New York — Empire Brewing Company broke ground this past Friday, May 8th 2015, to begin construction on the Empire Farmstead Brewery – a new manufacturing and agri-tourism facility in Cazenovia, New York. When completed, the 28,000 square-foot Empire Farmstead Brewery will be the largest farm brewery of-its-kind in New York State, with a major agri-tourism component. Many of the raw ingredients for its beer production will in fact be grown on site. The project will result in more than 50 new jobs in Madison County while nearly $6 million is invested in the local economy.
“Craft beer is big business in New York State. Empire Brewing’s new facility will be a major boon for the craft beverage and agri-tourism industries in Central New York, while also creating dozens of new, local jobs,” said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “The START-UP NY grant will enable Empire Brewing to focus on growing and reinvesting in their business, as well as establish an important partnership with SUNY Morrisville that will provide students with practical business experience in this booming sector.”
START-UP NY was launched in 2014 and offers new and expanding businesses the opportunity to operate tax-free for 10 years on or near eligible university or college campuses in New York State.
EMPIRE BREWING COMPANY, founded in 1994, is an award-winning brewer of handcrafted ales and lagers. The company utilizes all-natural ingredients that are fresh and locally sourced products from over sixty Central New York farmers. As the brewery’s academic sponsor for START-UP NY, SUNY Morrisville, which is currently implementing a new Brewing Studies Program, will work directly with the company to help manage the facility and educate students by providing first-hand practical business experience in production brewing.
Governor Cuomo recently announced that the craft beer industry in New York State grew 59% from 2013 to 2014, with a total economic impact estimated at $3.5 billion. Craft beer accounts for 6,552 direct industry jobs, according to a research report prepared for the New York State Brewers Association and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, while supporting another 4,814 jobs in related industries. It is responsible for more than $2.9 billion in direct and indirect revenue within the state, and another $554 million in direct and indirect wages, making up the nearly $3.5 billion in total economic impact on the state.
David Katleski, President & Founder of Empire Brewing Company, said, “Today marks one of the brightest days we’ve seen in the history of the Empire Brewing Company. Governor Cuomo’s administration recognized the potential and has been an incredibly strong supporter of the craft beverage industry As a result, new opportunities for the industry in New York have enabled Empire and others to grow far beyond what we could have dreamed only a few short years ago. We are thrilled with our participation in START-UP NY and the benefits it provides to our business, as well as the great partnership we’ve established with SUNY Morrisville, its curriculum, and – of course – it’s students.”
Empire currently operates a successful brewery with an award-winning contemporary downtown bar and grill on the premises in Armory Square, Syracuse. In 2010 the Company began distributing its beer off-premise to wholesalers and retailers throughout New York, but has reached its production capacity. In order to meet increasing demand, Empire has decided to expand its operations with the launch of its Empire Farmstead Brewery, which will provide both production and educational services. The brewery will be built on a 22-acre farm with a brewery and packaging plant located on Route 13 in Cazenovia. The new facility will expand production from 4,500 barrels per year to 17,000 barrels in year one, and 20,000 barrels by year three.