Beer & Politics DO Mix – Schumer’s "I Love NY Brew" Initiative

The microbreweries across New York are getting a little bit of well-deserved extra attention from their government these days.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer launched an “I Love NY Brew” campaign on Wednesday to give one of the state’s fastest growing industries an extra boost.

The campaign aims to promote the sale of NY beers in restaurants, bars, and convenience stores. There are currently 77 breweries that call the Empire State home and according to Schumer, there are plans to build another 39. Craft brewers have attained 7.5% of the beer-drinking market in New York, while states like Colorado and Oregon are closer to the 30% mark.

The more local beer New Yorkers drink, the more the industry will continue to thrive and that of course means more jobs. Nearly 60,000 jobs are supported already with production reaching over a million barrels last year.

Tim Herzog of Flying Bison BreweryTo gain more insight, we contacted a couple of local brewmasters to see what they think about the whole idea:

Tim Herzog of Buffalo’s Flying Bison Brewing Company

“It’s great to see Senator Schumer supporting New York’s small breweries. We have a great community of businesses brewing here in New York State. From the Country Malting Group, one of the nation’s biggest suppliers of quality ingredients to the brewpubs, and breweries, to KegWorks, a leading supplier of draft equipment you can trace a path of job creation and growth. Together we are growing New York’s economy, one beer at a time.”

(We’re honored by the mention and glad to report that this past year we were named the 13th fastest growing company in Western NY and more importantly able to create nine new jobs!)

Jonathan Mervine of Roc Brewing Co


Jonathan Mervine of Rochester’s Roc Brewing Company


“It’s a very symbiotic relationship between the state and the breweries. Every dollar we earn is another dollar we can put back into our business and each time we can reinvest, we are in turn reinvesting in New York State.”

Senator Schumer has written letters to the National Association of Convenience Stores and Fuel Retailing as well as the New York State Restaurant Association, urging them to sell more local beers. If you’re a resident of our great state, we’re urging you to do the same. The next time you’re out to dinner or stopping to pick up a six-pack, ask what local beers are available. If there aren’t any, take a moment to ask for a manager and plead your case.

We can’t help but hope that the rest of New York’s gas stations will follow Sunoco’s lead.

We’re certainly willing to drink local and do our part to make this campaign a success. Perhaps we can even convince the good Senator to make “I Heart NY Brew” t-shirts and sell them through KegWorks to help fund the project? There is no federal money going into the initiative but the folks from the New York State Brewers Association are supporting the effort with promotional materials designed to raise awareness about local breweries and their beers.

Hats off to Senator Schumer for taking action. This is most definitely a cause KegWorks is proud to support.


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