approved by the Assembly and the governor.

Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, says the trail would boost the upstate economy and highlight local craft breweries in the North Country.

Similar to the way in which other wine trails have been established in the region, Ritchie’s bill (S.518-A) would create the “North Country Craft Beer Trail,” linking craft breweries in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. Ritchie’s district includes much of northern and western St. Lawrence County, including Canton and Gouverneur.

“Just as the state’s wine industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, so too has our state’s craft beer sector, with more and more breweries popping up and increasing in popularity among consumers,” Ritchie said.

“However, while wine trails exist throughout New York State, there aren’t any official craft beer trails. By creating our state’s first-ever craft beer trail, we can provide a boost to craft breweries, which in turn will help to increase tourism, create jobs and promote the sale of local products.”

The trail would link breweries from Watertown to Canton, with signs marking the new attraction. In the future, Ritchie said, she plans to introduce legislation to create and link additional craft beer trails in an effort to further grow the industry and promote tourism statewide.