Today, New York Governor Cuomo signed the craft beverage bill which will help all New York alcohol beverage producers. “New York produces some of the best wine, beer, spirits and cider in the world—an industry which not only creates jobs but supports farmers and brings in tourism dollars across every corner of the state,” Governor Cuomo said. The new rules, which take effect in 30 days, provide benefits for New York producers including: allowing producers to conduct tastings and serve “by the bottle” and “by the glass”; permitting farm distilleries to increase the retail outlets where they can sell and offer samples of their products; lowering the food requirement that must be met by manufacturers when offering tastings and consumption on premises; allowing farm distilleries to obtain a permit to operate a branch office, eliminating the need for a separate license; and reducing costs for small manufacturers by increasing the production cap and permitting the production of more product without increased fees. The Governor also launched grant programs, providing $2 million for Craft Beverage Marketing and Promotion and $1 million for Craft Beverage Industry Tourism. According to a press release, “the $2 million Craft Beverage Marketing and Promotion Grant Program, which was created to increase the profile, awareness and sales of New York State produced wine, beer, spirits, and hard cider, will provide matching funds for the marketing and promotion of craft beverages…This includes the purchase of recognized media advertising, production costs of print collateral and audio/visual, industry related tours,…

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Is this a permissible tweet from a Revolution Wines, a California winery? “Two days till @SaveMart Grape Escape in Downtown #Sacramento! Get tickets and info here:” According to the California Alcohol Beverage Control, naming the retailer in Revolution Wines’ tweet was a tied house violation. Manufactures or importers may not promote retailers. Specifically, naming a retailer in a tweet can be seen as providing free advertising to the account. In the Sacramento Bee, Revolution Wines’ co-owner noted that its reaction was “to really button down on training.” According to the Sacramento Bee, Revolution Wines avoided a ten day suspension by accepting a one year probation as a penalty.To avoid investigation by a state agency, remember that providing free advertising to a retail account is generally impermissible. You should review the regulations in each state carefully before referencing any retailer in your tweet, social media or even traditional marketing.

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