New York Brewers Need Your Help

Support Your Local BrewerySupport Your Local Brewery has issued an E-Action Alert:

May 4, 2009

Dear New York Beer Activist,

At the request of the New York State Brewers Association, we are alerting you to an issue which could dramatically affect your access to the craft beers made by small breweries all across the country.

As you have likely learned, the state of New York recently enacted a requirement that bottled products sold in your state must bear a New York-specific UPC code for bottle deposit and redemption purposes. This requirement will have severe negative impacts on many businesses, including and particularly, small breweries. The cost to produce a state-specific label with a unique UPC and the inventory and shipping challenges that presents, will mean many small breweries will be forced to pull their beers out of the New York market because the cost of doing business in the state will be simply too high. And just think of the precedent this potentially sets for other states should they enact similar requirements…small brewer out-of-state sales could be decimated coast to coast.

Several brewing companies have already weighed in on this issue with the Governor, explaining they would have no choice but to discontinue distribution of their beers. This is bad for the state of New York, bad for small brewers everywhere, and perhaps worst of all for New York residents who are craft beer drinkers. Access to the wide range of beer you currently enjoy will be severely limited in the future should this requirement remain on the books.

Please take a few minutes and call or email your State Senator and Assemblyman. Let them know that you feel the New York-specific UPC is a bad idea for business and a bad idea for Empire State residents who drink craft beer and vote. Ask them to support a repeal of the New York-specific UPC requirement as contained in the recently passed Bottle Bill.

To identify your state elected officials by zip code and for contact information:



5 Replies to “New York Brewers Need Your Help”

  1. It seems like the people “in the know” sit around to think of ways to encourage people to not do business in NY. Its funny considering people are LEAVING NY in droves. Sure, make it worse. Gotta love politicians!

  2. That’s rough. I hope they don’t impose that here in Massachusetts. It sucks when the government tries to impose a regulation on small business that is designed so poorly.

  3. They are pushing for overall higher taxes on Beer sales in NY. Pushing this through will likely boost mass market beer consumption a bit (by limiting craft beer choices) which will keep AB from closing their brewery in upstate NY. Bud and Blue already dominate the market, but this boost might offset any of their anticipated sales losses. I am sure this bar-code bill was done for the benefit of SOMEONE since it makes no sense otherwise. Interesting how Michelob (AB) is starting to market some specialty beers with a little flavor just in time for this.

  4. Indeed. I wrote my assemblyman, who’s motto is paraphrased “more jobs less taxes.” So many bad decisions such as this new requirement thwart notions of running a business in New York state. Let’s hope I (we) can actually be represented.

  5. I have had bottles rejected from the redemption center in Massachusetts for being of the wrong UPC code. The rejected item was purchased in Rhode Island and had no deposit paid, and the label indicated this, so something similar is already being done, at least by some breweries.

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