craft beverages

In $2 million startup, 11,000 wines and one full circle

By GREGORY ZELLER // As the latest cog in a multistate corporate wheel likely to spin past $3 billion in revenue next year, Total Wine Spirits & More is not your typical startup, for Westbury or anywhere else. And it’s not particularly innovative – though actually it is, contorting Maryland-based Total Wine & More’s proven formula (170-something stores and counting) to squeeze through New York State’s regulatory hoops (more below). But if the megalithic retailer…


They were brew-tours before brew-tours were cool

By GREGORY ZELLER // Before everyone and their brother was offering bus tours of Long Island’s brew pubs and vineyards, there was Tapped Enterprises. The Ronkonkoma-based brainchild of President Kevin Bowker actually launched in 2008, first as a purveyor of what the founder called “dorm décor” – posters, flags and other beer-themed accouterments for the college set. But by 2012, still years before leave-the-driving-to-us tours of Long Island’s craft-beverage scene were in vogue, the enterprise…


Cuomo raises a glass to craft-beverage industries

Good news for Long Island Wine Country and the Island’s other burgeoning craft-beverage industries: Albany is updating “archaic” laws to allow vineyards and microbreweries to sell any New York-made “farm alcoholic beverage” by the glass. Recognizing that variety is the spice of the craft-beverage life, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed two measures modernizing the state’s 80-year-old Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. Together, the bills allow farm wineries, microbreweries and “cideries” to sell any Empire State-produced…


Brew Bus Rolls Through Insurance Roadblock

By GREGORY ZELLER // Running the LI Brew Bus has been an education – and that, according to founder Brad Darrohn, is kind of an important point. Among the primary lessons learned since the retrofitted 1998 Blue Bird school bus started its weekend runs one year ago: Insurance ain’t cheap, a lesson hammered home so hard that Darrohn and his crew almost parked the bus permanently at the end of last summer. Based at the Long…


State revamps rules for craft beverage industry

The State Liquor Authority has approved a host of improved rules aimed at helping craft beverage manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers. The changes come in the wake of the third annual Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider Summit, at which craft beverage makers had the chance to bend government’s ear on issues affecting the industry, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised to support as a key New York job-builder. Chief among the changes is authorization of contract brewing, allowing small breweries to use…


State promises $16M for craft beverage sector

Albany kicked in $16 million to support the state’s craft beverage industry on Wednesday, including $5 million for no-interest loans, plus stepped-up marketing and beverage-related tourism and grants for beverage entrepreneurs to attend educational events and showcases in other states. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also promised to cut government red tape that has slowed craft beer, cider and other small manufacturers in the sector. “Our investments in the farm-based beverage industry have created a synergy of economic…