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NYS Brewery Supply Chain Analysis, v1, 2016

Elizabeth Newbold, Local Food Distribution & Marketing Specialist

February 19, 2016
NYS Brewery Supply Chain Analysis, v1, 2016

Following the passage of New York's Farm Brewery Law in 2013, new markets developed for malting barley farmers, malt house operations and farm brewers. As these new markets developed, grain quality, quantity and price projections for the industry were made based on the best available information at the time. However, it was clear that a more comprehensive market analysis was needed in order to best support this growing industry. This report summarizes the data gathered through that analysis.

The number of acres planted with malting barley across New York State continues to increase every year. The greatest barrier to market growth for farmers is the uncertainty about market demand. If there is a certain market demand, farmers are willing to devote additional acreage to growing malting barley.

Proper malting barley storage creates several challenges for farmers and malt houses. Farmers have access to proper storage but are unable to devote much space to malting barley because they are storing it for long periods of time. Malt houses are storing finished malt for long periods of time due to unpredictable patterns of demand from brewers.

In 2014, the data indicates that there was enough malting barley grown in NY to meet the current 20% NY grown input requirement for farm brewers. Importantly, the demand for NY grown inputs (malt and hops) is not generated from only farm brewers, the majority of others brewers that responded said that they are already buy or plan to buy some NY grown inputs (malt and hops), with demand growing steadily overtime.

Of the incentives associated with the Farm Brewery Law, farm brewers rank the ability to sell beer by the glass as the most valued license incentive. Without additional incentives added, the majority of the brewers responded that they will switch or combine licenses. However, brewers indicated that if price, quality and availability of specialty malts becomes consistent they are likely to remain with just the farm brewer license.

Brewers are willing to pay a slight premium for NY grown inputs and in return they believe that their consumers would be willing to pay a little more for beer brewed with NY grown inputs. At the same time, consumers are interested in knowing which beers are produced with local ingredients and brewers think that a specialty logo for these NY grown beers would be helpful to raise awareness for and promotion of the product.

The full report is provided below.

This report was created by Harvest New York with support from the Cornell Vegetable Program and in collaboration with Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Empire State Development, Hartwick College Center for Craft Food and Beverage, New York State Brewers Association, New York Craft Malt, and PM Farms.  


NYS Brewery Supply Chain Analysis, February 2016 (pdf; 2357KB)


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