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May 6, 2009

The Journal News

Beer shortage brewing with new bottle bill

New York state recently added a 5-cent deposit on most bottles of water. Within the bill was a requirement that water sold in New York must have an entirely different barcode than the rest of the country. However, buried into this law was also stated that this will apply to beer as well. What this means is that any beer sold in New York state must now have its own distinct label exclusively for New York. Most craft breweries cannot afford this. There are more than 1,400 craft breweries operating today in the United States. They will simply not distribute in New York state any longer. There are plenty of other deprived states that will gladly take New York's share of these limited beers. Yuengling Brewery has already announced to its distributors that it is pulling out of the state as of June 1 if this is not overturned. Yuengling is the fifth largest and the oldest American brewery and it is pulling out because it can't afford the new labeling laws. How many smaller breweries will New York lose with them?

We as New Yorkers have been fortunate in recent years to have the opportunity to enjoy such a vast array of beers from around the world. Only the largest breweries will be able to afford these costs and it will lock out all other breweries from New York. What kind of beer selection will New Yorkers have?

Chris DeCicco

West Nyack


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